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Thread: Can't swim with a pull buoy

  1. #1

    Can't swim with a pull buoy

    Hi, I'm a 42 year old man and learned free style swimming last year. Recently I started to use a pull buoy in hope to gain a better sense of proper body position. However I found it extremely challenging for me that I almost couldn't swim at all but rather drifting in the water.

    I feel I couldn't rotate at all with a pull buoy between my thighs. Therefore I cannot get a proper catch and also I have difficulty turning to breathe ( sometimes I have to press water with a one arm in order to get my mouth above the surface of water).

    Is it something I'm not doing this right? Or it's just my body not flexible enough and it will get better if I keep trying it?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Can't swim with a pull buoy

    Try to rotate just your neck and head to breathe. The pull buoy should not change body rotation .

  3. #3
    Very Active Member habu987's Avatar
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    Re: Can't swim with a pull buoy

    Sounds to me like that could be a symptom of poor core strength, along with possibly a mismatch between when your shoulders and hips are rotating, which would be compounded by a lack of core strength.

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    Re: Can't swim with a pull buoy

    Quote Originally Posted by addingk View Post
    Recently I started to use a pull buoy in hope to gain a better sense of proper body position.
    I'm not trying to be cute here, but maybe the whatever issues you have with your body position are what prevents you from using the pull buoy effectively.

    Also, tell us a bit about your workouts. Yardage? Speed? Comfort in the water? Other stuff?

    We don't know if you swim, say, 25 yards in a minute then need to rest before repeating 5 times and you're done, or, conversely, if you swim 5000 yards in an hour 4 times a week.

    If there are other swimmers in your pool, maybe they could give you some tips.

  5. #5
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    Re: Can't swim with a pull buoy

    You are not alone. I canít either very well. It feels like my body is in a unnatural position even with the lightest one of the 3 sizes where I work out. I donít use them at all for work sets, but I think they can be instructive for stroke work for me. Namely, I think that it reveals if you are wiggling at all bc the wiggle is amplified almost like skidding in a car on ice (buoy) vs dry road.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member pwb's Avatar
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    Re: Can't swim with a pull buoy

    Pull buoys will not help you with body position as they artificially raise your lower body. Furthermore, exactly as you have experienced, they inhibit rotation, and disconnect your legs, core and upper body. I'd recommend not using a buoy.

  7. #7
    Very Active Member Mark Usher's Avatar
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    Re: Can't swim with a pull buoy

    Quote Originally Posted by pwb View Post
    Pull buoys will not help you with body position as they artificially raise your lower body. Furthermore, exactly as you have experienced, they inhibit rotation, and disconnect your legs, core and upper body. I'd recommend not using a buoy.
    I would tend to agree. I'll use a pull buoy for some sculling and pulling drills, but it's just crutch if you're using it to improve your body position. There are other body alignment and core drills that will help more.

    One of my favorites is three full strokes followed by 6-10 kicks with the leading armed extended and the trailing against your side; it lets you focus on both body line and rotation. An added benefit is helping you work on developing your bilateral breathing.

  8. #8
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Can't swim with a pull buoy

    Maybe pull buoys should be avoided until stroke is developed. Iíve been swimming now over a decade but I have yet to try the buoy, probably because my stroke still needs improving

  9. #9
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    Re: Can't swim with a pull buoy

    Do you have a video showing your swim with the pullbuoy? I've been using one for three years - and have found that it really facilitates the rotation for me. I have an older movie showing me using one at https://andyswims.com [go to the youtube link and click on "iphone goes for a swim". Will be posting some new videos this winter; just too busy :-)

    Size and shape of pullbuoy also makes a difference. Need to know which model you're using. Andy

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