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Which paddles help to correct which part of your front crawl technique and why?

With January training we can start to enter into some force training which helps by adding in some muscular strength and muscular endurance work into your swimming sessions. This is in the midpoint of Base phase 2 of the Aerobic foundation.


We do this also by using varying different types of paddles, some of which are more designed around building actual strength for swimming, and others that are designed to improve various elements of your front crawl technique


So we have 2 types of swim paddles:


  1. Strength

  2. Technique

This blog article will primarily be focusing on the 2nd style, of technique paddles to help with stroke correction and improvement.


Strength paddles are usually bigger than your hand, and will help build muscle in the right places, ie your lats and triceps and sometimes forearm muscles which help with swim specific strength


These are mainly all Finis paddles, they are very innovative with their paddles design with a strong focus on improving form and technique:


Technique correction paddles


Fulcrums paddles


The Forearm Fulcrums develop an early vertical forearm (EVF) position and increase stroke efficiency. An EVF position utilizes the entire forearm during the pull, from fingertips to elbow. The Forearm Fulcrums promote stroke refinement through muscle memory of proper hand, wrist and forearm position. The Forearm Fulcrums improve efficiency and maintain a strong, uninterrupted pull from the beginning of the stroke to the end.


Improves:


  • Early Vertical forearm

  • Catch

  • Alignment




Agility paddles


Improve your stroke, strength and endurance in the water with the Agility Floating Paddles from FINIS. Great for anyone from novices to open water triathletes, these paddles will increase your feel and stroke awareness as you train. Instant feedback on elbow positioning

Increases feel through the water with heightened stroke awareness

Building both muscle strength and confidence in everyone from those learning to swim to the hardest open water triathletes. Elsewhere, the convex design and streamlined thumb holes iron out stroke imperfections and incorrect hand placements respectively.


  • Palm positioning

  • Feel for the water


Sculling paddles


Aids in positive palm pitch, ie your hands should point towards the back of the pool or behind all the way through the underwater phases of the stroke. Helps increase awareness and corrects a cross over in the stroke, or loss of positive palm pitch in the stroke underwater. A change in pitch will be felt by the paddles becoming loose.


  • Positive palm pitch

  • Feel for the water

  • Alignment of your hands

  • Catch






Speedo Biofuse finger catch paddles


Where your hand isn’t maintaining a positive palm pitch ie pointing backwards for propulsion, press out on the little finger or thumb to correct for better pressure and purchase on the water. Improves your feel for the water in the catch phase, and helps increase awareness of positive palm pitch


  • Catch

  • Purchase on the water

  • Positive palm pitch









Freestyler paddles


Aids in positive palm pitch, ie your hands should point towards the back of the pool or behind all the way through the underwater phases of the stroke. Helps increase awareness and corrects a cross over in the stroke, or loss of positive palm pitch in the stroke underwater. A change in pitch will be felt with increased pressure on the paddles laterally or medially.


  • Alignment

  • Awareness of crossing over towards centreline

  • Entry crossover

  • Catch and pull cross over

  • Positive palm pitch





Strength / Technique paddles


Bolster paddles


The Bolster Paddles promote an early vertical forearm position that uses the entire forearm and hand during the pull. Perfecting this technique with the Bolster Paddles encourages a high elbow and will lead to more efficient swimming. The Bolster Paddles are also a great way to build upper body strength. The wide paddle design offers resistance throughout the pull and can be applied to all four swim strokes. Using the Bolster Paddles overtime will improve entry, catch technique, pull and recovery.


  • High elbow set

  • Early vertical forearm

  • Strength

  • Developing your paddle position




Ergo Tech paddles zone 3


These are also great for building strength whilst enhancing technique, as they are smaller (just) than the size of your hand. They are really good for working on your catch, as they minimise any disruption to your stroke technique.



  • Catch

  • Feel for the water

  • Purchase on the water

  • Building strength








TYR Catalyst 2 paddles


These paddles are actually the ones I have owned for the longest, for the simple reason that they build swim specific strength and technique whilst reducing the risk of injury. There are different sizes and strengths according to your hand size and swimming ability. The curved shape at the top of the paddles reduces pressure on your shoulder joint.


These are also very good strength paddles, and as a result, you should be careful with the amount you increase their usage each week in a swim set. I would always recommend adding 100 metres a week. These are not ideal for swim / run events.


  • Strength

  • Technique


Learn how to correct your stroke and swim faster than ever with less energy!

We can help you improve your technique using video camera analysis, stroke correction and swim drills in the endless pool. Based in Chertsey Surrey.


Sign up to an endless pool 121 video analysis session and find out what’s been holding you back with your swim stroke.


If you have a swim technique problem if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the Speedy Swimming Team!


Front crawl video analysis in an endless pool at Tribal in Chertsey:








Nick is a level 3 British Triathlon Coach, STA level 2 Swim Teacher, Nowca Open Water Swim coach, Level 2 Accredited Training Peaks coach, and Training Bible coaching Master endurance coach with 25 years’ experience in triathlon, founder and Head Coach for Speedy Swimming.

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