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Using A Band In Swim Workouts

  • By Sara McLarty
  • Published Jul 28, 2014
Photo: Nils Nilsen

Add a challenge by bringing a band to your next workout.

There’s a reason pros like Jordan Rapp and Lisa Norden are big on swim sets using a band. It not only takes away the “cheating” of kicking while wearing a buoy during pull sets, but wearing one around your ankles sans buoy can also be a powerful strength builder in the pool. Also, if you find it difficult to hold a buoy between your thighs for a long period of time and tend to get cramps, a band will hold your legs together and effortlessly keep the buoy in place for the entire set.

Training with just a band is very difficult because your feet, legs and hips will sink very low in the water when your ability to kick is completely removed.

Start with a short and simple set like 4×25 with full recovery. When wearing a band, focus on swimming with a fast stroke rate or tempo. The faster you swim, the higher your legs will ride through the water. Using a band is a great drill to help increase arm turnover and develop a “sprint” technique. Improve your horizontal body position by using core and lower back muscles to elevate your hips and legs in the water and avoid using dolphin kicks to move your lower body toward the surface.

When first starting out, avoid using paddles and take plenty of rest, as swimming with a band can increase the pressure on the shoulders and upper back. Start with 25s and build up to 50s when you are able to hold your form and maintain a fast stroke tempo for the entire lap.

You can purchase a band from one of the major swim brands like Speedo or Finis, or you can make your own out of an old bike tube. Cut a punctured tube into thirds and tie the pieces into small loops (about 12–15 inches in diameter).

RELATED – Ask A Pro: Why Do I Hate Everything That Is Good For Me?

Band Sets

- 4x[200 band and buoy on 3:00, 4x50 band only on :60]

- 8×75 on 1:30
(50 free/25 back)

- 24×25 on :30
(4 band only, 2 swim fast, repeat)

RELATED: Four Swim Sets For 70.3 Training

FILED UNDER: Getting Started / Swim / Training

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