When you first start out and as you advance in swimming, you often are told by Master Swim instructors to use swim gear for the pool. But, why do you need swim gear for the pool? What is all of this stuff for anyway?

What kind of swim gear do you need?

Beginners, you will need a good bathing cap, goggles, and nose/ear plugs. I didn’t know this when I started. I hated wearing a bathing cap. I loved the feeling of my hair in the water. But, I soon found out that when you don’t wear a bathing cap, your hair creates the drag, which inhibits you to swim fast.

Pool gear:

Swim Buoy — Swim buoys are supposed to make you go faster, which I find the opposite. I actually go slower using a pull buoy! However, it puts your body in a perfect line to glide through the water.

It gives you the correct posture. It also enables you to correct the entry of the hand by keeping yourself as aero as possible. It also helps you build strength. (There are variations of the swim buoy. Some go between your legs, while others keep your ankles bound.)

Swim Paddles — Often used in conjunction with the pull buoy, the paddles help you build strength in your upper body. They create resistance making it harder to stroke, however, also building up your muscles. When you take off the paddles, you should move faster.

Fins — Some people think that wearing fins are cheating, but the opposite. Fins are great for practice because they also keep your body in alignment. In addition to that, they help you have a stronger kick, have better ankle strength, use your shoulders less, and they help you build endurance. If there was one tool that you would want to purchase, I would suggest purchasing fins.

Kickboard — This is my least favorite swim toy, yet, probably one of the most important. When used in conjunction with fins, you learn not to bend your knees, keep your legs straight and kick from the hips. “You could have a slight bend in the knee here,” said Danielle Sullivan, Coach & Owner of Iron Fit Endurance in West Islip, NY, “however, make sure to kick from the hips!”

Please comment below with your favorite swim gear.