Today we're going to be discussing the use of hand paddles, so looking at why we use them, how we use them, and giving you some of our top tips. Hand paddles are plastic paddles that are designed to be used in training.
They can be used with or without another training aid as well, such as a pull buoy or such as training fins. What they do is they attach to your hands with a rubber band, so it centralizes in the palm of your hand,
giving you great resistance in the water.
Now these are designed to work your upper body strength, and so work the muscle groups in the shoulders, the arms, the chest, and also in the back as well. They do this by covering between your fingers, and so it prevents the water from flowing through as well.
Now there are different types of hand paddles. So make sure you do a bit of research before making any quick decisions about which paddles are right for you.
So the benefits of using hand paddles. Using hand paddles has a number of benefits, not just the fact that over time it'll make you a much stronger swimmer by improving your upper body muscle groups. Hand paddles can help improve your technique, even though this isn't their primary job. They can do this by making you more aware of your stroke and arm pulls. You can tell whether your arm pull is good or bad by using paddles, as you can feel the pull without having to change your stroke.
When you use paddles, your stroke naturally slows down, as you have to work harder for each stroke. By slowing your stroke down, you can work on all areas of your stroke, as well as developing your strength. You'll also notice that your stroke lengthens, and you get better distance per stroke, which means each pull is more efficient. Your body awareness improves as you think about your arm position, and you can feel the most effective way to pull. It also allows you to focus on your body rotation to get the best pull and the longest stroke.
If you have an issue with a lower elbow, then when swimming and wearing paddles, it makes it much easier to notice whether or not you drag your hands in the water in the recovery phase. The training that you do with paddles is much more time efficient, as you tire much sooner, so you don't need to swim for so long. It's great if you're in a rush or pushed for time.
So our top tips for using hand paddles. Tip number one, we recommend building up gradually. If you do too much too soon, you're at risk of shoulder strain and injury. For first time users, try starting with a shorter amount of distance and building up.
Tip two, don't expect it to be easy. Hand paddles are designed to develop your strength. So you're not going to be able to swim the same distance at the same speed.
For experienced swimmers that are looking to up their training, try using a wider paddle or adding a pull buoy.
Tip number four, we recommend using them whilst you're practicing your drills and technique as well.
Tip number five, if it hurts, then stop.