Planning to get into professional swimming?
Why not? Swimming is one of the most popular Olympic events with many hopefuls training now for the 2020 games.
For most in training, the Olympics is the ultimate goal. However, you’d need to focus first on what’s right ahead for you before you think of the end goal.
This means that you must focus on the basics and proper training for now. If you’re training for the first time or as a competitive swimmer, make sure you have the right swimming gear. It will help you push your swimming abilities.
Not quite sure what to get? Read on to see the top 7 pieces of swimming gear you must get.
1. Swim Goggles
Every competitive swimmer needs goggles, but not any old pair will do. The goggles should fit well around your face so that they stay in place even as water slaps your face. This should also prevent any leaks.
You can get a pair with these specs at a decent price. If you have a higher budget, though, you might look into a pair with more features. The Olympic champion Michael Phelps, for example, wore Speedo Speed Sockets during the 2004 games.
This model comes with enhanced peripheral vision, mirrored lens for glare reduction, anti-fog properties, UV protection, and shatter resistance. It also has 3 nose bridge sizes, enabling a more comfortable fit.
Other swimmers swear by other products. Make sure you read reviews and try on different products as much as you can. You might have to go through several models to find the right one with the right features for you.
Swimwear is a given, but the emphasis here is on the quality and make of the product. Like goggles, you need one that fits your body and has great endurance.
Competitive swimwear is different than regular in that it prioritizes the features that can help your performance over aesthetics. Still, you’ll find ones that have style options as well. After all, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good while training or competing.
The goal of a good swimsuit, like the TYR Sport Women’s Solid Diamondback, is to reduce the drag in the water. That’s why you’ll notice that they usually have less back and bottom coverage than the regular swimsuits.
The most important thing about choosing a swimsuit, though, is its comfort. It should feel like a part of your body, supporting it but not restricting.
3. Swimming Cap
Swim caps came about to protect women’s hair, but they do more than that now. A silicone cap, for example, provides a smooth surface for maximum streamlining. However, the smoothness is a downside in that it slips off easier than caps made of latex or rubber.
Olympic swimmers prefer latex because it doesn’t slide off the head even in a hard set. Some even wear double caps: latex and silicone. They wear latex first because it grips the head, and then the goggles over it, and then the silicone cap for optimal performance.
Speedo sells silicone swim caps with claims of a secure fit, like this Solid Swim Cap, but you’ll also have to find one that best fits you. Don’t be afraid of trying out latex even if it has wrinkles.
4. Swimmer’s Snorkels
A swimmer’s snorkel doesn’t look much different than a regular one, except that it goes on the front of your face. This way, it’s balanced and you’ll be able to develop your strokes without interference.
It presents many benefits with the number 1 being that it allows you to focus on your strokes and techniques under the water without needing to come up for breath. It also serves to balance out your stroke and to keep your head straight.
Don’t worry, it won’t interfere with your swimming for the most part. It’s also great for kick sets. They’re pretty cheap for an aquatic gear that has a big effect on your form and techniques.
They are lightweight also, like this FINIS Swimmer’s Snorkel.
A kickboard isn’t only for beginners, it’s great for competitive swimmers as well. It works your lower body and trains it well. It isolates the leg movements, such as the flutter kick or dolphin kick.
Using a kickboard takes the arms out of the equation, forcing you to engage your core to perform specific movements. The less buoyant it is, the more you’ll have to engage your core. This is why it’s a part of leg-strengthening workouts of swimmers and even other athletes.
You don’t need a fancy kickboard for your training sessions. A plain and simple model like the Speedo Team Kickboard will do wonders.
6. Hand Paddles
A pair of hand paddles is another piece of swim gear that can improve your competitive swimming efficiency. These are tools that turn your hands into webbed limbs like that of a frog.
While kickboards isolate your legs, paddles isolate your upper body. It gives your arms and shoulders a serious workout, which is essential for swimmers. It also increases the resistance and strength of your pulls.
The designs and prices are also pretty straightforward. The Synergy Hand Paddles, in particular, have holes for more fluidity with each stroke. It’s also adjustable for a snug fit.
7. Tempo Trainer Pro
A Tempo Trainer Pro is your personal pace coach. You can wear them on your goggles or cap, which will help you establish your rhythms. It will beep at every interval you set.
You can set your desired stroke rate into the Tempo Trainer Pro, which you then set as your goal. When you do this during training, you’ll be more confident at fast racing in official meets.
Best Swimming Gear for a Competitive Swimmer
In the end, the best swimming gear for you is one that best fits you. You should be comfortable in everything you wear in order for you to give your best. However, there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of the features and technology today.
If you need more tips about swimming, visit our blog now. Aside from the equipment above, check out the best swimming fins too.