We spoke to former World Champion and Olympian, Mark Foster, about the key swim accessories that he regularly uses, which have helped him Reach New Limits in swimming. Here’s what he had to say…
“The key swim accessories that I regularly used were hand paddles, fins, kickboards, and snorkels. I used these all repeatedly in my training sessions, to help build technique and strength in various ways. Almost all my swim sessions involved a technique-based block, as well as regular bouts of Strength and Conditioning and rolling/massage to help promote muscle recovery.”
Zone3 swim accessories have been designed not only with athletes in mind such as Mark Foster but also entry-level swimmers who are looking to master their swim technique.
“Paddles are incredibly useful to develop different parts of my swimming stroke. Depending on the size and build of the paddle, these tools really help to build strength and technique, as well as really helping to improve the feel for the water. Developing this feel for the water is vital in being able to swim smoothly and quickly.”
“Fins are a great tool for swim technique, especially for a sprinter like myself. They are perfect for simulating racing speed, or ‘overspeed’ work. These teach your body to work at high speeds, triggering neurological developments to ingrain these stroke adaptations in your subconscious.
The Vapour goggles can be worn in indoor or outdoor pool environments and are great for comfort and optimum vision. And, the Black and Gold colourway look great paired with any of the MF-X range!
Keeping hydrated is essential in the pool – you should always take a drinks bottle with you, especially in this current heat or if you’re tacking any long distance/ high-intensity training sessions.
If you are looking to strengthen your arms and improve the technique of your stroke, a pull buoy is a great training aid for this. Using one allows you to work on your arms, while also supporting your position in the water.
Snorkels (coming soon to zone3.com)
“I used to use snorkels in a few different ways. They can be used on their own to help work on your body position; it can push you to learn how to be flat and efficient through the water. They also promote good symmetry in your swimming stroke, as you can view your hand pathing and rotation of the body around the head without it being interrupted by breathing. Snorkels also slightly limit your breathing because of the size of the tube your breath travels through, putting you into a hypoxic state.”
Kickboard (coming soon to zone3.com)
Used alongside a kickboard, a snorkel is a great tool for keeping your neck flat while completing kick sets. This will help to mimic the body position from regular freestyle swimming, which is often lost when using a kickboard and the head is raised to breathe. A typical set I used to do about once a week was a 1500m kick in a 50m pool, with a 10m hard sprint off the wall at every turn. This was all done with a snorkel and kickboard.”