So much of swimming comes down to two factors – speed and power. If you don’t train fast, you won’t race fast!

Let’s dig into how you can activate and engage your muscles, using resistance in the water.

If you want to take your training to the next level, it’s a good idea to invest in a few pieces of resistance equipment. Depending on your goals, the right equipment will help you build strength, power and speed for faster races and more efficient workouts. As soon as you take the resistance off, you’ll feel faster almost immediately.

Watch our video and let’s dig into our favorite resistance products, plus a workout idea to show you how to best utilize your gear.

What Is Resistant Training In Swimming?

Resistance training means adding equipment while you’re swimming, that adds friction and resistance between you and the water. When you train with resistance, you’re engaging core muscle groups and improving your endurance.

What’s important here, is to always train at an all out sprint, and focus on elongating your stroke using your maximum power per stroke. You’re going to feel really slow while using resistance, which is a good thing! That means that you’re activating your body and engaging all your muscles to build strength.

Parachutes, power towers and drag socks may be lesser known to the average lap swimmer, but they pack a major punch! 

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These tools add tons of resistance. Fight against the extra drag for short distances to boost your power and strength. You’ll feel like you’re flying after taking these off!

If you’re ready to add some swim equipment to your bag, we recommend starting with one of these! Check out our other product recommendations for adding resistance

Swim Equipment For Resistance:

1. Fins

If you want to swim fast instantly, just throw on a pair of fins! Fins add extra resistance that, when used effectively, will also help you swim faster when you don’t have fins on. 

Beyond the speed boost, fins are also a great tool to have in your arsenal for drill work. Wear them during more complex drills to keep your hips up, so you can focus on your technique instead of kicking hard to maintain your momentum.

Related: How to Swim Faster With Fins

Fins are ideal for beginners and advanced swimmers, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from short fins to long fins and even mermaid-style monofins. 

If you’re a beginner, we recommend starting with shorter, softer fins first. As you get stronger and more comfortable, you can change up the length and stiffness for a different feel. 

2. Paddles

Paddles are our next favorite item. You might think of them as fins for your hands – they add resistance to your pull, and can help you refine your technique as well.

They come in a range of sizes, from small, fingertip paddles to massive paddles that are substantially larger than your hands. 

If you’re new to paddles, start small. Swim shorter sets wearing them and slowly work your way up to longer swims and larger paddles to give your shoulders a chance to acclimate to the extra resistance. 

Related: Beginner’s Guide to Swimming With Equipment

3. Parachute

Adding a parachute is so much fun! Strap it on like a belt around your waist, and let the small fabric parachute drag behind you in the water.

Parachutes come in different resistances based on the diameter of the parachute. They’re also super versatile, and can be used in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and even butterfly. Plus, it’s easy to kick and do flip turns because they do not get in the way of your legs.

4. Drag Socks

Throw on a pair of drag socks to really kick things up a notch. Drag socks are a powerful tool that are convenient, and don’t compromise your body positioning or kick.

The socks are a mesh material, which collects water, causes turbulence, then creates low pressure behind your kick. They also come in different levels are resistance. Try them in any stroke, or even drills!

Double Up Equipment

Depending on the focus of your workout, you may find it helpful to use multiple pieces of equipment at a time. Here are some examples:

  • Parachute & snorkel for endurance work
  • Paddles & a pull buoy for pull sets
  • Fins & a snorkel for drills
  • Paddles & fins for speed work
  • Snorkel & tennis balls for drills 

In the MySwimPro app, we’ll recommend which equipment to use for each set, so you get the most out of your workout! Get 100% personalized daily workouts, in the MySwimPro app.

How Often Should You Use Swimming Equipment?

Equipment is fun and all, but don’t get too carried away using it! We recommend keeping equipment usage to no more than 50% of your total weekly swimming volume. 

This way, you won’t become dependent on your equipment to complete your workout. Remember: Equipment is a supplement to your training!

Drop a comment and let us know which piece of equipment is your favorite, or if you have a go-to swim set using equipment. For more swim workouts, technique tips and analytics, start a free trial of MySwimPro Coach.

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