6 swim resistance accessories swimmers love and hate

Swim Training courtesy of Ryan Turner

Pushing off the wall has never been harder, but there’s a silver lining to the pain with increased strength and endurance. You might even struggle to complete even one lap, but these tools have become a valuable part of a swimmer’s training.

But you might love them, or you might hate them: resistance accessories.

1. Swimmer DragSox

On the surface they don’t look like much, but these little nets will make you sink to the bottom of the pool if you don’t watch out. Perfect for all strokes, the Sox are an awesome addition to a swimmer’s equipment bag.

2. Shoes

We all know that bone-chilling feeling when our coach tells us to bring old sneakers to practice. Having your feet sinking along behind you cannot only be strenuous, but also embarrassing. However, shoes help to increase leg strength and serve as a great resource when trying to improve your kick.

3. Bands

It’s amazing how such a small piece of rubber can change your stroke. By having your legs drag behind you, your shoulders get a heck of a workout.

4. Shirts

To be fair, I don’t know many coaches that make their athletes do this cruel and unusual punishment. As difficult and awkward as it is, swimming with a shirt still provides a cheap way to create resistance in the water.

5. Weights

There’s nothing quite like treading water with a 15 lb. weight held behind your back, head barely above the surface, choking back enough water to fill a bathtub. It’s an experience to be had, especially as you can see the sun rising in the distance. Nonetheless, weights are fantastic both in and out of the water, and are crucial to any developing swimmer’s workout regimen.

6. Parachutes

Unlike a regular parachute, this one doesn’t prevent you from feeling any pain. Increasing in popularity, parachutes are the face of resistance training and are an excellent tool to perfect your technique and train your body to deal with fatigue and stress.

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Ron Yokubison
6 years ago

How about my favorite….inflated trailer inner tubes. At my old club growing-up, my coach was a fan of using trailer inner tubes for swimmers 14 and older. After returning to the pool after a 15 year retirement after college swimming, I eventually added moderate use of the trailer inner tube back into my workouts. It made a big difference. The resistance training, while still having to use your own stroke unaided by paddles forces the swimmer to really focused on stroke efficiency.

Reply to  Ron Yokubison
6 years ago

Sure you sure they weren’t wheelbarrow inner tubes which we used. They were later on the market for awhile without the air stem and were fill like a basket ball. They were gret to use as you could really feel your stroke with terrific resistance. They are smaller than a trailer tube. We would time with them on and have never really bought into paddles.

Ron Yokubison
Reply to  CoachGB
6 years ago

Wheelbarrow inner tubes are a great idea. We used and I am currently using a 4″ (this is the inner diameter of the tube) trailer inner tube. You are correct that the valve stem is not ideal, but manageable. You are dead on that it is a great way to add resistance will allowing the swimmer maintain their feel for the water.

Rocky Megnum
4 years ago

Men’s swimming resistance drag