All American Swim Supply is a swimswam partner, and they sent me the product a few months ago to try.
A lot of products circulate through the elite swimming ranks. They’re tested and used by the top coaches to see if they’re worth a big push. Drag+Flyis one of those products, and in the process of circulating among the top talent, it has gained good word-of-mouth. The chatter on deck at swim meets has been positive.
Brett Hawke, Head Swim Coach at Auburn University (himself a former world-class sprinter, and coach to some of the fastest sprinters in history), has this to say:
“We can set the Drag + Fly for long slow swims or change the resistance for short powerful bursts. I find myself using it as a training aid every day, and I would highly recommend it to all levels of swimmer.”
Drag+Fly is designed to increase a swimmers’ power and to improve their technique in the water. The cone design offers swimmers varied levels of resistance by opening and closing the aperture. Thankfully, opening and closing the aperture is super-quick and easy.
So, you’re descending on a set, pushing your speed, and you only have seconds between repeats. If you’re an animal and you want to double-down on your power output as well, you can open the aperture fast, then push off the wall, revving your engine to the hilt. Resistance training devices, often times, only engage a select group of muscles. Because Drag+Fly is a well-balanced resistance training tool used in the water while you’re swimming, it forces you to stroke harder, making you engage core muscles throughout your entire stroke cycle.
The increased resistance coupled with the precise balance of Drag+Fly can reveal inefficiencies in your swimmer’s stroke. If your swimmer is leaning on one side, rolling to that strong side too much — which can make a swimmer appear to be galloping in freestyle — Drag+Fly will augment the inefficiency. In sum, the ugly stroke can come out. Encouraging your swimmer to maintain their perfect stroke, under the Drag+Fly’s balanced resistance, will enhance their muscle memory, something we all want out of our training.
A lot of coaches are always looking for ways to get in as much quality work as possible in a small window of time. Drag+Fly can be used to compress your workout. One hard set can leave your swimmers sore for the rest of the week. The resistance you choose for your swimmers is entirely up to you.
Drag+Fly feels sturdy, durable. The chlorine’s certainly not winning the battle against it so far, which can be a problem for products. I’ve only had mine a few months, but it appears to be a product I’ll keep in my swim bag for a long time. It is light-weight and compact. I know swim bags can get over-stuffed, but you can fit Drag+Fly in there and carry to practice pretty easily. Drag+Fly is easy to adjust (as I’ve mentioned above). I especially like the waist-belt. Comfort is always a huge hurdle with any product. Drag+Fly gets high marks on comfort. The towline floats, which is helpful on flip turns. I’m not in the same shape I was 15 years ago, but I can still hold my stroke for solid 50 meters. Resistance training tools can force me to swim very low in the water. Drag+Fly didn’t do that as much, meaning I didn’t experience my hips dropping as much. I am assuming that’s due to the design. So, I’m going to continue to use it. (I’d like to point out that I swim 2-4k per practice, and I’m always looking for ways to increase my output in the small window of time I take to get my workouts in. My personal observations, in the water, may be more helpful for masters swimmers, but I would’ve used this training tool during my Olympic years.)
MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly.
As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …