Swimmer’s Snorkel: Really Focus on Swimming Technique

  8 FINIS | May 23rd, 2012 | Featured, Gear, Swim Often, Swim Smarter

Snorkels are tools that have been utilized in all types of water activities for a long time. However, it wasn’t until FINIS introduced the center mount snorkel, and we began to understand how a snorkel can have a significant positive effect on a swimmer’s stroke improvement. The duly named “Swimmer’s Snorkel” allows the swimmer to focus on their stroke without thinking of when they are going to take a breath. If you are giving your swimmer 5 different stroke corrections, chances are they will forget. The Snorkel allows swimmers to slow it down, as they no longer having to think or worry about taking a breath. By reducing their speed, turnover rate and not worrying about taking a breath, your swimmers can now really focus on the technical changes you laid out for them. Then once the swimmer takes the snorkel off, he or she will begin to recognize when the stroke feels “weird”. The snorkel helps swimmers learn this awareness and fine tune important technique aspects while they swim.

The FINIS Swimmer’s Snorkel center mouth design creates great body alignment, allowing the swimmer to feel the efficiency of slicing though the water. Poor swimming typically stems from poor head and spine position. The swimmer doesn’t carry a good “line” in the water. The snorkel allows the swimmer to straighten and swim as horizontal as possible with water line. The more horizontal you are the more efficient the swimmer will be. The snorkel provides a better opportunity for your swimmer to feel this position and a better chance that they will teach their body that this is the correct and normal position. The more natural this feels, the more likely the swimmer will use proper technique when training and competing.

Many coaches that use snorkels in practice daily also have their swimmers use the Cardio Cap. This small addition to the top of the snorkel tube makes it so less air can go through the snorkel. This form of training is known as hypoxic training. By constricting the amount of oxygen going to the body tissue, there is an increase the amount of red blood cells and hemoglobin. The lung workout increases by 40% and strengthens the intercostals muscles by forced inhalation and exhalation, teaching a deeper breathing technique for high anxiety swimming scenarios and more.

The following is an example set where the snorkel is utilized:

3 Rounds of                      { 8 x 25 Snorkel Drill

{ 4 x 50 swim focusing on body position in the water.

 

The types of Snorkel drills are endless. Here is a list of a few of the drills many coaches recommend while wearing a snorkel:

 

Freestyle Drills

Finger Drag – Swimmer swims normal freestyle and drags their finger tips along the surface of the water. This promotes high elbow recovery. Encourage great body rotation.

Catch-Up – Swimmer alternates arms making sure to touch or “catch-up” to their hand while in a streamline position. Make sure the swimmer is focused on not dropping their hand position and is practicing great body rotating, keeping the snorkel still.

Single Arm: 2 right-2 left – Alternate two strokes with each arm. The arm not stroking should be “glued” to the swimmer’s side. You will be able to quickly see which swimmers are using their head to lead the rotation because the snorkel will move side to side. Instruct the swimmers to keep the snorkel absolutely still and make sure to engage their core.

 

Butterfly Drills

Dolphin Kick Scull – Start with a high body position with your swimmer laying flat at the surface of the water. The swimmer performs the beginning catch of the butterfly stroke, without the follow through. Once the swimmer presses out, their hips should “pop” up and out of the water. Swimmers should feel this drill working their biceps & triceps as well as get the feel for the beginning of the butterfly stroke. Watch out for sculling that is too wide or too narrow; proper sculling should be no further than just outside the shoulders.

3 Kick, 1 Pull – Start with arms extended in a streamline position and kick two dolphin kicks. On the third dolphin kick start your butterfly pull and use that third kick to help drive you forward. Repeat all the way down the pool.

 

 

Breaststroke Drills

Breaststroke Pull w/ Dolphin Kick – With your snorkel, add on your paddles and a pull buoy. The pull buoy will help keeping the swimmer’s hips higher.

3 Kick, 1 Pull – Kick in a streamline position and for every third kick start your out sweep, keeping your head low looking down at the bottom of the pool and chin down. Try to focus on your swimmer’s chest to make sure they are not rising too high in the water.

 

Backstroke Drills (Yes you can even use the snorkel for backstroke!)

Backstroke Swim– Start with turning the snorkel mouth piece away from your face pointing towards the sky. Swimming regular backstroke with the snorkel helps reduce your swimmer’s overreaching along with promoting keeping the head still. The snorkel swaying back and forth will make it obvious as to which swimmers tend to move their head.

 

As you can see the center mount snorkel is very universal. You can utilize it for kicking, pulling, swimming & drilling. Some coaches have even found a more creative use for the snorkel, utilizing it in their swimmer’s dry land workout regimen. Wearing the snorkel while running stairs or doing any other dry land activity may seem a bit silly, but it creates a difficult cardio vascular environment that challenges your swimmers. It is no wonder why many coaches say that the snorkel is a must in every swimmer’s mesh bag. Go ahead and take your practices to the next level and buying one of the most fundamental training equipment, the snorkel, today.

 

For more information on swimming technique and news make sure to check out the FINIS Blog and follow FINIS on Twitter & Facebook

Leave a Reply

8 Comments on "Swimmer’s Snorkel: Really Focus on Swimming Technique"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
4 years 2 months ago

I have two in my bag all the time: a swimmer’s snorkel and a freestyle snorkel. Since I always breath to one side in free, it really helps me balance out my stroke. I’ll also throw one on while swimming on a cord so I can watch myself with a mirror on the bottom and not have to worry about breathing.

Dmitriy
3 years 28 days ago

“However, it wasn’t until FINIS introduced the center mount snorkel, and we began to understand how a snorkel can have a significant positive effect on a swimmer’s stroke improvement.”

Finis introduced, really?

I used a center mount snorkel as a kid in 1970s, mostly with a monofin. It was a kind of entertainment for me, as such equipment was not allowed for “official” training and racing for us, ordinary swimmers. But my friends trained in “speed underwater swimming” (or so it was called) used center mount snorkels on daily basis in the same pool. The only difference – those old snorkel was not equipped with breath valve (which was not introduced by Finis either).

I’m happy to see that this design is now widely used and even approved by sports associations. But it is just another wheel re-invented.

3 years 26 days ago

RE: DMITRIY

That may be the case, but FINIS has sold them exclusively since 1994 up until the beginning of this year when our patented ended. That is a run of almost ten years.

Those in the swimming community really believe that our brand brought the center-mount snorkel to the US swimming market and that we played a critical role in getting it to where it is today.

As Davis mentioned, he has two on hand as a competitive swimmer. That is powerful stuff in the swimming world. We are proud of our efforts and of years of research that has gone into the creation of our Swimmer’s Snorkel.

Phil fray
1 year 6 months ago

Interested in literature on producy. Can be mailed to Phil fray @6627 Marty overland park kansas 66202 thank you

Suzanne O'Brien
1 year 6 months ago

I have used a lot of Finis snorkels, the old ones I could swivel the mouth piece to enable me to swim back stroke and side stroke ( I have a very broken body) it was always great to be able to swim all strokes. Especially back and side stroke. I bought a new one, and it does not swivel from the mouth piece, securely attached!!!! I can only do stokes with my face in the water (my chest plate is pulled away from body with an air bag, so swimming face down is painful), What do you suggest? I also teach therapy in the water and have always recommend Finis. I am no longer able to do this. Please help out the people who need to swim to stop the approach of a wheelchair. Thank you. Cordially, Suzanne F. O’Brien
ps. I have a brand new finis on my spare bed….

Jodie Kee
1 year 25 days ago

I have been an athlete my entire life, playing varid sports such as fast pitch volley ball. hard court volley ball, gymnastics, etc. After suffering a whiplash injury in a car accident, it was discovered I had Lordosis and Scoliosis. I always felt my back was weak and compensated by using my core/abs more. Now at 51 and 2 cervical fusions and a PLIF and XLIF to correct Spondylolisthesis in my L4-5 disc, I can only swim. My body cannot tolerate exercise outside of the pool. I did reserch and discovered the center mounted snorkel. What a life changer! I’m now swimming at least 2 hours 5 days per week and am in the best shape of my life. My exercise induced bronchospasms have greatly decreased and my mood has improved greatly, and as i’ve always liked a muscular but feminine body type, I finally have one!

hawk
9 months 11 days ago

Not being a swimmer in the past the snorkel has worked a treat for me. Had to stop twice each lap when side breathing but now doing 100m non stop and working on my stroke. I do 2 laps with conventional breathing at the end of the swim session in order to keep working on the bilateral breathing.

wpDiscuz