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November 10, 2023
James Setton

Swim Paddles or Gloves: Which Will Propel Your Swimming to New Heights?

Are you ready to supercharge your aquatic workouts and swim like never before? Swim paddles and gloves are the secret weapons that can help you master the art of swimming while enhancing your strength, technique, and performance. Whether you’re a recreational swimmer or an aspiring Olympian, these essential swimming accessories can take your aquatic adventures to new heights. But, just like every swimmer has a unique style, not all swim paddles and gloves are created equal. To find the perfect gear for your needs, let’s dive into the world of swim paddles and gloves.

Swim Paddles: Power and Precision

Swim paddles are your key to unlocking unparalleled arm and shoulder strength, along with impeccable stroke technique. They come in various shapes and sizes, each offering a distinct advantage.

Traditional Paddles: Size Matters

Traditional paddles, often made of stiff plastic, come in a wide range of sizes, from small to large. The size of the paddle directly affects the resistance you’ll experience in the water. Bigger paddles mean more effort, making them perfect for advanced swimmers looking to build strength.

Flat Swim Paddles: Dive into Serious Training

Serious lap swimmers swear by flat swim paddles. They come in an array of shapes, from triangular to rectangular, and even hand-shaped designs. Some feature holes that allow water to flow through, while others are solid. Flat swim paddles cater to swimmers of all levels, although beginners should use them with caution, focusing on maintaining proper technique.

Ergonomic Paddles: A Stroke of Genius

Ergonomic swim paddles take design and comfort to the next level. Shaped to mimic the natural contours of your hand during a stroke, these paddles offer resistance training without compromising your technique. With both hole-filled and solid designs, they suit swimmers of all skill levels.

Specific-Use Paddles: Precision in Practice

For stroke-specific training, specific-use paddles step into the spotlight. Freestyle-only paddles, featuring a triangular design, are ideal for perfecting your freestyle stroke. Catch paddles, worn just under your fingertips, help refine your stroke catch. While these paddles have specialized applications and may not be used as frequently, they are invaluable for advanced swimmers and coached training sessions.

Swim Gloves: Enhance Your Aquatic Experience

Swim gloves, made of soft neoprene with webbed fingers, introduce a touch of resistance to your aquatic workouts. While they aren’t recommended for lap swimmers, they are favored by aqua joggers and water aerobics enthusiasts.

The webbed design creates additional resistance when you spread your fingers, making swim gloves perfect for specific activities. Open water swimmers might use them for occasional training in lakes and oceans, benefiting from their insulation and ease of use. Comfortable and providing safe resistance, swim gloves offer an excellent fit for extended periods in the water.

Anti-Swim Aids: Streamline Your Stroke

Anti-swim training aids take an unconventional approach, reducing resistance in the water. Fulcrum or anti-swim paddles, with their curved or pointed surface, challenge swimmers to improve stroke efficiency. While less common than traditional paddles, they won’t contribute to shoulder strength like their counterparts.

Anti-swim gloves force your hands into a fist, minimizing the effectiveness of your pull. They are rarely used as training aids and are typically reserved for short-term applications.

A Few Considerations for Success

To maximize your benefits, consider using a pull buoy alongside your paddles or gloves. This isolates your stroke, allowing you to focus on technique and build endurance without the distraction of kicking.

Remember that swim paddles can exert strain on your shoulders. Start with small paddles slightly larger than your hands and use them for shorter distances to avoid injuries. Also, be cautious of color-coded paddles as they signify different sizes. Don’t select based on color alone, or you may end up with a size that doesn’t suit your needs.

Now that you’re equipped with this knowledge, select the right swim paddles and gloves to propel your aquatic journey to new heights. Unleash your aquatic potential and enjoy the thrill of gliding through the water with power and precision. Dive in, make waves, and swim like never before! 🌊💪

Images from

Guest article.

The above may not coincide with the methodology and opinion of the SwimRight Academy Team.

James Setton
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