Ask any professional competitive swimmer and chances are they have a swim snorkel in their gear bag. Here are a few reasons why.
No matter your skill level in the water, bad habits are sure to form eventually. Many of the professional Olympic swimmers in the world all use a swim snorkel for at least part of their workouts. Why is this the case? If they’re only in a pool, why would they need a snorkel? Aren’t snorkels just for out on the open water?
Although these tools are commonly found in coves where tourists swim amongst colorful marine life, there are a variety of benefits that swim snorkels have for swimmers. Swim snorkels can help swimmers correct bad techniques most notably, and they can also help improve their skills so they’re ready once it comes time for a competition. Let’s take a look at a few of the significant benefits of using a swim snorkel during your workouts.
Balancing Your Stroke
When you use a swim snorkel, you won’t breathe to your dominant side on every stroke. Because of this, your arm strokes will naturally begin to improve and even out. If you participate in sprints, this is especially important since you need to have a smooth stroke turnover. For swimmers that participate in distance events, using a swim snorkel will ensure that both sides of your body are carrying the workload so you can avoid overworking and potentially injuring one of your shoulders.
Keep Your Head Straight
When you use a swim snorkel, you will be forced to break your habit of rocking your head from side to side while freestyle swimming. If you do the same movement while using a swim snorkel, when you tilt your head you will end up taking a big gulp of pool water. Get rid of your bad habits and learn to keep a straight head with a swim snorkel.
While you are swimming, your goal should be to have a straight body-line from your head to your ankles to improve your speed. By using a swim snorkel, you’ll re-train yourself to propel from the movement or your shoulders and hips and not from twisting your head around.
As you can probably guess, when you use the proper swimming technique, you’ll be much more efficient while you’re in the water. By utilizing a swim snorkel, your technique all around will improve, thus meaning that your lap times will as well. Although you probably won’t be able to use the swim snorkel in competition, your good habits and technique should remain, giving you a competitive edge in speed.
Keep Your Face Down
Many freestyle swimmers struggle at first with keeping their face down and will naturally want to pick their head up. It’s understandable since our natural instincts are to look in the direction that we’re heading and not directly at the bottom of the pool. When you have your head above the water looking forward, your hips and legs will tend to drop below the surface and increase your drag. A proper swim snorkel mounted in the front should help correct the issue. Although a swim snorkel isn’t a magic wand that will prevent you from picking your head up, it will certainly encourage you to stay face down.
Help Your Kicks
Want to know why your flutter kick hasn’t been propelling you through the water as fast as it should? It could be caused by your side breathing! When you breathe off to the side, you could develop arrhythmic kick which will hurt your ability to rotate your core and could lead you to exhaustion faster. Like mentioned earlier, with a swim snorkel you can begin to correct this habit by avoiding the problem altogether. With a swim snorkel, you can focus on keeping your kicking technique consistent, and you won’t have to adjust your technique for breathing.
Don’t Use It the Whole Time
Although snorkels are beneficial for improving your swimming techniques, you shouldn’t train exclusively with one. Your side breathing technique is essential to improving your endurance and overall efficiency in the water which will allow you to swim through longer workouts and races. Try using the swim snorkel during the start of your workout while you warm up and during the end while you cool down. Another suggestion is to switch between high-intensity swim sets without the swim snorkel and then more relaxed laps with the swim snorkel.
Adventure At Nature Has You Covered
Whether you’re an Olympic-level swimmer or just starting out in the sport, come to Adventure At Nature, and we’ll set you up with some of the best swim snorkels available on the market. We offer super-fast shipping, and our team of equipment specialists are online and ready to help you find the gear you need.