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What's the Deal With: Swimming Hand Paddles

What's the Deal With: Swimming Hand Paddles

Swimming is the best low impact exercise around. If you are looking to increase the intensity of your swimming workout, adding hand paddles is one to accomplish that.

Hand paddles come in many shapes and sizes, but most are a variation on the original plastic rectangular design with rubber tubing fasteners. There are some webbed gloves styles as well. Paddles come in different sizes depending on the hand size of the user, as well as desired increase in resistance. The bigger the paddle, the bigger the pull.

Hand paddles increase the amount of resistance you experience with each stroke, so your upper body works more. They also make the flaws of each stroke obvious, and thereby encourage good stroke technique. Hand paddles can, however, tweak shoulders since they can exaggerate bad technique. Remember moderation is key as you add new elements to your swimming fitness routine. Listen to your body, if something hurts - stop.

Join The Conversation
lagirl06 lagirl06 10 years
I agree with amandaaa about trying to pair them with pull-bouys. Another important note is that because using paddles will develop your shoulder muscles, one should not forget about their leg muscles. In order to balance out the body (to avoid having large shoulders and chicken legs), I would recommend also incorporating a kick board into your workout. Using a kickdoard is a great way to tone up your legs and most importantly... your BOTTOM! Take it from me, I was Division 1 college swimmer- nothing gives you a nice booty like kicking breastroke!
Daisy6264 Daisy6264 10 years
Sounds fun.
sportsaholic21 sportsaholic21 10 years
Definitely a must have for a swim workout!
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
amandaaa amandaaa 10 years
oh jeez, we used these a few times when i swam competitively throughout high school. get good ones that fit right...the rubber tubing (where you put your fingers through) can REALLY hurt and dampen your workout. however, these paddles are AWESOME for putting an extra pull into your workout for your arms. try these paired with "pull-buoys", the floating devices you place between your thighs. this combination focuses a lot on your arms.
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