Swim Paddles – Build Power While Swimming

Swimmers like to get faster and that means more power. But how do you actually do that? There are numerous tools on the market to improve strength in swimming with Lifeguard Training. From swimming paddle to parachute or propeller. A swim paddle is a swimming aid that you attach to your hands. Because they are around your hands, you increase your hand surface so that you can feel water better or apply more force. But what is the use of a swimming paddle and which paddle is best to buy?

What is the use of paddles?

A swim paddle is an aid in swimming for training your arms/shoulders and perfecting your technique. You can use them while swimming or performing technique exercises such as prying (sculling).

Thus, it is a tool for improving strength as well as improving technique. That makes it a versatile tool used by many swimmers.

What types of paddles are there?

Swimming paddles come in many shapes and sizes. The size is especially important. The bigger the paddle, the greater the load on your shoulders. As a novice swimmer and get a lifeguard training, you don’t want to start with paddles that are too large. Also, a paddle that is too large is not pleasant if you have small hands. Many paddles are therefore sold custom, so make sure you buy the right size. Certainly not too big!

The paddles are also available in different shapes. Each type of paddle gives just a different water feeling. A slightly wider paddle stabilizes the hand in the water. You have paddles that focus specifically on improving technique (finis freestyler paddles for example) and don’t do much for power development. And you have paddles that are suitable for both improving technique and strength.

I myself have both the Speedo tech paddle and the Arena Vortex paddle as a finger paddle.

Difference between a hand and finger paddle

Apart from the different shapes at the hand paddle. Are there two major differences between paddles? Namely the hand paddle (most commonly used) and the finger paddle. The hand paddle helps you swim faster. You build strength with it and it supports the technology.

The finger paddle, on the other hand, is mainly there for fine-tuning and technique. It helps to feel the water even better. How to insert, where your fingers are, and how to perform the catch and strikethrough. Another advantage is that you can increase your stroke frequency more easily with a finger paddle than with a hand paddle. Simply because the paddle is smaller. Finally, the chance of injuries with a finger paddle is smaller.

How do you use the swim paddle?

A swim paddle forces your hand through the water in a good line, as it were. If you insert incorrectly (eg much too early) or if you do not pull through with a high elbow with a lifeguard training, this will be immediately punished with a paddle. Swimming with the paddle thus supports in getting more power from the shoulders and helps in technique. Swimming requires more strength and therefore muscle building improves. It also gives extra speed at a low intensity.

You can use a paddle in a whole stroke, as well as when you only train arms and, for example, use a pull buoy and keep your legs still.

When to train with swim paddles?

Many adult swimmers start adding paddles early in their swimming careers. You quickly become stronger and you go faster. But beware, swimming with paddles comes with risks if you don’t master the technique well. Before you know it you are training the wrong muscles and overload or an injury is lurking. So first work on good swimming technique and only then start with structural paddle training.

Swimming with paddles can therefore give a false feeling. Also build it up slowly, so that good technique is maintained. I can’t say it often enough, good swimming technique is everything inefficient swimming. With a paddle, there is a risk that you will train muscles that you no longer use with good swimming techniques. Or you are training the wrong muscles. It is therefore recommended to start under supervision when you start swimming with paddles.

If you are an advanced swimmer, the paddle is fun to check the technique of a lifeguard training (can you hold technique with the paddle) and to play with the attachment. By only tightening the straps minimally or not at all.

The paddle is also fun to use as a test for your head posture and stable position. For example, can you swim with the paddle on your forehead and take it for a lane (without tying up?)

Advantages & Disadvantages of the swimming paddle


• Good for building strength

• Ideal to obtain a better water feeling.

• Alternate in training

• Technique errors are easily exposed.


• Paddle that is too large is prone to injury. Buying a good size is therefore very important.

• In the absence of technique, the paddle provides insufficient support (trains the wrong muscles)

• When fatigue occurs, you lose technique faster with the paddle.

• Stroke rate often drops (especially if the paddle is too large).

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