The use of shovels in swimming

The swimming paddles are used with two objectives: technical improvement and improvement of the specific force of the stroke

The use of swimming shovels It has always been the subject of controversy, so we are going to tell you about considerations and benefits so that you can establish a clearer idea.

Mainly, swimming paddles are used with two objectives: improve technique y improvement of the specific forceof the stroke.

But despite being two compelling arguments, there are those who classify this material as inappropriate due to its harmful impact on the shoulder joint.

As it usually happens in practically all aspects of training, more is not better and the use of shovels without the appropriate level of technique give the reason to those who have a negative opinion about its use.

So, when can I use the blades?

If you are a beginner in the world of swimming, it is preferable that you give priority to technical work, without shovels, and progressively use them for specific technical exercises.

Later, when you acquire a technical level that does not increase the probability of injuries and the level of strength, you can include its use more frequently.

A small homemade recipe that can give you an idea about your level of use of paddles is the fact Compare if the number of strokes and times get worse with their use. If so, it means that there is still technical work and learning to use them, or even that they are not the right size.

But what shovels do I use?

Currently you will find in the market an endless number of swimming paddles, each one with its peculiarities and specific designs. At a global level we can advise you:

The small shovels (half-hand) are usually used in bracist swimmers or lower categories

The shovels with clamping in finger and wrist and rounded or ergonomic shape in relation to the hand, are the easiest to use since the good grip they present means that you only have to focus on the swim.

The shovels with specific shapes or more conscious holds (type agilityo freestyler) have more specific objectives such as improving the position of the hand in the entry or in the grip.

The shovels with support on the wrist (kind bolster) are designed specifically for the "high elbow" work in the grip

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Bigger is better?

No, larger will require more force and if you do not have enough technical skill you will resort to overloading all the muscles involved in the stroke as well as the shoulder joint.

It is not about advancing 5 meters with an arm stroke, but rather get a specific job that helps improve performance without excessively increasing the risk of injury.

So our recipe to see the size you should buy, in those models that allow it, is that you get around 2-3 cm around your hand.

Always remember that before including material that implies certain skill, you must improve the technique and if it is under the supervision of a professional, much better

Laura García Cervantes

The use of shovels in swimming

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