A guide to making the best possible use of your pullbuoy

Training & Technique
Written by: arena coaches at 23 June '15 0
You are reading: A guide to making the best possible use of your pullbuoy

I wonder how often you have thought about making the best possible use of this unusual figure of 8-shaped object. In a previous article we wrote, we mentioned the importance of other training aids comparable to the pullbuoy designed to improve your upper body strength and position in the water.

In this article you will find an interesting guide to making the most of this simple but effective tool that can help you improve your posture and develop your upper body strength.

Here are some suggestions about how to start using pullbuoy:

  • Do not kick excessively. A gentle leg kick is advised to help with upper body rotation during the freestyle stroke.
  • Do not tense your body. Let your legs float naturally. An unnatural position could cause cramps in your calves.
  • Place the pullbuoy is different positions. The pullbuoy can be placed between your ankles, calves, knees or lower part of your thighs; this will improve your balance in the water.

This last point is extremely important, because the pullbuoy will help you float properly, reduce your drag in the water, increase your power and, hence your speed.

To improve your body position, pay attention to these 3 key points that can be corrected using the pullbuoy:

1. Focus on your head position. If your head is too high or too low it will affect the position of your hips and legs, which may increase drag.

Place the pullbuoy between your thighs: this will help your legs float better and allow you to concentrate more on your head position. Try focusing on the black line with your eyes at an angle of approximately 45° underwater. This will allow you to break the water surface better, creating less drag and greater forward propulsion.

2. Focus on the you shoulder position. A very common mistake when swimming freestyle is to rotate your shoulders excessively. This results in an incorrect catch phase of the arm stroke and also an irregular leg kick in an attempt to keep your body balanced.

Place the pullbuoy between your knees and imagine keeping your upper body inside a rectangle. The aim is to keep your body in a straight line, eliminating any excessive lateral motion and making your arm stroke more symmetrical.

3. Focusing on your “core”. In a previous article we talked about the importance of strengthening your core. This connects your upper body to your lower body creating symmetry between your shoulders and hips. If this area is too weak, your swim stroke will not be very efficient.

Place the pullbuoy between your ankles and try and focus on your core. Try to relax your body as much as possible, imagine stretching your head as far forward as possible and pointing your feet behind you. This will help you extend your upper body more and relax your core to stabilise your backbone.

The above exercises are recommended for freestyle, but if you are a more experienced swimmer you can also try them out with the backstroke.

If they are too difficult using just one pullbuoy, do not worry, you can start by using two to improve your stability. The important thing is to perform all the suggested exercises properly.


Written by:

arena coaches

Swim coaches, trainers and experts will give you all kinds of tips for performing at your best in both training and races. Meet the coaches