Let’s virtually open your bag of tools and see how to use them creatively!
Over the last few months we have learned to use various arena tools in a conventional way. The Kickboard for developing your lower body, the Pullbuoy for working on your arms and shoulders, and Hand Paddles for working on your technique and strength… But these same tools can be used in a different way, let’s call it creatively, to work on other equally important aspects, such as power and coordination.
So, let’s virtually open your bag of tools and see how to use them creatively. Are you ready?
1. SURFER DRILL
As we have already seen, the arena Kickboard is ideal for all swimmers and perfect for developing the lower body, both your legs and stomach muscles, as well as for improving your leg kick, however…
… try using it for the surfer drill. Place your stomach on the Kickboard with your legs sticking out and your arms free. At this point use the board as if it were a surfboard, sculling with your arms and gently using your legs to keep your balance. This drill can help you improve your catch and also strengthen your arms through the “sculling” action…
The idea is to use the kickboard like a paddle. Lie on your back and hold both ends of the kickboard, using it to push the water downwards and making sure you work on your strength by pushing firmly on the kickboard. The arm recovery is the same as for the backstroke with your arms extended. This drill is extremely effective for strengthening the muscles in your upper body and working on your core stability.
The arena Pullbuoy is a perfect tool for helping swimmers increase their power, stamina and arm stroke technique, however …
… try using it as a Kickboard. This turns it into a kind of prototype of the arena Pullkick. As well as using it as a “conventional” Kickboard, you can use it as a board for creating water resistance. Grasp it at the sides and hold it out in front of you just below the water. This will allow you not only to work on your legs, but also increase your power
HAND PADDLE ON YOUR HEAD
The Elite Hand Paddles are an invaluable tool for gaining better control of your catch, because they help swimmers focus on their arm stroke technique, particularly during the pull and thrust phase, however …
… try the “hand paddle on your head” technique. Place a hand paddle on your head just above your forehead and swim freestyle making sure the paddle does not “fall off”. To keep the hand paddle firmly balanced on your head, you need to keep your body in straight line from your head to your shoulders and the rest of your body. The tricky thing is to maintain the correct position even while you are breathing. This will help with your coordination and stability and really improve your position in the water….
So, can you see how many different uses a simple tool can have? Now it is your turn, give it a go and have fun inventing new drills using our tools.