A Quick Start Guide to Resistance Training

Resistance training gives a swimmer the unique ability to focus specifically on producing power during their training. When used correctly resistance cords and swim parachutes produce a swimming specific workout very similar to weight training. Let’s discuss the cord products produced by FINIS and each of their specific purposes in training.

Stationary Cords Hip Belt

These are the most basic and elementary resistance cords designed for general resistance training. Attached at the hip and secured to a fixed point on the pool deck or gutter, these cords are designed to stretch 7-10 yards. Swimmers will encounter increased resistance as they stretch the cords farther. For turn training, try turning and pushing straight off the wall while wearing the cords. Extend your streamlining underwater before starting to swim.

Stationary Cords Ankle Strap

A variation of the Hip Belt, these cords attach to the ankles, allowing the swimmer to train with a full and unimpeded kick while using the cords.

Stationary Cords Lane Belt

Perfect for the crowded team environment, these unique cords attach to parallel lane lines allowing several swimmers to be setup in a single lane. They are also perfect for working on increasing core strength. Take 4-5 powerful strokes against the resistance before proceeding into a fast mid-pool flip turn. After turning, swim in the opposite direction until you hit significant resistance and perform another turn. Work on faster turns by repeating this pattern on a rest interval.

Swim Parachute

Swim parachutes are unique in this group of resistance training tools because the parachute resistance is directly related to the velocity of the swimmer. Further the resistance will stay relatively constant throughout a lap or interval if the swimmer’s speed is maintained. Many swimmers use parachutes in lower intensity training sets like pulling sets, where you can combine resistance with paddles to work on upper body development. I would also recommend trying swim parachutes in sprint workouts. During high intensity 10-20 second bursts, the higher sprinting velocity will create a tremendous resistance workload for the swimmer. Try swimming 2×25 all out with the swim parachute with a good deal of rest to allow for muscle recovery. Focus on maintaining good technique even if it means a loss of power.  Then take off the parachute and swim 2×25 at max effort.

- Paul