Benefits of Frontline Snorkels for Swimming Training
The swim snorkel has become part-and-parcel of every competitive swimmer’ kit. They are now routinely used in practice sessions to help swimmers travel faster. If you’ve never used a snorkel before it can take getting used to. Push-offs can be a little more challenging as the snorkel flaps around across the top of your head before you surface, blasting out air. However, once you’re comfortable with a frontline snorkel, you’ll quickly see the benefits of wearing one during your training sessions.
At Sharks Swim Shop, we’re often asked why swimmers opt to wear a frontline snorkel during practice. Here’s why:
Balance out your stroke
The main benefit to using a swim snorkel is that when you don’t breathe to your dominant side, then your stroke is more balanced.
This is especially important for sprinter swimmers who need a smooth, kayak-like stroke turnover. Being able to turn your arms over quickly and evenly gives you a smoother stroke that maintains speed across the pool.
For mid-distance and distance swimmers, the benefits of using a frontline helps to balance out the workload across both sides of your body and to avoid over-loading one of your shoulders and so avoiding muscle-imbalance.
Encourages to keep your face down
Swimmers naturally pick their head up when swimming freestyle. To swim with your face pointing at the bottom of the pool goes against our natural instinct to look where we are going.
If you use a snorkel, you won’t completely remove the need to pick your head and eyes up when swimming, but it does encourage you to look down.
Keeping straight ahead
For swimmers who tend to rock their heads from side to side while swimming freestyle, using a frontline snorkel can help correct the wandering head and reinforce a straight-line from the top of your head to your ankles.
One of the most important aspects of fast swimming is keeping a straight body-line in the water. This includes keeping a straight head which is what the snorkel forces you to do.
Maintaining your technique
Swimming is all about technique, and if you are going to introduce tools and equipment to your training routine, they should be to the benefit of your technique.
Whether we you use swim paddles, stretch cords or swim fins if you don’t swim using a proper technique, you’ll just be building on bad habits.
Good technique usually means that you are being more efficient in the water which in turn means faster swimming.
A fuller kick
Once you get used to wearing a snorkel, then you will find that, as you don’t need to turn your head to the side to breathe, then your flutter kick will be engaged more often.
A common dysfunction with swimmers is to cross their ankles momentarily when they turn their head, halting the flutter kick motion behind them. Without this fish-tailing movement that encourages that dreaded ankle-cross that stops your kick cold, you’ll end up kicking more consistently.
Improved kick sets
Using a kickboard may be a popular training technique used by many swimmers, but it doesn’t always encourage the best body position. Using a kickboard also removes the ability to kick whilst engaging shoulder and hip rotation (like during normal swimming).
That’s when a snorkel can really help. It will help you to kick in a streamline for max speed or you can place your arms by your side and simulate the rolling motion of your shoulders and hips to mirror your natural body position while swimming full-stroke.
Increases a feel for the water
Some swimmers, especially when swimming freestyle, find that their stroke feels better when they wear a frontline snorkel. This is generally due to the awareness of better stroke mechanics and the smoother arm rotation, as well as better body positioning and consistent kicking.
At Sharks Swim Shop, we stock a number of different brands of frontline snorkels including the top-of-the range Finis brand.
Our best seller is the Finis Freestyle Snorkel which allows swimmers to focus on freestyle stroke technique without the interruption of turning the head to breathe. The curved design promotes proper head position and body alignment to maximize stroke efficiency. With reinforced stability, the Freestyle Snorkel allows for full range of motion at all speeds, including flip turns.
To check out our full range, you can pop into our shop at Sketty Cross in Swansea or visit our online shop at www.sharksswimshop.co.uk