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The Top 4 Pieces of Lap Swimming Equipment

Le 10 janvier 2018, 02:39 dans Humeurs 0

Ready to hit the pool and get in shape this year? Here are some of the common pieces of equipment that you will need in order to rock out in the pool with style and safety.

Swim suit. The obvious one, right? When choosing a swim suit for swimming laps make sure to go for comfort and durability. Swim suits for lap swimming come in a variety of different sizes and shapes. For dudes you got your classic Speedo brief, the square-legged suit (which is common, particularly as most drag suits for swimming are made in this shape), and you have the newest swim suit to the game, the jammer (which is basically a set of spandex shorts). Nylon is a durable material, so look for it when picking out a suit. In terms of care, give your swim suit a quick rinse when you hop out of the pool to get the chlorine out of the suit and to keep the color and shape of the suit intact for longer.

Swim goggles. Now that you have your suit in order, it’s time to get your eyes set-up. Picking out a pair of the best swimming goggles for you is important because goggles allow you to see other swimmers, the lane ropes, the black line on the bottom of the pool (so you know the wall is approaching), and of course, the walls and bulkheads as well. Beyond that, goggles also keep that annoying red itchiness from hitting your eyes. This happens when chlorine and human waste interact in a pool, creating a nasty compound called chloramines, which are actually quite not-awesome for you (giving you an added reason to shower before you hop in the water and not pee in the pool).

Ear plugs. Not many swimmers will need to wear these when they do laps, but for the few that do, ear plugs can be a total game changer. As a perennial and life-long earplug wearer I know the misery of having to wear them: when they get jarred loose you have to stop and adjust them. They wear out quickly. And when they aren’t sticking in just right you find yourself stopping every few meters to perpetually readjust them. It can be annoying. Over the years I have tried every set of ear plugs imaginable, and the best ear plugs for swimmers hands-down are Mack’s Pillow Soft silicone plugs. For best use, ball em up and warm them in your hands for a few minutes before applying them to the side of your face. The silicone is more pliable once it’s been warmed up, which will help you guarantee a more comfortable and secure fit.

The swim cap. Like goggles, the immediate need for a swim cap is not always readily apparent, particularly for those of us who don’t have that much hair happening on the top of our domes. But swim caps serve more functions than trying to keep your hair dry (which is also a myth—swim caps don’t keep your hair dry). They help keep chlorine—an industrial strength solvent—from degrading and fraying your hair. Swim caps also keep your hair from littering the water, the gutter, and the bottom of the pool. And lastly, swim caps can also serve a purpose in terms of reducing drag (but let’s be honest, it’s not that much). Choosing the best swim cap for your swimming is pretty straight-forward: choose a material that is breathable (latex wins in that department) and also durable (silicone wins in that department).

 

So, there ya have it, a quick breakdown of the swimming equipment that you need in order to dominate the lap pool. Happy swimming!

The Beginners Guide to Swim Equipment

Le 9 janvier 2018, 01:16 dans Humeurs 0

So you’ve made the decision to head down to your local aquatic centre and crush some laps. You’re sold on the benefits of the sport: you get a great upper and lower body workout, you get to exercise in a manner that doesn’t put a lot of pressure on your joints, and it’s also a great life skill to have for when you are down at the lake or the river.

But before you jump into the cold water of the lap pool and start doing your best Phelps impersonation, you gotta gear up with the proper swim equipment. Not only to look like you know what you are doing, but also to protect your hair and eyes, keep you safe while you are swimming, and even get stronger and faster in the water!

Here we go:

Swim goggles. First things first, you gotta protect your eyeballs! Swim goggles come in a variety of shapes, colors and materials, but the point of them is all the same: they protect your eyes from the chemicals that are used in swimming pools, they allow you to see the wall (and other swimmers!), and allow look like a badass. Pro tip: pick out a pair of goggles that have straps that are made of silicone, they are easily the most durable and long-lasting.

Swim cap. The swim cap is one of the more misunderstood pieces of swim gear out there. The reasons that we should wear them aren’t always apparent, especially if we haven’t mastered the subtle art of putting a cap on straight. (Don’t worry if you don’t always nail it—after three decades of swimming I still throw that cap on a little sideways.) The cap isn’t necessarily about hydrodynamics either (although at the highest levels of the sport having a smooth, wrinkle free cap can be a little helpful). The cap helps protect your hair from chlorine, keeps your hair out of your face while you are swimming, and also keeps your hair from littering the pool gutter and floor. Whether you pick out a latex cap, a silicone cap, pick out the best swim cap that suits your head and aspirations in the water.

Swim fins. One of the most popular pieces of equipment that litter the end of the lanes at our local pools are swim fins. The reasons are simple: they are hilariously fun to use as they send us flying across the length of the pool faster than we would otherwise. They help us develop more lower body power and speed with the added surface area on the flippers, and they also teach us better kicking mechanics. Working the up-kick of our kick is much easier when we have that extra foot surface area to properly feel out the water when we are kicking both up and down.

 

Swim snorkel. Lastly, we have the swimmer’s snorkel. It’s become super popular over the past decade, and rightfully so: picking out the best swim snorkel you can find will help you balance out your stroke (and help you avoid some of the common muscle imbalances that happen from breathing to the same side over and over again), will help you maintain better body position in the water (which will actually even help you swim faster by reducing frontal drag of your body in the water), and can reinforce better head position in the water.

How to Recover After a Tough Workout

Le 24 novembre 2017, 01:38 dans Humeurs 0

When it comes to accomplishing your workout goals, whether it is losing weight, gaining muscle, or simple feeling better (mentally and physically), the big secret to getting more fit is in taking better care of yourself between workouts.

This kind of thinking can seem counter-intuitive. After all, we’ve been told to work really, really hard in the gym, and good things will happen. But this isn’t enough—you need to take care of yourself between those workouts, through good nutrition, hydration, supplementation, resting properly, etc.—in order to make the most of the time you are spending in the gym.

On top of that, your workouts will improve too. So here’s what you can do to make sure that you are recovering faster between your workouts.

1. Use a foam roller.

One of the most popular tools for both gymgoers and athletes alike is the foam roller. But too often it is used improperly. You will see people sitting on the roller before their workouts, rolling back and forth quickly in a fast effort to loosen up and get ready for their workout. (The foam roller features in our gift guide for athletes, as well.)

But where the foam roller can really come into effect is by using it after and between your practices and workouts. The foam roller has been shown to decrease soreness, increase blood-flow to target areas (facilitating recovery), and can even help boost power and endurance in the days following a big workout, helping you bounce back faster.

If you are new to foam rolling, and you are unsure what the best foam roller is to try, start out with your basic TriggerPoint rollers. For those of you who are particularly dense in muscle, pick yourself up a RumbleRoller—the protruding knobs will really dig into the nooks and crannies of your muscles.

2. Get more sleep at night.

Wanna know what the best sleep aid there is for you and your athletic pursuits? Sleeping. Lots and lots of sleeping. Now, I know what you might be thinking—we’ve been told over and over again that sleep and rest is for the weak. Don’t buy into this hot garbage.

By far the biggest performance aid there is for athletes is simply getting more sleep. A stunning amount of studies have found a massive connection between how much sleep you get and physical endurance, power, immunological function, mood, ability to pay attention, and even how mentally tough you are.

There are a handful of things that you can improve upon in life that will color every other area of your work, relationships, and yes, your workouts: and simply getting more sleep is one of them.

The Takeaway

 

In this first part of our series on how to really boost your recovery efforts in the gym we talked about foam rolling and getting more rest. Next time around we are going to talk about the boring importance of staying hydrated, and another tool, this time compression gear for athletes and the research behind whether or not it works.

Voir la suite ≫