Saturday Swim Session: Paddles

Paddles are a really great tool to develop muscular strength that is specific for swimming.

Each week I will load three options up for you to do. Option A is for swimmers who are after a workout less than 2,000 metres. Option B is for swimmers who are after a workout between 2,000 and 3,000m and Option C will be greater than 3,000m.

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 150m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD; (2,000m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 150m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m 10sec RI;
  • 200m CD; (2,600m)

Option C

  • 1,000m WU;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 150m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 12x 50m 10sec RI;
  • 200m CD; (3,600m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A), 400m (Option B) or 1,000m (Option C). During the warm up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It doesn’t need to be a continuous swim.

Next up are eight (Options A and B) or twelve (Option C) reps 50m Drill/Swim, where you do a drill for the first 25m of the repetition and then normal swimming for the next 25m swimming. Feel free to use fins whilst doing the drill/swim set. Do the drills below:

  1. Kick On Side (KOS) left side 
  2. Kick On Side (KOS) right side 
  3. 6/1/6 
  4. 6/3/6

The main set involves swimming eight reps of 150m with paddles on your hands with 20 seconds Rest Interval (RI) between each rep. Swimming with paddles helps you develop strength in your shoulders but can easily lead to injury in the shoulder if they are used too much. If you are doing Option A move straight to the cool down after this set.

For those doing Option B do eight reps and Option C is twelve reps of 50m sprints with a ten second Rest Interval (RI) between each rep.

Finish the session with a 200m (eight lengths of a standard 25m pool) Cool Down (CD).  As with the warm up feel free to stop and stretch at the end of any lengths during the Cool Down.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi Coaching.

I specialise in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at coachray@coachray.nz and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to my informative newsletter.

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If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published 12 months ago.

Saturday Swim Session: Broken Sets

Coach Ray is the author of the successful 12 Weeks to an Ironman Swim PB – Swim Faster with Smart Training eBook.

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