Saturday Swim Session: Paddles and Pull Buoy

Saturday Swim Session: Paddles and Pull Buoy

January 14, 2017 1 By Coach Ray

Both paddles and pull buoy are great tools to incorporate into some sessions to develop your swimming strength by putting a greater demand on the upper body.

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);
  • 4x 50m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 4x 50m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 4x 50m Paddles & Pull Buoy 20sec RI;
  • 4x 50m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,600m)

Option B 

  • 600m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 6x 50m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 6x 50m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 6x 50m Paddles & Pull Buoy 20sec RI;
  • 6x 50m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,400m)

Option C

  • 1,000m WU
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 50m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m Paddles & Pull Buoy 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,400m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A), 600m (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) repetitions of 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, twice through for Options A and B and three times through for Option C:

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

I wrote an article about Swimming Drills a few weeks ago. Click here to read and watch it.

Take your fins off for the next sets.

The next set involves four (Option A), six (Option B) or eight (Option C) reps of 50m swum wearing hand paddles. After each rep take a 20 second Rest Interval (RI). Hand paddles increase the surface area of your hands and increase the resistance of swimming, which will make your shoulders stronger. It is important to not over do the amount of swimming you do with hand paddles as you can easily develop a painful over-use injury in your shoulder.

The following set is also of four (Option A), six (Option B) or eight (Option C) 50m reps, with a Rest Interval (RI) of 20 seconds but this set is straight swimming without the use of any swim toys like hand paddles.

The next set also involves four (Option A), six (Option B) or eight (Option C) 50m reps with 20 seconds Rest Interval (RI) between reps, but for this set you will be wearing both hand paddles and holding a pull buoy between your legs. The pull buoy prevents you from kicking and requires you to swim with your upper body even more.

The following set is also of four (Option A), six (Option B) or eight (Option C) 50m reps, with a Rest Interval (RI) of 20 seconds but this set is straight swimming without the use of any swim toys like hand paddles.

Then it is time for a 200m Cool Down (CD). Unlike the previous sets which have to be freestyle, the cool down (like the warm up) can be any stroke you wish to swim.  You can also stop and rest after any length.  I encourage you to stop and stretch 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.

Join over 2,306 people who have already signed up to be kept up to date with great workouts and training information in my informative newsletter.

Share this post so your friends can benefit as well.

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

12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 8

Get my 4 Weeks to a Faster 1500m With Only Two 2km Sessions per Week through Training Peaks. Results Guaranteed. Purchase here. Use discount code CR25 to get a 25% discount.