Competitive Swim Wear Tips

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What is the benefit to swimming in shorts?

The Cutting Edge of Race Wear

Men and women have started wearing swimming suits with swim trunks built in, called jammers. These swim trunks cover the upper leg, from the hip to just above the knee. The idea behind them is similar to basketball players wearing spandex shorts under their uniform.

Jammers keep your muscles a little warmer but keep the muscle fibers closer together, and you will get better performance for a longer period of time. In the pool, these swim trunks also create a surface that water rolls off of even better than skin. You swim faster.

*These suits can be half or full suits for men, like regular shorts, or they can go over the shoulder like women's swim suits.

Do swim goggles come with corrective lenses?

Corrective Swim Goggles

Swimmers wear goggles so they can see where they are going- but what if you have trouble even with the goggles on? Perscription, corrective swim goggles are available for purchase from leading sports brands. TYR, Speedo, and other major retailers offer varying strengths of goggles. Luckily, they aren't as expensive as your regular pair of glasses. Corrective goggles sell for about $20 to $30 a pair.

Where can I find triathlon gear to buy?

Buying Triathlon Gear

Triathlon athletes require some very intense and specific training. For that reason, a regular sporting goods store may not cut it for all of your triathlon gear needs. Whether it is weight buoys for swim training, a helmet for your bike riding, or a good running shoe, you can find it all online at specific sport sites.

What kind of equipment do I need to play water polo?

Water Polo Gear

Water polo is a popular sport, especially in certain colleges. If you are interested in getting started, you will need the following water polo equipment and items :

Swimsuit- A durable, competitive swimsuit is needed for water polo. Try Speedo or TYR.

Helmet- Water polo players wear a tight fitting helmet that protects the head while maintaining the hydrodynamic quality of a swim cap. TYR makes a great, inexpensive water polo helmet.

Ball- Mikasa is a popular and trusted brand. Different sizes are available, but you will want to practice with either a men's or women's training ball.

Goal- A water polo goal will cost into the thousands, so it is best to practice somewhere that can provide one.

Is there a swim suit designed to help my performance?

Cutting Edge Suits

TYR and Speedo are serious brands for serious swimmers. TYR has combined a sleek style with scientific research to create a most cutting edge swimsuit. For competitive swimmers, the Speedo Fast Skin II and TYR suits are scientifically proven to reduce drag and provide a faster, more flexible mobility underwater. With TYR brand swimsuits, the designers have taken physics into account, patenting “Tripwires”. Tripwires are strategically sewn into the suit, pulling in specific parts of the swimmer's body. The result is something only modern science could have deduced: a huge reduction in underwater resistance. The appearance of Tripwires is actually quite attractive, too.

What should I look for when buying a suit for competitive swimming?

Function Over Fashion

A competitive swimmer needs to keep functionality in mind when buying a swimsuit. The design of professional or competitive swimwear is different than that of a recreational bathing suit. It needs to be fitted tight, yet be flexible in order for the swimmer to have maximum mobility. Being hydrodynamic underwater is achieved by a sleek form, so nix any baggy shorts. Don't worry, brands like Speedo still provide attractive designs for both men and women. However, ladies, you might have to wait to wear the bikini you love so much until you are back on the beach.

What does a competitive swimmer need for training?

A Checklist For Swimmers

What does a competitive swimmer need for training? A lot more than just a pool. A great selection of swimming gear can be purchased on many websites and in larger sporting goods stores. The following is a checklist of items commonly used by coaches and athletes in the world of competitive swimming:

Swimming Fins- Individual and mono fins are good for training.

Goggles- Don't forget your goggles. You need to see where you are swimming!

Backstroke Flags- Practice your swimming with regulation flags making a lane.

Stopwatch- The coach will need to time you.

Pace Clock- The pace clock can be purchased in many sizes to place by the pool.

Pull Tube- Swimming with a pull tube adds resistance and helps in strength training.

Tech Toc- A tech toc attaches to the swimmer and is used like a metronome.

What should I wear to protect my hair while swimming?

Fashionable Swim Caps

Swim caps can be odd and unflattering on women. If yours is making you a bit self-conscious at the gym, go for a retro look. Flower petals adorning a swim cap is an old look that has seen a resurgence amongst female swimmers. Another popular style is the turban swim cap, which looks like a stylish wrap on your head. These caps are practical for swimming with your team or just for recreation by the pool. Combine your hip headgear with a retro swimsuit and you will look like something out of a 1940's Hollywood musical!

What is a brand I can trust for swim gear?

Speedo Sets The Standard

A classic name in competitive sportswear, it has endured for a reason. Every style and color is available for both a fashionable and practical swimsuit. Also, goggles and swim caps will round out your ensemble. It is best to look for a name brand like Speedo because they are known for designing sports gear, not recreational swimwear. You can trust that you will perform your best while wearing a reputable label.

How can I stay warm while swimming off-season?

Swimming In The Off-Season

There really isn't a swimming off-season, thanks to indoor pools. However, one can also brave a not-so-warm day in an outside pool thanks to certain swim gear. A full-body swimsuit is available, which can seal in some warmth. Also, if it is Teflon-coated, the drag will be reduced and you will swim much faster. TYR and Speedo manufacture full-body thermals that mold nicely to the body. Also, since warmth escapes from the head and feet, be sure to wear a warm swimming cap and some water shoes.

How can I protect my feet while swimming?

Footwear For Swimmers

A pool can be rough on the sensitive soles of your feet. If you are planning on being in the water for extended lengths of time, invest in some good swimmer's footwear. TYR makes a nice, molded swimming shoe that will provide protection without slowing you down. A pair will cost around $30 in a retail store. If you aren't interested in wearing a swimming shoe in the water, at least invest in some flip-flops for the poolside.

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Guru Spotlight
Jolyn Wells-Moran