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Breathing Freely

Snorkels can improve technique and body position

The Professionals at TYR | December 8, 2013

Have you ever wished you could trade your lungs for gills, so that you could swim freely for as long as you wanted without having to come up for air? Well, you can come close, thanks to one piece of training equipment: the snorkel.

Although the snorkel has been around for years, its popularity only recently exploded in the competitive swim community, as beginner, Masters, and Olympic athletes alike realized that incorporating the device into their training regimens offers a host of benefits. These benefits include stronger technique and improved body position.

Stronger Technique

Even among the best swimmers, there’s room for improvement. By eliminating the interruption of turning your head to breathe, a snorkel helps you zero in on the intricacies of your stroke. For instance, you can fully focus on every detail of the catch, pull, and finish phases of your stroke, or on the power and consistency of your kick. Perfecting your technique using a snorkel will make swimming without it easier and more efficient.

Improved Body Position

Another benefit of training with a snorkel is improved body position. Many swimmers have a habit of looking at the pool wall or at the floor directly below them, both of which alter body position and increase drag. Training with a snorkel helps you maintain proper head position—eyes focused on the bottom of the pool a few inches in front of you—because if your head is tilted too high or too low, water will leak into the device and signal that you need to correct your alignment. Over time, muscle memory will allow you to maintain proper positioning without the snorkel, improving your overall performance in the water.

Selecting a Snorkel

Select a snorkel designed for swimmers—not for snorkelers or divers. A snorkel designed for swim training has a headpiece that positions and stabilizes the air tube directly up the center of the face, not off to the side like a dive snorkel.

The TYR Ultralight Snorkel features a removable, durable, and comfortable silicone mouthpiece, as well as silicone padding for a watertight seal. If you want to challenge yourself even further, you can utilize TYR’s 70% and 40% cardio restrictor caps to increase lung capacity.

Incorporate the TYR Ultralight Snorkel into your warm-up, cool-down or overall Masters training, and take your swimming to the next level!

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