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Special Advertorial: Fine tune your stroke and build lung capacity
Training tools give you the ability to focus on the fine points and specific skills and techniques that will make you a stronger, faster swimmer. Over the past few years, snorkels have become a key piece of workout gear for serious swimmers. The benefits of snorkel training are two-fold:
- Lung conditioning. Breathing steadily through a narrow tube rather than taking big gulps of air between strokes forces you to work harder. This strengthens the intercostals (the respiratory muscles in between your ribs), builds your lung capacity, and improves your cardiovascular endurance.
- Stroke symmetry and focus. Removing breathing from the equation allows you to focus on the fine details of stroke technique without being interrupted every few strokes by the need to catch a breath. By eliminating the breathing cycle and the continuous head rotation it requires, you don’t have to repeatedly reset your body into the most efficient swimming position. This allows you to focus on the symmetry of your stroke and the stability of your body position and alignment as you move through the water.
When you make your next snorkel purchase, consider the following questions:
- Is it streamlined and stable? Many traditional snorkels wiggle when you push off the wall and swim at full speed. Some snorkels are prone to wiggling because of their cylindrical design, which is not as streamlined as a triangular snorkel. You also want a snorkel with a sturdy, durable strap and a cushioned, adjustable head bracket that keeps the snorkel stable and comfortable as you swim.
- Is the profile unobtrusive? Training tools shouldn’t get in the way of a workout, yet traditional snorkels require modified hand and arm positioning to accommodate the snorkel. Look for a low-profile, hydrodynamic shape designed to hug the head and stay clear of your arms.
- Is the fit comfortable? Jaw fatigue can be a real problem when using snorkels, and not biting down on the snorkel’s mouthpiece while you’re using it is the best way to alleviate this.
- Is it easy to clear? Getting water out of your snorkel is always a challenge. Using the displacement method when doing flip turns helps, but you need an easy way to clear your snorkel in case a little water makes its way in. A one-way purge valve makes it easy remove water without letting more in.
MP Focus Snorkel
Bob Bowman, head coach for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Swimming Team, is a huge advocate of snorkel training, but saw an opportunity to improve existing swim snorkel technology. Bowman, along with Michael Phelps, the most decorated swimmer of all time, worked closely with Aqua Sphere—the premier swimming equipment manufacturer for fitness and recreational swimming, aquatic exercise, and triathlons—to design the MP Focus Snorkel.
The MP Focus Snorkel has a triangular, hydrodynamic design and is secured to the center of the forehead with a durable strap and lightweight, cushioned, adjustable head bracket. Because of this design, the MP Focus Snorkel lets you swim naturally, unencumbered by your gear. The MP Focus Snorkel also has a silicone Comfo-Bite mouthpiece, engineered so that you just hold it in your mouth rather than biting it, which allows for reduced tension in the jaw and neck. Lastly, the MP Focus Snorkel is the only swim snorkel with a one-way purge valve positioned at the bottom, perpendicular to the bottom of the pool, which makes clearing water quick and easy so you can get back to training.
At the heart of Bob Bowman’s coaching philosophy is the idea that you should train how you swim naturally. Training tools should enhance your workouts without interfering with proper stroke technique or introducing bad habits. This approach has been integrated into the entire MP line of swim products, featuring proprietary technologies and performance enhancing designs for competitive swimmers.
Visit us online for more information about the MP Focus Snorkel and other MP equipment.