Swimming is a fantastic form of exercise that provides a full-body workout, improves cardiovascular fitness, and builds strength. However, not everyone has easy access to a lap pool or the luxury of swimming in open water. If you have a home swimming pool, you can still take your swim training to the next level by incorporating swim tethers. In this blog, we'll explore how swim tethers can benefit your swim training routine, the different types available, and why they are a valuable addition to your home pool setup.

What are swim tethers?

Swim tethers, also known as swimming resistance cords or swim bungee cords, are specially designed tools that allow you to swim in place. They typically consist of a durable elastic cord with a belt or harness that attaches to your body, creating resistance as you swim against it. This resistance simulates the feeling of swimming against the current and provides an effective workout, even in smaller pools.

Benefits of swim tethers for home swimming pools:

  1. Improved technique: Swim tethers allow you to focus on your stroke technique without the need to turn around at the end of the pool. This uninterrupted swimming motion helps refine your form, body position, and stroke efficiency.
  2. Endurance and strength training: With swim tethers, you can maintain a steady swimming pace for extended periods, which is excellent for building endurance. The resistance provided by the tether also engages your muscles more intensely, resulting in improved strength and power.
  3. Convenience and accessibility: Having a swim tether in your home pool eliminates the need to travel to a gym or a public pool for swim training. It offers the convenience of fitting in a swim session whenever it suits your schedule, saving you time and money in the long run.
  4. Customisable workouts: Swim tethers allow you to customise your workouts to suit your goals and fitness level. You can adjust the tension of the cord, vary your swimming strokes, incorporate interval training, or combine swimming with other exercises like core work or resistance training.

Types of swim tethers:

  1. Belt-based tethers: These swim tethers typically consist of an adjustable belt worn around the waist, which attaches to the swim cord. The belt allows freedom of movement while keeping the swimmer centered in the pool. Volare Swim tethers feature an adjustable neoprene swim belt, which is fully adjustable, two belts can also be joined together accommodating all sizes and swimmers needs.
  2. Harness-based tethers: Harness-based swim tethers involve a full-body harness that secures the swimmer's upper body and attaches to the resistance cord. This type of tether is ideal for swimmers who want to focus on specific upper body or core exercises while swimming in place.

Tips for using swim tethers safely:

  1. Ensure proper installation: Set up the swim tether correctly, ensuring it is securely attached to a sturdy anchor point or poolside fixture. Having it higher off the ground to help lift your hips is ideal, rather than parallel to the water which is hard. Given you have no forward motion, it’s a hard work out as your hips tend to sink and using neoprene buoyancy shorts or pool buoy can really help to replicate normal swimming.

  1. Maintain proper tension: Adjust the tension of the swim tether to provide enough resistance for a challenging workout without compromising your swimming form. Should your pool be short or the anchor point close to the pool, you may need to double over the resistance cord. This can easily be done by looping the tether around a pole or fixture and then using the loop at the end to attach it to the swim belt. (Both loops and ends attached to the belt) The other option is just to wrap or coil the tether around a pole to shorten the cord. If your anchor point is a palm tree or fence or object that could chafe the cord then use a towel to protect the cord.
  2. Warm-up and cool down: Begin each session with a warm-up routine to prepare your muscles and joints. Similarly, conclude your swim training with a cooldown period and stretching exercises to prevent injury.
  3. Start gradually: If you're new to using swim tethers, begin with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts as you become more comfortable.

Swim tethers offer a convenient and effective way to enhance your swim training routine in the comfort of your own home pool. Whether you're aiming to improve your technique, build endurance, or engage in a challenging full-body workout, swim tethers provide the necessary resistance and stability.

Beginner Workout:

Warm-up: Swim easy for 5-10 minutes, focusing on maintaining a relaxed and steady pace.

Technique Focus: Spend 10-15 minutes on each stroke, focusing on stroke technique, body position, and breathing.

Interval Training: Perform 10 sets of 30 seconds of moderate-intensity swimming, followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat for a total of 5-10 minutes.

Cool-down: Swim easy for 5-10 minutes, gradually slowing down the pace. Finish with some light stretching.

Intermediate Workout:

Warm-up: Swim easy for 5-10 minutes, gradually increasing the pace.

Endurance Training: Swim continuously for 15-20 minutes at a moderate intensity, maintaining a steady pace.

Stroke Variation: Alternate between different swimming strokes (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly) for 10-15 minutes, focusing on maintaining good form and technique.

Interval Training: Perform 8-10 sets of 1 minute of high-intensity swimming, followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat for a total of 10-15 minutes.

Cool-down: Swim easy for 5-10 minutes, gradually slowing down the pace. Finish with some light stretching.

Advanced Workout:

Warm-up: Swim easy for 5-10 minutes, incorporating some dynamic stretching and mobility exercises.

Speed and Endurance: Swim continuously for 20-30 minutes at a moderate to high intensity, pushing your pace and challenging your endurance.

Interval Training: Perform 8-10 sets of 2 minutes of high-intensity swimming, followed by 15 seconds of rest. Repeat for a total of 15-20 minutes.

Stroke Drills: Dedicate 10-15 minutes to stroke drills, focusing on specific aspects of each stroke, such as catch, pull, or kick.

Strength and Conditioning: Incorporate strength exercises like push-ups, planks, or squats in between swimming sets, using the swim tether for stability and resistance.

Cool-down: Swim easy for 5-10 minutes, gradually slowing down the pace. Finish with some thorough stretching.

Remember to adjust the duration and intensity of these workouts based on your fitness level and personal preferences. It's always a good idea to consult with a swim coach or fitness professional to tailor the workouts to your specific needs and goals.

Why do swimmers use buoyancy shorts and pool buoys in conjunction with a swim tether in swimming pools?

Floatation and Stability: Buoyancy shorts and pool buoys provide additional floatation and stability in the water. They help keep the swimmer's body in a proper horizontal position, allowing for better alignment and reducing drag. This makes it easier to maintain proper form and technique while swimming against the resistance of the swim tether.

Support for Leg Work: Buoyancy shorts specifically offer buoyancy in the lower body, which can be beneficial for individuals who want to focus on upper body or core exercises while using the swim tether. The buoyancy shorts support the legs, reducing leg fatigue and allowing swimmers to target their upper body muscles more effectively.

Targeted Upper Body Training: By using a pool buoy, which is typically placed between the legs, swimmers can isolate their upper body and focus on arm strokes and upper body strength and endurance. This allows for specific upper body training without the added effort and coordination required from the legs.

Increased Endurance: Buoyancy shorts and pool buoys can help conserve energy and reduce muscle fatigue during longer swim sessions. With the added buoyancy and support, swimmers can sustain their workout for a longer period, extending their endurance training.

Rehabilitation and Injury Recovery: Buoyancy shorts and pool buoys can be helpful for individuals recovering from lower body injuries or those with limited mobility. The buoyancy provides support, allowing them to engage in swim training and exercise without putting excessive strain on the injured or affected area.

It's important to note that the use of buoyancy shorts and pool buoys with a swim tether is optional and depends on individual preferences and goals. Some swimmers may prefer to use the swim tether without additional buoyancy aids for a more challenging workout or to focus on specific aspects of their swimming technique. Ultimately, the decision to use buoyancy shorts or pool buoys alongside a swim tether depends on personal preference, fitness level, and desired training outcomes.

Why do swimmers use swim paddles in conjunction with a swim tether?

Increased Resistance: Swim paddles are worn on the hands and increase surface area and resistance as you pull through the water. When used with a swim tether, they enhance the resistance experienced during each stroke, making the workout more challenging. This increased resistance helps to strengthen the muscles in the arms, shoulders, and upper back. They also a great way to break up your swim and along with pool buoys and a kick board add variety to your workout.

Upper Body Strength and Power: Volare Swim paddles are particularly effective for developing upper body strength and power. The added resistance from the paddles forces the muscles in the arms and shoulders to work harder, helping to build strength and increase power output during each stroke.

Improved Stroke Technique: By wearing swim paddles during swim tether training, swimmers can become more aware of their stroke technique. The increased resistance provided by the paddles amplifies any flaws or inconsistencies in the stroke, encouraging swimmers to focus on their hand placement, catch, pull, and overall arm movement. This heightened feedback can help improve stroke efficiency and technique.

Increased Proprioception: Swim paddles enhance the feel of the water and increase proprioception, which refers to the body's awareness of its position and movement in space. The added surface area of the paddles provides swimmers with a greater sense of water resistance, allowing them to better understand the pressure and flow of the water during each stroke.

Specific Strength Training: Volare swim paddles allow swimmers to isolate and target specific muscle groups in the arms, shoulders, and back. By using paddles in conjunction with a swim tether, swimmers can focus on strengthening these muscle groups, which can ultimately improve overall swimming performance.

It's important to note that swim paddles should be used with caution and gradually incorporated into training. Swimmers should start with smaller paddle sizes and gradually progress to larger ones as their strength and technique improve. It's also recommended to consult with a swim coach or trainer to ensure proper usage and avoid overstraining the shoulders or compromising stroke mechanics.