By Ryan Woodruff, Head Coach – Lynchburg YMCA, & Swimming Wizard Editor
I recently had my group try out SwimmersBest Power Bags. Essentially, Power Bags are a mesh sleeve with drawstring closures at each end. They can be employed in a multitude of ways to add drag to your swim training. SwimmersBest provided us with one pair of Power Bags to try.
We tried the Power Bag in two configurations:
1. With the top of the bag tied tightly around the ankles, letting the rest of it cover the feet and extend off of the toes.
2. With the top of the bag tied tightly around the upper calf (just below the knee) allowing the bag to cover the lower leg down to about the ankle.
We did a set of 12 x 25 @ :50 in a SCM pool where I was asking them to underwater dolphin kick as fast as possible to 12.5m and then continue to kick on the surface the rest of the way.
“These are really good. They make it a lot harder to kick – I definitely have to use my core a lot more to kick”
“With the bags over my feet, it is like three times as hard. On the calves, it is like twice as hard.”
“Can I keep using these? I think they would really help me.”
I noticed that our swimmers were less likely to kick primarily from their knees and more likely to kick from the chest down. Naturally, with the resistance, their kick tempo was a bit slower, but they definitely were working the back side of the kick much more than normal, which is an underworked part of the kick for most swimmers, in my opinion.
With the importance of underwater kicking in the sport today, resisted kicking is a critical piece of the puzzle to building a swimmer’s underwater ability.
SwimmersBest doesn’t sell directly through their own website, but you can buy PowerBags on Amazon. They come in three different levels of resistance. The middle level (PB40) was perfect for my Sectional-level high school kids.
We loved them so much, I have ordered a bunch more for my team.
Other Swimming Wizard Reviews:
NC State Speed & Power Clinic
Jake Shellenberger’s Book: Power & Towers & Swimming: The Guide