by Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA
The folks at SwimSmart
recently sent me their Power Harness
to test out. We have been using it for a few weeks now, and my swimmers constantly ask if they can use it rather than the traditional waist belts. The Power Harness allows the loaded resistance to be applied to the upper body, freeing up the hips to move more naturally in every stroke. We particularly like it for breaststroke and butterfly, but we have been using it for freestyle and backstroke (you can wear it backwards!) too. The first time we used the Power Harness, here was the feedback I received:
Swimmer doing fly:
“This makes pulling the bucket way harder, but in a good way so I like it.. I feel like I can actually swim my stroke and get a better pull on the water.”
Swimmer doing breaststroke:
“I definitely like this better than the waist belt. I can really press my chest forward and I like that my hips can pop up and the rope doesn’t get caught in my kick.”
As a coach, I like what I see in the water when my swimmers use the Power Harness. Our training is more technically sound and therefore more effective. I coach swimmers 15-18 years old, and it works well for that range but was a little loose on some of my more slightly built
athletes. It is pretty durably constructed and comes with a carabiner so that you can attach it to parachutes, power towers, StretchCordz, buckets, or whatever form of in-water resisted training you do. You can also choose to buy it with a parachute and/or a weight. I don’t have a large budget for training equipment, but after trying the Power Harness I have already bought 9 of these so we can have a bunch of swimmers using it at the same time.
The links listed in the article above are affiliate links, meaning that if you use them to buy products, I will receive a small commission that adds nothing to what you pay. That said, I really like the Power Harness product and wouldn’t recommend it to you here if I didn’t like it and wasn’t having my own team use it. – Ryan
Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA
We recently tried a new innovative product from the folks at SwimSmart. It is called Squeezeline.
The Squeezeline is a small rubber-covered sensor that resembles a soft blue rubber pierogi in size and shape. It can be placed under a goggle strap or inside a swim cap so that when a swimmer streamlines tightly, the arm presses down on the sensor and creates an audible beep. This gives the swimmer feedback that they have “squeezed” the streamline well.
As a coach who has gone hoarse hollering “streamline!” at practice, this little device is a game-changer. Our age groupers tried it and liked it. Their feedback was that the beep was a little hard to hear when it was placed in a cap but was easier to hear when worn on the goggle strap.
It is important that the device be properly placed. If it is not directly between the arm and head, the pressure won’t trigger the beep. The Squeezeline works, though. The instant feedback it provides might be the exact thing that your absent-minded age groupers need to help them remember to do swimming’s most basic skill. My guess is that a few weeks of using this thing on a daily basis and a new lifelong habit of excellent streamlines will be in place.
Our club is going to buy a handful for our worst streamliners. Once we have new habits established, we will pass them along to the next ones who like to “Superman” off the walls. Thank you SwimSmart!