Top Tips

How to – use FINIS PT Hand Paddles

What are they?

In contrast to most swimming paddles on the market the potato shaped PT Paddle is intended to reduce resistance, and hence help you improve your catch and feel for the water, rather than increase your strength by forcing you to apply more power to the water. PT stands for Perfect Technique.

What do they do?

Many coaches talk about the importance of the ‘catch’, this vital first part of the stroke that is often over looked but is undoubtedly the most important part of the underwater phase. Regular use of the Finis PT paddle will aid in the development of your catch and feel for the water.
Improving your feel of the water will also lower your stroke count (i.e. increase your distance per stroke) while an improved catch can help maintain your stroke rate. Swimming speed is a function of both distance per stroke and stroke rate.
Use of PT paddles should also help you achieve what is known as ‘early vertical forearm’, which means you hand is pushing backwards and generating propulsion rather than downwards.

How to use them

We suggest using PT paddles once or twice per week as a subset within your main training session. As the paddles reduce your purchase on the water from your hands try to feel your forearms helping out.
A sample training set using PT Paddles might look like this:
After your usual warm up try the following:

  • 5×50 front crawl (with PT paddles) + 10 seconds rest after each 50. Count your strokes per length.
  • 5×50 front crawl (without PT paddles) + 10 seconds rest. Again, count strokes. Monitor stroke count and speed over time.

Then complete your main training set.
A longer PT session could be:

  • 6×100 front crawl (with PT paddles) +20/30 seconds rest

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