Drag Chutes

edited January 2014 in General Discussion
Hi everyone. I am currently training for a Catalina Channel swim in July and unfortunately am stuck in pools here in the Northeast. I have started using a chute that creates drag for some of my sets. I feel like it is forcing me to concentrate on my form as well as building swim specific strength. I am curious if any others have had experience with this kind of pool toy. Also, what do some of the experts on here think about using it. Are there any other toys I should consider apart from the typical ones like a pull buoy? Thanks for any thoughts you might have.


  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member
    I have no experience with chutes, so no comment there.

    As to other toys, I am absolutely wild about Fist Gloves. I find that they correct all sorts of form flaws AND are a good way to get in a useful workout if my shoulders are in bad shape and/or injury recovery - they reduce the force transmitted to the shoulder.

    Just sayin'


    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • I do enjoy my pool toys. I was very upset last night when one of my 11 year old paddles from college broke in half!
    I have used the chute a few times and it is perfectly fine...not my favorite but okay.
    I really like the stretch cords. We use them weekly. Sometimes I use an easier cord than I would have used if I were training for short sprints and go on a minute interval (25 pulling the cord down, then just pulling yourself back). I find this is REALLY helpful in getting yourself to continue with a quality DPS stroke when the circumstances are less favorable...like when you are tired or when it is choppy and you feel like you are trying to go faster but you are spinning your wheels.
    We also do kick sets holding light weights in neutral position. They are only two pounds or so on each side, but it is KILLER. The kids will do fast sets, but I'll do an 800 or 1000 kick. Perfect core training.
    We'll put the toys together for Crossfit type things too...which is good for strengthing my lower back which is ALWAYS feeling weak and great when I am mentally bored. Usually those days will be paired with an extra boring set. Toys are good for the ADHD swimmer. :)
    I have Catalina on my horizen too, but i am doing Tampa Bay Marathon this spring because it is in my backyard and therefore more in my price range. :)

    **I also want to disclaimer that although pool toys are awesome and great for strength training, I see them as not a substitute for cranking out cool hard mileage....if they substitute anything, they substitute dryland/weight training. And they keep my interested on a Thursday when I am not as excited about going to the pool!**
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    No exp with chutes, but my kids' team coach makes all the kids wear an old "worn out" suit over their normal suit. It makes it a bit heavier in the water, and some of the kids are using the seriously stretched out suits, so they're getting lots of drag. The kids' times are consistently getting faster, so it must be working!

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • mjstaplesmjstaples Atlanta, GA, USSenior Member
    @ironmike, I still to this day do the layered suits during training. Ah, the good ole days!
  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member
    IMHO, drag chutes along with tethers should be used sparingly and only when necessary. They can quickly lead to injury from the extra torque the shoulder joint is exposed to. Not to mention the negative effects it can put on your stoke. Chutes and tethers inhibit proper body roll along your longitudinal axis, thereby messing up your mechanics as well as opening yourself up to injury.

    I wear a drag suit over a Lycra brief not because I'm looking for a training age, but because I feel buck naked without one.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    edited January 2014
    IronMike wrote:
    The kids' times are consistently getting faster, so it must be working!
    Kids get faster... its what they do, even in the worst programs.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • In summer I often train with a Rip Curl rash vest to keep some of the UV off my skin. Same effect as the chute. Lots of drag and when you take it off you feel turbo charged for a while.
    I know a very good young swimmer, a future Olympian. He uses a large sponge tied to his waste by a nylon cord. Works amazingly well! Just an idea for those who want to make their own.
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