Using a Pull Buoy to Improve Your Swimming

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Swimming is a highly technical sport that requires the coordination of many different body parts and precise timing.

One of the most effective tools for improving your swimming technique is a pull buoy.

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Benefits of Using a Pull Buoy

A pull buoy is a flotation device that is placed between your thighs to help you focus on your upper body and arm technique. Here are some of the benefits of using a pull buoy:

Isolates Upper Body

Using a pull buoy isolates your upper body, allowing you to focus on your arm technique without worrying about your legs. This can help you to develop a more efficient and powerful stroke.

Improves Body Position

By keeping your legs afloat, a pull buoy helps to improve your body position in the water. This can help reduce drag and make your stroke more efficient.

Builds Upper Body Strength

Swimming with a pull buoy requires more upper body strength since you are not using your legs to help propel you forward. This can help you to build strength and power in your arms and back.

How to use a Pull Buoy

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use a pull buoy during your swim training:

  1. Warm up for 10-15 minutes with some easy swimming.
  2. Put the pull buoy between your thighs, just above your knees.
  3. Swim with only your arms, focusing on your technique and maintaining a strong body position.
  4. Start with shorter distances, such as 50 meters, and gradually increase to longer distances, up to 200 meters.
  5. Incorporate pull buoy sets into your swim workouts 1-2 times per week.

Example Protocol

Here is an example pull buoy protocol that you can use during your swim training:

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes easy swimming
  • Main set: 4x50m freestyle with pull buoy, focusing on technique and maintaining a strong body position. Rest for 15 seconds between each 50m.
  • Recovery: 100m easy swimming
  • Main set: 4x100m freestyle with pull buoy, maintaining a consistent pace and focusing on technique. Rest for 30 seconds between each 100m.
  • Recovery: 100m easy swimming
  • Main set: 2x200m freestyle with pull buoy, focusing on maintaining a strong body position and a consistent pace. Rest for 1 minute between each 200m.
  • Cool down: 10 minutes easy swimming


Using a pull buoy can be a highly effective tool for improving your swimming technique. By isolating your upper body, improving your body position, and building upper body strength, you can become a more efficient and powerful swimmer.

Incorporate pull buoy sets into your swim training 1-2 times per week to see the best results.

Coach Shamus

At the heart of MultiSportCoaching is Coach Shamus, a seasoned athlete and experienced coach with a passion for helping others achieve their goals. With over 25 years of experience in coaching athletes of all levels, Coach Shamus has the knowledge and expertise to help you reach your full potential.
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