The Arena Swim Keel has arrived! Throw out the kickboard and reach for the Keel. An innovative swim training tool to try on your next trip to the pool. The key feature of the Arena Swim Keel is the shape and weighted bottom. The balance of weight and buoyancy makes for a more neutral buoyancy than a traditional kickboard or pull buoy, giving a different experience and allowing the swimmer to work on different areas of their stroke.
The Swim Keel is an innovative training aid patented by Arena. It is probably the most revolutionary multipurpose training aid currently available on the market. It will become a vital part of your training sessions, because it allows you to stabilise and develop your stomach area, serving as either a float or pullbuoy.
Swim Keel can be used in six different ways: as a stable pulllbuoy, as an unstable pullbuoy (providing even greater core stability for more experienced swimmers), for developing your butterfly leg kick, as a rehabilitation board or float, for practising your backstroke leg kick and as an aid for finswimming.
The Swim Keel’s versatility makes it useful for all swimmers. Here are a few tips for making the most of some of its most interesting uses.
1. Used as a stable (or unstable if you are an experienced swimmer) pullbuoy.
The Swim Keel allows you to control the position of your head and shoulders.
If your head is too high or too low, it will affect the position of your hips and legs and this may increase your water resistance.
– To improve your head position, place the Swim Keel between your thighs, this will allow your legs to float better so that you can focus more on your head position. Try and keep your head at an angle of approximately 45° in the water while stirring at the black line. This will allow you to break the surface of the water more effectively, creating less resistance and allowing you to move forward more easily.
Excessive rotation of the shoulders will result in a poor catch during the arm stroke, as well as an irregular leg kick in an attempt to keep your body balanced.
– place the Swim Keel between your knees and imagine your chest must stay inside an imaginary rectangle. The aim is to keep your body aligned, eliminating any excessive lateral motion and making your arm stroke more symmetrical.
Always incorporate technical work using the Swim Keel in your training sessions. For example, you can swim 16 x 50 m at a steady pace, changing the position of the Swim Keel every 4 x 50 m.
2. Used as an aid for learning or improving your butterfly leg kick.
Before starting to use the Swim Keel as a float, remember the two basics for performing a proper butterfly leg kick: leg posture and the importance of your hips or “core”.
– To learn the proper leg kick action, first practice the butterfly leg kick in a vertical position. After you have learnt the movement, use the Swim Keel as follows: 1×25 m butterfly legs on your back with 15 seconds recovery + 1x 50 any leg kick with 20 seconds recovery + 1×25 fast butterfly legs with 15 seconds recovery. Repeat 2 or 3 times according to the target you have set yourself. If you are a beginner, you might use the Swim Keel with fins, so that you can control your leg kick better.
3. Used as a kickboard to work on your leg kick.
We have already given you some important tips about how to train your legs in previous articles, but we would like to mention one of them again: always try to keep your leg kick fast! So use the Swim Keel to increase your speed and focus on developing more power.
Here are some interesting sets to incorporate in your training sessions:
– 25m legs sets swimming between 20”- 30” with 20” recovery
– 50m legs sets attempting to swim approximately +10” compared to your PB over a full 50m (e.g.: if you can swim 50 m freestyle in 35”, then swim using your legs for approximately 45”)
The Swim Keel is any aid you need to learn how to use. Once you have learnt everything about it and all its different uses, we are convinced you will not be able to do without it!