When it comes to competitive swimming, it’s imperative that you take all the necessary steps towards reducing your times. After all, even the smallest alteration could make the difference between winning and losing.
You’ve trained hard, eaten the right foods, and rested your body ahead of the big race. However, there is another element that could influence your performance. So, just how important is the style of your swim attire? Let’s find out.
With kneeskins often coming in both open-back and closed back variations, plus jammers having a high and low waist option, choosing the best fit typically comes down to the swimmer's preference. At elite levels, the fit can be dependent on the stroke.
Visually, the difference isn't that important, obviously, the open back kneeskin has a large opening at the back, some swimmers like to feel this sense of freedom and grasp a better feel of the water, others would rather it was closed for a more secure feeling fit.
Shapes And Designs
Some competitive suits are immediately recognizable, this can play more to the mental benefits which we will discuss shortly. But it's important to be aware that often these designs of seams & panels aren't always just for show. The famous "X" on the Speedo LZR Racer X suits is more than a pretty pattern, the seams have been strategically placed for added support and compression. The same goes for the seams on the Adidas Adizero XVIII suits. You'll see two variations of seams on the inner leg, these have been designed to support key muscles used in breaststroke or in freestyle. It's a similar story when it comes to the Michael Phelps XPRESSO suits, they have been designed with specially placed panels on the legs and the rear to increase the performance of the suit.
The Mental Benefits
The mental benefits that a swimsuit can play could be the difference between winning the medals, and going home empty-handed. Non-swimmers would laugh at this theory but it is believed to play a huge part in how you swim. The mental build up to race day is vital and your style makes all the difference, you'll see a few different approaches by swimmers on race day. Some like to stay cool and calm, focusing on the race and nothing else. These swimmers would typically be seen wearing solid colour suits, teamed with a plain cap and sleek goggles. The Arena Carbon Ultra Suits are ideal for this. Not drawing much attention in order to remain focused. Then you'll see the swimmers who can't stop moving! Doing jumping jacks next to their lane, bouncing around and full of energy. These swimmers would typically have a suit to reflect this attitude, something loud and bold. Perhaps something like the latest Speedo Fastskin Suits in Pink
For a competitive athlete, the minutiae and little details count for everything. Seams and panels make up the design of the suit but they are not just for show, they play a vital role in the performance of the suit so it's important to bear that in mind!
It's vital that you purchase racing swimwear that you feel comfortable and confident in. Thus resulting in a good attitude to the task at hand. Speak to swimmers, find out what they like about the suits they use, and maybe more importantly, find out what they don't like.
In conclusion, swimsuits might not feel like the most important part of the puzzle. But given that it’s the only equipment you’ll need, getting it right is an absolute must.