Pull buoys are used by swimmers to build upper body strength and focus on stroke technique. The Best Pull Buoys for 2021 helps increase focus on distance-per-stroke, body positioning, and effective breathing, thereby increasing overall efficiency and speed.
A pull buoy is an essential piece of swim equipment that helps swimmers focus on stroke technique. Pull buoys are made of dense foam and are placed between the legs just above the knees to keep swimmers’ legs afloat without the need for kicking. They can take some practice to get used to, especially for new swimmers or those who don’t have as strong of a stroke.
When practicing freestyle with a pull buoy, you’ll want to think about the “catch” portion of your stroke, pushing the water underneath your stomach (but not crossing over to the other side of your body) and past your hip. Make sure to rotate your shoulder and hip to the side, following your hand, then repeating to the other side when you go to your other arm. On your stroke’s recovery, remember to keep your elbow up and, when putting your hand back in the water, slide it just past your ear and straight into the water in front of you.
Freestyle is probably the easiest stroke to work on with a pull buoy; however, you can practice other strokes as well, again thinking specifically about catching the water and moving your body through it. Regardless of which stroke you are working on, consider your head’s position in the water, as it is a major factor in determining your stroke’s effectiveness.
Pull buoys come in child and adult sizes. Smaller adults may find child sizes easier to use since these pull buoys are a little less buoyant, but most swimmers can quickly become comfortable with an adult-sized pull buoy. A couple of brands also make kickboard/pull buoy combos that can be a good option for swimmers who are consistently working on the different portions of their swim techniques and want a quick way to switch between practicing kicking and pulling without needing multiple pieces of equipment.
Pull buoys are a form of swimming assistance foam usually placed between the thighs to enhance swimming performance. With a bull buoy, your legs and hips can maintain buoyancy and stay afloat.
Swimmers can reduce the rate at which they kick and focus more on their swimming technique. With the pull buoys isolating the upper body frame, swimmers can generate more arm strength.
There are not so many variations of pull buoys. However, it is still essential for swimmers to find the right one that fits. The best pull buoys can drastically improve your performance as a swimmer.
There are a thousand and one products and brands out there. You don’t want to waste your time trying to figure out which one is best for you. In this guide, we have highlighted all that you need to know and the basic criteria you must find in the right pull buoy.
What benefits does swimming with a pull buoy offer?
Swimmers have embraced pull buoys worldwide due to the various benefits it adds to their swimming performance. Here are some of the benefits of swimming with a pull buoy.
Accurate Swimming Position
Humans are not naturally built to stay underwater. So, don’t feel bad if your swimming position is not so good yet. We bet fishes would also have a hard time walking on land too. However, you can correct your swimming position with a pull buoy whether you’re training alone or on a swimming team.
Pull buoys are excellent gears for swimmers who would like to better their arm stroke technique and hip rotation. If you are a new swimmer and you have trouble learning these basic techniques, a pull buoy is what you need.
Builds Upper-Body Strength
Using a pull buoy can help develop some of the core upper body muscles that swimmers require for better performance. With a pull buoy, your hips are lifted such that your lower body is not lagging and your legs are prevented from unnecessary negative kicking.
Most amateur swimmers focus more on kicking rather than charging forth with their upper body. With the lower body constrained by the pull buoy, you can give more attention to arm strokes and upper body training.
Inexpensive Training Solution
Nobody starts swimming as a professional. We all require a great deal of training. Fortunately, pull buoys can serve as a great training tool for improving swimming ability faster without professional support. The best part is that they don’t cost a fortune!
What to consider when Choosing a Pull Buoy
Yes, we said that there aren’t so many variations in the world of pull buoys. However, some minor differences might surface in various brands. Here are some of the key criteria you need to pay attention to when choosing a pull buoy.
If you want the best pull buoy, look out for one made out of soft EVA foam. EVA foam is a type of soft and elastic-plastic material made into a rubber-like texture. Not only is it extremely tough, but it is also safe on the skin. Unlike materials such as PVC, the EVA is gentle on the skin. This makes it the first choice for underwater use.
Size and Weight
There are tons of pull buoy products made for kids and adult use. However, there are a few models that are made into only one size. Regardless, you must get one that perfectly fits you.
Also, critically consider the weight of the pull buoy before buying it. A heavy pull buoy can reduce buoyancy and slow down swimmers. This is not good! When it comes to choosing pull buoys, the lighter, the better!
Regardless of how aesthetically appealing it is, the life of a pull buoy is often tested by two things: pool chlorine and sunlight. These two factors can make a pull buoy wear off pretty fast. Before making your purchase, check out reviews from those that have bought it to see how well it performs in these conditions.
How do I set a budget for pull buoys?
As you already know by now that pull buoys are designed to enhance swimming performance. Surprisingly, they come pretty cheap. You can get a pull buoy for as low as $10 and as high as $30. Some highly durable pull buoys can serve you for a long time. This is why buying a pull buoy is often considered an investment rather than an expense.
Pull Buoys FAQs
Other than the thighs, where else can I place Pull Buoys?
Nowhere! This is because pull buoys are specifically designed to support the upper body by restraining the legs from kicking excessively while swimming. It can only fit in between the thighs. Pull buoys help to develop upper body strength. However, if this is not your swimming goal, you can browse for other equipment.
Will Pull Buoys Improve My Swimming Ability?
Of course. Pull buoys keep the swimmers’ legs together, allowing them to focus solely on generating upper body strength for faster and better swimming techniques. If you can improve your arm stroke and other methods, you would climb up the ranks faster than expected. However, pull buoys are only for enhancing your swimming skills. What this means is that you must already have swimming skill. You cannot improve on what you didn’t have in the first place.
Can Pull Buoys Be Used Instead of a Life Vest?
The answer is No! Do not replace a life vest with a pull buoy. First, they perform different functions. Saving you from drowning and stopping your legs from flapping around are two different things. Also, pull buoys are way too small to provide you with enough buoyancy to float on water. It also lacks the room you can hold onto, not to talk about its inability to handle the weight of an average person. A proper life vest is highly recommended in emergency-related situations. However, both accessories can be used, especially if the swimmer is a child.
Lucy spent the better part of her young life traveling and competing in swim meets and gymnastics. Being a dedicated individual sport athlete, Lucy knows that being at your best at the competition is everything. As a freelance writer, Lucy joins our Product Reviews Team to provide all of her insight on the best products to keep you at the top of your game.