Swimming Aids for Adults - what makes sense and really helps?
According to surveys by the DLRG, one in four adults in Germany cannot swim. This can have different reasons, eg a missed swimming course as a child, fear of the water or people come from a culture in which learning to swim is rather uncommon.
Regardless of the exact reason why someone cannot swim, most of those affected have one thing in common: they want to change the situation.
The ability to swim can save lives - either your own or someone else's. In addition, many adult non-swimmers are ashamed of their peers and often conceal the fact that they cannot swim.￼
In addition to non-swimmers, there are also many people who like to swim regularly, be it just to relax, for fitness reasons or for training. In training, it is common to train with swimming aids, e.g. B. to improve technique or endurance or to make swimming training more efficient.
Swimming is also a tried and tested method in the rehabilitation and health sector: swimming is considered to be particularly gentle on joints and ligaments, and at the same time it is excellent for building muscles and stamina. Swimming is ideal for anyone who has had to accept restricted movement for a long time, for example due to an injury or for other reasons, such as a herniated disc.
For all target groups, non-swimmers, swimming enthusiasts, the rehabilitation area as well as athletes and triathletes, there are various swimming aids that make moving in the water easier.￼
Let's take a look at the tools that are available to make (learning) to swim easier or more efficient.
Let's start with learning to swim and see what physical aids are available and how useful they are
When children are learning to swim, it is completely normal for physical aids to be used. However, when it comes to learning to swim among adults, there is often a fear of making a fool of oneself if one uses aids, although these are used as a matter of course during swimming training.
First of all, a distinction must be made between water toys and swimming aids.
The former is probably mainly available at the beach kiosk or bathing lake, for example products such as inflatable animals, palm trees, armchairs, air mattresses or beach balls. They often only bear the CE mark or the EN 71-1 mark.
If a product is a tested swimming aid, it must bear the label EN 13 138-1 - a safety standard according to which all aids for learning to swim must be tested in detail.
The following commercially available tools can be found on the market:
They are the classic when children learn to swim. Their main purpose is to give people buoyancy and keep them safely afloat. This is how you are protected from drowning in an emergency, for example if panic breaks out
According to experts, they tend to be a hindrance when learning to swim. They restrict the natural swimming movements of the arms in the water, and it is also difficult to get into the right position in the water.
There are also arm bands for adults, but for the reasons just mentioned we would advise against using them when learning to swim.
The swimming noodle or pool noodle
The swimming noodle was originally only intended for use in aqua fitness, but has meanwhile become established in many places as an aid for swimming lessons.
Both children and adults can rest their arms on it during swimming exercises on their stomach and back and in this way train their sense of balance in the water. Due to the freedom of movement of the user, while at the same time there is sufficient buoyancy, it can be classified as a useful aid for swimming beginners.
The swimming noodle is used less frequently in swimming training for hobbyists and professionals.
The swimming pillow
Many experts consider swimming pillows to be the best tool for learning to swim.
The pillows are usually made of cotton, which means there are no plugs or valves, which among other things also means that they are difficult to break.
Many models can be attached to the upper body with a strap so that you cannot lose them in the water. The arm movements are not restricted at any time and the body is automatically in the right position for swimming.
Attention adults: many swimming cushions are designed for children's swimming lessons and only have a load capacity of 11 to 60 kilograms - however, there are also models especially for late-career swimming students who can carry more weight.
This tool is not normally used in regular training for advanced swimmers, but we can definitely recommend it for learning to swim.
The swim board
The swimming board is probably the most well-known tool for water sports.
While the flotation cushion is primarily a tool to provide buoyancy and safety in the water, the flotation board is something more. It helps to learn or practice leg swimming.
The swimming board can be used for any swimming position. If you clamp it between your legs, you can even practice arm swimming.
It offers both children and adults an optimal training device.
What about swimming goggles?
In addition to a bathing suit or swimming trunks, swimming goggles are the most important piece of equipment for experienced swimmers during training, as well as when swimming in a leisure pool or open water. On the one hand, they protect the eyes from aggressive chlorine and suspended matter in the water and, on the other hand, good swimming goggles enable orientation in the pool and even more so in open water.
Swimming goggles are not recommended for a beginner swimmer, because you should get used to being in the water with all your senses and learn to orientate yourself in the water without swimming goggles - it is not without reason, for example, that the swimming badge is always taken without glasses. Only when you feel safe in the water without swimming goggles should you think about using them regularly.
Breathing aids for technique optimization
Correct water position and timing of leg and arm movements are essential for good swimming technique, especially when doing the front crawl. With a snorkel, coordinative elements are reduced and concentrated practice is made possible. Because you don't have to turn your head to breathe, you can focus solely on arm technique, kicking, and position in the water.
The company AMEO has developed the Powerbreather, a patented swimming snorkel, to support professional and amateur athletes in swimming training and to make it more effective. As soon as it comes to optimizing the swimming technique, the Powerbreather is the ideal support to quickly take a swimmer to the next level.
In addition, the Powerbreather is of course suitable for snorkeling.
With the Powerbreather you breathe underwater almost the same as on land, which makes it much easier to concentrate on your swimming technique or the underwater world while snorkeling. When swimming with the Powerbreather you can train both the swimming technique and the breathing technique. The various attachments (SPEED VENTS) with different resistances are available for this purpose. Incidentally, the Powerbreather can be used with any standard swimming goggles
Of course, it can also be used in combination with other aids, eg with a swimming board or cushion.
If you want to try the Powerbreather as an effective support for your swimming training, you can test the swimming snorkel for 90 days in a relaxed manner. Feel free to visit the online shop (link). You can use this test to determine which is the right Powerbreather for you.
Where is the best place to buy swimming aids and what should you look out for?
Both in specialist shops and in online shops there is a large selection of aids - we advise swimming beginners not to buy them used or, for example, to borrow them from friends, since the material of older products has often been damaged and the safety has also been affected -Standards have changed over the years.
When buying, you should not only pay attention to the CE mark - this is only a self-declaration of the industry. Much more important, however, is the GS mark, where the two letters stand for "tested safety".
Whether you buy in a shop or order online is up to you - especially when buying swimming aids for adults, many prefer to go online.
However, swimming aids for children should always be bought “offline”, since in this case it is very important that the children are involved in the selection process and feel comfortable with the aids.
Swimming aids for training are often provided by clubs or trainers, for example if you book a swimming technique course. The Powerbreather is also used by some trainers in swimming training. Here it is still advisable to purchase your own Powerbreather after a test. Even if the mouthpiece is interchangeable and everyone can freely choose their preferred mouthpiece, their own Powerbreather is certainly more hygienic and can also be taken on vacation for snorkeling.
Maintenance is very simple: Rinse the Powerbreather with fresh water after each use and then let it dry. To do this, simply remove the valve attachments (SPEED VENTS) at the upper end of the air tubes.
At this point it should be mentioned that swimming aids by no means offer reliable protection against drowning - if at all, only the classic and certified life jacket can do that, which, for example, keeps you afloat in the right position even if you faint.
We strongly advise against teaching yourself to swim, it would be far too risky. There are swimming courses for adults all over Germany and there are swimming coaches who have been specially trained to teach adults.
If you are interested, simply find out more about your region on the internet, we are sure that you will find the right swimming course for you this way. Make sure that the courses take place for a maximum of 10 people at the same time, as this is the only way to ensure the necessary attention from the swimming coach.
No matter how, where and with which aids you want to learn to swim, optimize your swimming technique or simply make it easier for you to swim, we congratulate you on your decision and wish you every success!