“Similarities between DragSox® and the 2014 Olympics Speedskating Suit” (AquaVolo.com)

Originally from AquaVolo.com

AquaVolo DragSox® vs. Speedskating Suit-1

The two images above represent two tools for two very different sports. The image on the left, DragSox®, is a power training tool for swimmers. The image on the right is a suit for the 2014 Olympics speed skaters. The purpose of these tools is diametric—DragSox are designed to slow the swimmer down while the speedskating suit is supposed to make the skater go faster. What they have in common is that they both use mesh. DragSox are entirely made out of mesh; the speedskating suit has a strip of mesh on the back for a “cooling effect.”

In order for us to understand the similarities between DragSox and the speedskating suit depicted on the image above, we have to quickly refresh our memory of fluid dynamics. (Please bare with me, it’s only three sentences!)

Fluid dynamics is an area of physics that studies how fluids behave when they are in motion. Both liquids and gases are considered fluids. The laws that apply to fluids apply to both, liquids and gases.

Now, let’s look at what happens when DragSox are used in the water:
One reason DragSox are so effective at creating drag in the water is due to the properties of mesh. As the swimmer moves through the water, mesh greatly disturbs the laminar movement of water, causes turbulence, and creates an area of low pressure directly behind the swimmer. This area of low pressure essentially sucks the swimmer backward. To overcome this suction, the swimmer has to exert more energy, which is the intended purpose of DragSox.

Since we already know that the physical laws that apply to liquids also apply to gases, we can predict that what happens to the moving swimmer with DragSox in the water will happen to the moving skater with a mesh suit in the air—the mesh on the back of the suit will disturb the laminar movement of air, cause turbulence, and create an area of low pressure which will create drag. In fact, this is exactly what happened during the last winter Olympics in Sochi: “it seemed that the vents on rear of the suit, put in to allow heat to escape, actually allow air to enter – in turn creating drag.” (1)

There were probably other reasons that would explain the slow times of the US Speedskaters in Sochi, but having a mesh strip on the back of the speed suit definitely contributed. All the designers needed was a quick review of fluid dynamics and this could have been prevented. Maybe now they can recycle those speedy speedskating suits and use them for drag-creating training tools!

References

Speedskating Report Finds Several Sochi Mistakes
U.S. speedskaters cleared to change suits

——
(1) http://gizmodo.com/report-yep-under-armours-suits-did-slow-u-s-speedska-1570744914

 

 

Brief History of Resistance Training Gear for Swimmers

From my post on Aquavolo.com:

From the early age of competitive swimming athletes have been using various devices to help them get stronger and faster.  Fins and paddles were probably among the first training devices to be used by swimmers.  Benjamin Franklin, who was an avid swimmer, invented both in the early 18th century (around 1717).

However, in this post I wanted to look at the training gear other than paddles and fins.  In particular, I wanted to see how resistance gear has changed in the last 100 years.  As the title states, this is not an in-depth review but rather a quick overview of the evolution of resistance equipment for swimmers.

In general all swimming resistance gear can be broken into 3 categories:

1. Devices that connect a swimmer to the stationary part of the pool.  For example, a band that connects a swimmer to the start block.

2. Devices that are connected to a swimmer and not connected to the a stationary part of the pool.  In such cases swimmers usually pull something behind them.  For example a parachute, a bucket, etc.

3. Devices that are worn by a swimmer and that allow free swimming.  For example, a drag suit.

The first device I looked at was a “Swimming Apparatus” from 1914.  It was invented by C. Homewood.

read full post

FAQ about DragSox

source: AquaVolo.com

DragSox

What is DragSox™ ?
DragSox is a power training device that is used in the water.

What’s so cool about them?
The beauty of DragSox is in their simplicity and effectiveness.  They add significant amount of resistance while being completely noninvasive.  Its totally unique design allows the swimmer to maintain natural body position and balance with complete freedom of movement.  Also, they look cool.  When you are in the pool, everyone will want to talk to you.

How can DragSox  benefit me?
DragSox add a lot of resistance in the water.  To overcome that resistance, your muscles have to work harder.  The harder your muscles work, the stronger and more powerful they will become.  If you want to get stronger, more powerful and faster, DragSox are for you.

Who are DragSox for?
Anyone who wants to improve physically (get stronger, more powerful and faster) and doesn’t mind hard work.

Who are DragSox NOT for?
If you don’t want to work hard or have the patience to see improvements over time then DragSox are not for you.

Who uses DragSox?
A wide range of people use them: from elite swimmers to lap swimmers who only recently learned how to swim, from age group swimmers to people who could be their grand-parents,  swimmers, runners, triathletes and other athletes who do cross-training in the water.

What strokes can DragSox be used in?
DragSox can be used in all four strokes.

Can I use DragSox with fins?
Yes.  There is an opening at the bottom that was designed specifically for this purpose.

What else are DragSox good for?
It is an excellent training device for water running.  Check this video to see what it looks like:http://aquavolo.com/video/water-running-dragsox™.
You can use them for water aerobics (in the deep end).
Some people use them for rehabilitation after an injure (talk your physician first).
If you come up with some clever use for DragSox, let us know and we’ll add it here.

Are DragSox similar to parachute?
They are similar only in the way that both create resistance.  Swimming with parachute, however, is extremely annoying because you’re always kicking the strap.  This is a common complaint.   We, for once, have never met a swimmer who wouldn’t complain about parachute (and we know a lot of swimmers!).  In fact, this dislike of swimming with a parachute was one of the reasons why we invented DragSox.  (here is a related post: http://aquavolo.com/journal/article/2011/01/swimming-parachute-vs-dragsox)

Are DragSox similar to fins?
No.  They are the opposite of fins.  Please read this post for more information:
http://aquavolo.com/journal/article/2011/01/dragsox-are-opposite-fins

Are DragSox similar to Power tower?
Please read this post: http://aquavolo.com/journal/article/2011/03/dragsox™-vs-power-tower

What do you really think about DragSox?
DragSox is the best power training device on the market for swimmers!  Seriously, as swimmers, we have tried all kinds of power training gear and none of it is as effective and fun to use as DragSox.  We have been training with DragSox for a while now but still,  every time we do a workout with them, we get an unbelievable sense of satisfaction!

Where can I buy DragSox?
You can buy them from our online store: http://aquavolo.bigcartel.com/

 

Kick Hard Swim Fast!

Open water endurance workout with DragSox™ (part 2)

Here is a good workout for those who are training for open water season and/or a triathlon:

As I am building up my endurance for the upcoming open water season in May, I wanted to avoid doing long boring sets. This isn’t always easy to achieve…. until DragSox™ came along. Swimming short distances with DragSox mixed with medium distances without equipment is the perfect recipe for an awesome endurance workout. If swimming 10 x 400 doesn’t sound appealing to you, you’ll be thrilled with the workout below. The NE sets will feel easy and relaxing, while the DragSox sets will work your strength & power.

Go here to read the whole workout.

Swimming with Parachute vs. DragSox (repost from AquaVolo)

Parachute was one of the things I thought about when I was developing DragSox.  I liked the drag that parachute created but there were two things that I really didn’t like about them.  One was that my foot was constantly hitting the strap, making it hard to get into the rhythm of the stroke.  This is a common complaint.  Second is that because the parachute is attached to the waist, it slightly pulls you down, changing your body position.  The change in body position is not huge but it is there.  I wanted  a device that would give benefits of the drag with out the drawbacks I listed.  I wanted something that I could move freely in and keep my natural body position.  DragSox gives all of these.

A few months ago, I tried modifying a parachute to attach to the ankles.  Read more

Our Sunday Swim Workout | Stations

WU + drills = 30 min

This is a slightly modified version of Dave Marsh‘s set* (we used DragSox instead of Power Tower and adjusted some intervals).

Repeat each station twice.

1) 4 x 25 swim with DragSox DPS @1:00 + 4 x 25 all out swim no equipment @ 0:20

2) 4x stretch cord kicks (kick till you stop moving and then kick for another 5 seconds) + 4x 25 kick @ 0:30; descend 1-4 to all out.

3) 5 x pullouts with DragSox + 25 sprint swim with DragSox; 0:20 rest + 25 sprint swim with fins; 0:40 rest + 25 sprint swim no equipment.

4) 4x stretch cord kicks + 10 seconds, 4×25 kick with vertical board (VB) 12.5 then easy for 12.5 @0:50.

5) 3x quadruple cord kick outs, 3x quadruple cord kick outs plus two strokes, 4x double cord kick outs without breath in between.

Cool down

more workouts here.

* (you can find other excellent Dave Marsh’s workouts on Joel Elber’s blog)