Pull buoys are swimming aids that provide additional buoyancy to the legs. They are to be placed between the legs at the thigh area.


Material and Shape

The material used in making pull buoys are normally closed cell form. Pull buoys actually resembles that of an hour glass, just that it is wider in length. The most common colours that it can be found in is either blue or blue and white.



The purpose of a pull buoy is to support your legs while you practice the various strokes. As your legs are being supported, you can focus on your arm motions while learning the swim stroke. By having your legs supported, you would not need to kick at all. At the most, you will only need to use a small flutter kick (resembling the kind used in freestyle) to propel forward.



Along with the advantages, there will definitely be some disadvantages certain individuals faced when using a pull buoy.

Firstly, when using the pull buoy to swim laps with the front crawl, it can cause the body position to be more horizontal in the water with the pull buoy. Thus, it may require your arms to be extended higher than usual. These additional extension can caused strains on the shoulders.

Secondly, with the aid of a pull buoy, your arms actually do lesser work because the more horizontal position helps in reducing drag. Therefore, it doesn’t actually help much in improving your upper body strength.

Thirdly, pull buoys do not help in improving balance. In fact, it might even further deter your balance. Normally swimmers with poor balance will use a pull buoy to compensate for it.

Lastly, take note that it isn’t advisable to hold the pull buoy in front of you while doing kicking sets. The reason is because the pull buoy might keep your arms too close to the water surface and cause your shoulders to fall deeper into the water. This might once again cause strains to your shoulders.



Although there are some disadvantages in using a pull buoy, they can be very useful when learning to swim.

Firstly by placing the larger end of the pull buoy so that it points up while swimming can actually be the best aid in support and stability in the water.

Secondly, if one pull buoy doesn’t provide enough support while learning a swim stroke, simply place another one between your legs. With the aid of the second pull buoy, it should provide more than enough support for your legs.



Pull buoys aid in isolating your arm motions while you learn a swim stroke. However, try to avoiding using it when swimming laps as it can cause problems in balance and strains in the shoulders.


Always remember to swim with care, so that your swimming experience will be an enjoyable and fruitful one.

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