How to Apply and Use FAST Paddles (Patent Pending)
To Build Your Sprint Stoke and Power Instantly
Friederang Advanced Sprinter's Training (FAST) Paddles are three
sizes of large shaped and bent aluminum paddles designed by coach and
biomechanist Steve Friederang. FAST Paddles also have buoys at the
arm to lift your elbow into the perfect sprinting "catch". Each
paddle forces you to catch instantly like Cielo and Bousquet and to
connect with your core as well as your arm. This connection builds
power and the rhythm necessary to win against modern sprinters.
Better for rhythm. Better for balance. Better to build power. FAST
Paddles: the world's first and only pure sprint paddles.
How to Apply:
• FAST paddles have two ends -- the front, which is bent, requiring
you to catch and hold the water as soon as your middle finger enters,
and the back, where you choose how many packets of closed-cell foam
you use to ensure you are catching with an early vertical forearm
(EVF) and maintaining a high elbow throughout your stroke.
• Place the velcro strap through the slits in the back of the FAST
paddles and use the velcro on the each packet to hold it in place.
Try one first and use the second one if you need it to keep your
elbow higher on entry and throughout the stroke.
• Connect the finger/hand strap with the tubing. Find the one that
is best for you. Most people like the tubes to cross and to use
• Do the same with the other Paddle for the other hand. The wrist
band is optional, but most people will choose to use it.
• All three sizes of FAST Paddles are larger than flat paddles but,
surprisingly, they are often less stressful on your shoulders because
they are almost impossible to use without engaging your whole body.
Engaging your core and pushing all the way through the stroke is the
very best way to maintain healthy shoulders. Instead of laying the
arm out flat on the water and pushing down, you catch with your whole
arm and engage your legs, chest, lats, and core immediately. If you
have unbalanced shoulders use your Tropical Penguin isokinetics to
measure the balance before sprinting all out. Need help? Call us. And
make sure you are professionally coached.
FAST Paddles help you align with the principles of summation of
forces and specific adaptation to imposed demands (the SAID
principle). They are like lifting weights in the water and the three
sizes and variable buoys also align with the principles of overload
and progression. You will probably use them no more than three times
a week for 10 to 20 laps a practice with four to eight times the rest
as the effort.
Summation of forces: This principle helps keep your shoulders
healthy and your core improving. It also helps you gain and maintain
the rhythm and power of championship sprinting.
You will want to keep an eye on your cadence training once you take
off the FAST Paddles, but a number of college sprinters are using
them like baseball players use weighted bats before coming to the
block to prepare them to feel the quick catch and powerful engagement
of the whole body.
FAST Paddles are challenging so, just as with weights, etc., if your
shoulders hurt use them carefully under the direction of a great
stroke coach and consult your doctor if you are recovering from
injuries. And give your body plenty of time to recover -- another
basic principle of reaching your potential!
How to use:
For Everyone: Adjust the finger tubing to your liking. Warm up
sufficiently as you would before any weight workout. Then swim each
bout all out! No more than one lap at a time. Count strokes and time
your efforts. Keep them in your Cool Coach 4 or Hy-Tek software or
just in your log book. Set goals and, once you achieve them, see how
you do with other sizes of FAST Paddles on without paddles.
For Advanced Sprinters:
• FAST Paddles encourage power and instant catch. So forget your
habit of gliding or skating your arm forward when your fingers enter
the water with paddles not designed for sprinters. Rotate before you
catch. This will provide a great advantage over sprinters who are
sliding and gliding in their pull sets.
• Focus on "connecting" more than pulling. Rotate into an ideal
position and feel for your ideal center from front to back as well as
from side to side.
• TURNS: We don't encourage turns. You are building power for
sprints. You will need our Long Fast Distance (LFD) paddles for
longer training swims.
• ADVANCED Sprinters should use the larger FAST paddles to build
specific strength and power and progress to the shorter ones when you
need more turnover. For many, this means to use the larger paddles at
the beginning of training cycles and the shorter ones closer to taper.
If your paddles seem to want to come off at the end of your stroke
you need to make sure to push all the way through before releasing
into the recovery.
Other strokes: Backstrokers love our paddles combined with our RANG
Pull buoys because they are forced to rotate. Some very strong well-
balanced flyers also use FAST Paddles, again, under the careful
direction of a professional coach.
For New Sprinters and those who simply need more power for longer
• Reverse the instructions for progression. Use the smaller FAST
Paddles after warming up.
• As your season or career and your strength progresses, you may
move take the challenge of your larger FAST paddles.
• FAST Paddles, used properly, encourage an early vertical forearm
catch, very fast front-end swimming, engaging of your core, and great
rotation. You should feel as if you are swimming or pulling down-
hill, and underwater video should show your hips in exactly the
correct position allowing you to knife through the water even as you
develop power and endurance in the right muscles.
• We discourage the use of "knee squeeze" pull buoys since they
tend to force you to lay flat on the water and keep your core from
engaging. We'd encourage you to use our Independent pull-buoys called
RANGS™ since they allow you to rotate and engage your core even if
you are conserving your legs for upper body development.