By Jason Heaton
on 8.29.12
Photo by Vasa

Every four years, the Olympics come along and gym memberships go through the roof. After watching chiseled swimmers climb out of the pool night after night, we all think a few laps in the pool will make us look like Lochte. Think again. Olympic swimmers not only put in countless miles in the pool but also hours a day in the gym. Some of these elite swimmers also use a dry land device called the Vasa Trainer Pro ($900).

Remember back in the ‘70s when cross-country skiing was all the rage? OK, maybe you don’t but surely you’ve seen those Nordic Track ski machines in garage sales, all cables and varnished wood. Well, the Vasa Trainer Pro uses similar principles – relying on pulleys and cables and your own body weight to provide resistance in a smooth, natural motion.

Here’s how it works: A (would-be) swimmer lies on the bench and grips the pulley handles and pulls back in any number of ways to mimic different swim stroke, from the front crawl to the butterfly. The design of the Trainer Pro is optimized to accentuate the “catch,” that moment when the arm pulls against the resistance of water in a pool to strengthen key muscle groups and develop good form in a controlled environment. Used correctly, it will improve your in-water performance and build muscle. Whether or not you look good in a Speedo is entirely up to you.

Buy now: $900

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