simplyswim.com £4 A rubber band that straps around your ankles so that you can’t kick or move your legs. Benefits: Bands are used by intermediate and advanced swimmers to add resistance to the front crawl stroke. They can be hard work and unless you get your stroke right, your feet sink straight to the bottom of the pool. Tip: If you want to increase your stroke rate, a band is one way of forcing you to do this. For many swimmers, increasing the stroke rate is the only way to stay afloat with a band.