Over the past few weeks we have gone on a bit of a tech suit tangent.
From covering a list of ways to make your tech suit last, to covering the hot-button topic of what age tech suits are appropriate for, we have been taking a deeper look at racing suits and how to make the most of ’em.
How to contort yourself into an impossibly small piece of fabric.
Here are ten tips for how to put a tech suit on.
1. Put it on when you are dry. If there is one thing you should pick up from this little list it’s this—putting on a tech suit or jammer when you and the suit are both dry makes things at least 55% easier*. The suit will stick to your damp skin when you try to pull it over your skin, causing el stretching of that delicate fabric. Keep that suit nice and dry, and towel off completely before you put it on.
*this is a made-up stat, but it feels legit, so I’m rolling with it.
2. Budget your time accordingly. Some swimmers can take up to 30-45 minutes to slip into one of these things. (Which begs another question—are you risking exhausting yourself before the beginning of your race by spending that long wrestling into a suit?) Knowing that it’s going to take some time to get suited up make sure that you give yourself plenty of time before the beginning of your race.
3. Don’t yank. Seems obvious, but yanking on the suit as you pull it on will not extend the life of the fabric. Roll up the suit, step into it, and grab it by the palms of your hands. Sprinters, who prefer exceptional compression with their tech suits, need to be especially careful (See also: The Best Tech Suits for Sprinters).
4. Use your hand, not your fingers or fingers tips to pull on the surface of the suit. Nails are sharp. Don’t use your talons to pull on the suit.
5. Bit by bit. Putting on a tech suit will test your patience. It’s not like your trusty old drag suit that you can slide in and out of while striding at full pace across the locker room. Move the suit bit by bit up your legs, making sure to keep the excess fabric towards the top. (Even harder when you are doing the deck change version of this struggle-dance, wrapped only in your favorite swimming towel.)
6. Use the grip strips. Many tech suits have rubber grip strips along the legs of the suit. The TYR Avictor, as shown below, has these fancy little rubber linings at the bottoms and along the waist line. Turn them inside out as they will give you something to gently pull on, and will help you slide into the suit a little easier.
7. Pull the suit over your butt. As you get the suit over your legs, inching your way up, pulling on the thicker portions of the fabric, get the suit over your butt. Do the requisite hop or two to get your butt settled into the bottom of the suit. For the men in the crowd, they can skip ahead. For the ladies, lasso your arms through the straps, one at a time. Wiggle and squirm as needed.
- See also: 7 Best Men’s Tech Suits for Racing Fast
8. ROM check. At this point, the suit should be good to go, and you should be ready to rock and roll in the pool. Give yourself a couple leg and arm swings to make sure that ya got full range of motion everywhere you need it.
9. Mirror check. Hit a local mirror to insure that all tags are tucked in, the rubber grip strips are flipped back over, and that the compression panels and seams are lined up where they should be. We looking good? Good.
10. Unleash chlorinated fury. Now that you are all suited up, you’ve pulled on your favorite jammer or the best kneeskin you could find, it’s time to grab your lane assignment, get some last minute pearls of wisdom from your coach, and go forth and punch that best time in the face.
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5 Best Budget Tech Suits for Racing Fast. You can get a lot of the premium racing benefits of tech suits without having to break the bank. Here’s a look at the best cheap tech suits on the market right now.