Need some help getting your tech suit on? Not sure what’s the best way to put on a tech suit? Don’t worry! In today’s article, we will cover how to put on a tech suit in a few simple steps so that you are ready to dish out some fast times in the pool next time you race.
A tech suit, also commonly known as a technical racing suit, is a highly engineered compression swimsuit designed to help you swim faster. Tech suits enhance swimming performance by improving your glide, stroke rate, body position, and blood circulation while also reducing fatigue. These suits are made using innovative fabrics and technology.
That said, tech suits are notorious for 3 main things- being expensive, not being the most durable, and of course- being a complete pain to put on. As just mentioned they also feature a ton of benefits that can help you to swim faster and crush that old PB, win a gold medal, qualify for a big swim meet, or even break that age-old meet record.
How to Put on a Tech Suit in 13 Simple Steps
How to put on a tech suit-
- Make sure you are completely dry.
- Insert one foot at a time.
- Pull the tech suit up to just under your knees.
- Ease the suit over your kneecaps.
- Make sure the suit is aligned correctly.
- Slowly pull the suit over your upper legs.
- Ease the tech suit over your hips.
- Pull the suit up over your torso stopping just below your armpits.
- Slowly pull each strap over your shoulder.
- Flip down your leg grips and test your range of motion.
1. Make Sure You Are Completely Dry
The first step in putting on your tech suit is going to be to make sure that you are 100% dry. Most swimmers will usually put on their tech suits after warming up and might thus still be a little wet after getting out of the pool.
Trying to put on a tech suit while your skin is still a little wet or has some moisture on it is significantly harder than putting the suit on when you are completely dry as the fabric of the suit will constantly be sticking to your skin, making the already tight tech suit harder to pull up over your body.
So before you even attempt putting on your tech suit, make sure to thoroughly dry yourself off.
2. Insert One Foot at a Time
The next step is to start putting on the actual tech suit. You are going to start by inserting one foot at a time through the neck of the suit. You can flip the leg grips up to make it easier to slide your foot through the fabric. Although, I usually just flip them up after I’ve actually inserted each foot.
If your tech suit is really tight you can use some plastic bags on your feet to initially help slide the fabric over and onto your body.
3. Pull the Tech Suit Up, Stopping Just Below Your Knees
After you’ve got the suit over your feet it should be sitting roughly on your shins. If you haven’t already, this is the time to flip up the leg grippers on the suit to make sure you can effectively pull the fabric up over your body. If you do not flip the leg grippers up you’re going to have a really hard time putting on your tech suit.
Slowly pull the fabric up 1 or 2 cm at a time until the suit is sitting just below your knee caps. Make sure not to pinch it with your fingernails as this can result in tearing, rather use your fingertips to pull the fabric up.
Pro Tip: The easiest way to pull the fabric up is by alternating each leg. For example, pull the fabric 1-2 cm up on your right leg, then switch to your left leg and do the same. Repeat this process until the suit is sitting just below your knees.
4. Ease the Tech Suit Over Your Knees
Once the suit is sitting under your knees, take a few seconds to rest. Stand up and stretch out. Then bend back down and continue slowly pulling the fabric up until each leg gripper has gone over your kneecaps, now securely sitting on top of your upper legs.
5. Make Sure Your Tech Suit Is Aligned Properly
Before continuing you need to make sure that your tech suit is aligned properly to ensure a good fit and range of motion in the water. This will also make sure that your tech suit doesn’t accidentally tear due to more strain on certain areas of the fabric.
To make sure the tech suit is aligned correctly, you should check that each leg gripper is sitting roughly at the same height on your upper legs above your knee caps. Also check that the seams are aligned. For example, the taping should run as intended and not be twisted around your body.
6. Slowly Pull the Tech Suit Up Over Your Upper Legs
Once you are sure everything is aligned correctly, you are in the clear to continue putting on your tech suit. Keep slowly pulling the fabric up over your upper legs at small increments. Remember to alternate between each leg as you work the fabric of the suit up over your skin.
Keep going, stopping at the top of your upper legs, just before the hips.
7. Ease the Tech Suit Over Your Hips
For the next step it is very important that you take your time as this is usually the part where many swimmers tear the fabric of their suit because they are impatient.
You want to very slowly ease the tech suit over your hips. Remember to use your fingertips to grip the fabric and slowly pull it up.
Avoid gripping the waistband of your suit to pull it over your hips as this can cause a tear. Make sure that you are grabbing and pulling the fabric just below the waistband.
For the men’s jammer, this is going to be the final step in actually putting on your tech suit. Once you’ve completed this step, you can skip straight to step 11 of this guide. For women’s suits, on the other hand- well, you guys have a little bit more work ahead.
8. Ladies- Keep Going. Pull the Tech Suit Over Your Torso
Getting the tech suit over your hips is probably going to be the hardest part. Once it’s over, it is basically downhill until from there until the suit is finally on and fitted correctly.
After you have successfully pulled the suit over your hips, you can continue working the fabric up over your torso, stopping just below the chest. Make sure that you are evenly pulling the fabric up across your body to avoid unnecessary strain on the suit.
9. Pull the Suit Up Over Your Chest
This is another harder part of putting your tech suit on, but should be much easier than getting the tech suit over your hips. Grab the fabric lightly and ease it over your chest stopping when the suit is sitting just below your armpits.
10. Lightly Pull Each Strap Over Your Shoulders
Once the tech suit is over your chest you can put on the shoulder straps. You should make sure that the tech suit is sitting as high as possible over your chest in order to avoid strain on the fabric and shoulder straps. This will also make it a bit easier to get the shoulder straps on.
When putting on your shoulder straps it is important to do each arm separately. Put one arm through the armhole and lightly try to pull the strap over your shoulder. This is most likely going to require some maneuvering until the strap is on since tech suits tend to be quite compressive.
Take your time putting on the first strap and then continue to the other strap. You can also ask a teammate to help you pull the straps up and over your shoulders. Once the straps are on, you are basically done putting on your tech suit- just a few quick checks left.
11. Do a Tech Suit Alignment Check
If you did your alignment check correctly the first time around this step shouldn’t be necessary. Nevertheless, quickly take some time again to check that all the seams and taping is aligned correctly for optimal performance. Also make sure that each leg gripper is sitting at the same height.
12. Flip the Leg Grippers Down
To complete the whole fitting process, flip your leg grippers down. We flipped them up earlier to get the suit on easier, but now they are going to play a vital role in keeping your suit in place and ensuring no water enters your suit when swimming.
Personally, I only flip these down before my race though since they can be quite tight. The choice is yours. If you do keep them flipped up just remember to flip them down before diving into the water to race.
13. Check Your Range of Motion
Once the suit is on and fully fitted move around a bit to check that you can reach full range of motion and that nothing is feeling restrictive. Do some arm and leg swings, squat down, etc.
This step is just to make sure that you aren’t going to run into any issues while racing. Usually, if your suit has been used a few times this step isn’t necessary as the fabric will be stretched out a bit.
If, however, you have a new suit you will need to move around for the fabric to stretch and adapt to your body size, ensuring optimal range of motion in the water.
Related: What Are Tech Suits For Swimming?- The Swimmer’s Guide.
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Some Quick Tips to Help You Put on Your Tech Suit
- Go to the bathroom before putting on your tech suit: Getting your tech suit on is quite the task and there is nothing worse than just getting it on and then having to take it off because you need to use the restroom. Make sure to go beforehand, even if you don’t feel like it.
- Use some gloves: If you are worried about accidentally tearing your tech suit, you can use some gloves when pulling the fabric up. Standard latex gloves should work well, but you can also use some thinner fabric style gloves for added protection.
- Make sure your fingernails are trimmed: If you don’t want to use gloves, at least give your fingernails a trim before putting on your tech suit. This will ensure that you don’t accidentally tear the fabric.
- Use some baby powder to get your tech suit on: Something I personally like to do is to use some baby powder on my skin when putting on a tech suit. Not only is this going to remove any moisture that may be left over after drying off with a towel, but it will also make your skin smoother allowing the fabric to slide over your skin.
- Have a teammate on standby: Sometimes it can be a pain to get the suit over your hips or shoulders. If you have a close teammate you can ask them to help you to pull the suit over your hips or to help you with pulling the straps over your shoulders.
- Find a private area to put your tech suit on: Putting on a tech suit can be an exhausting task and sometimes you’ll have to take a bit of a break. Having a private corner to put on your tech suit will give you some time to sit down before continuing on.
Related: Do Tech Suits Make A Difference?- Here’s What Science Says.
How Tight Should a Tech Suit Be?
Generally, tech suits should fit quite tight, but it’s also important that they aren’t overly tight. Your tech suit should provide even compression all across your body without restricting range of motion. Ideally, when you pinch the fabric of your suit, you shouldn’t be able to lift it up more than half an inch.
For more information on this, read my article on how tight should a tech suit be.
Making sure that your tech suit is the right size is an important aspect, as it can contribute to the performance of the suit. A tech suit that is too tight and restricts your range of motion is no use as it will only harm your performance.
You shouldn’t have to worry about the suit fitting tightly, though, as long as it feels like range of motion and blood flow isn’t restricted. It is also important to remember that tech suits stretch out, so if it feels a bit tight the first wear around, just give it some time in the water to stretch and adapt to your body size. This was the case with my TYR Venzo tech suit.
Related: Best Tech Suits For Swimming- The Expert Guide
Do You Wear Anything Under a Tech Suit?
In short- No, you shouldn’t be wearing anything under a tech suit. Wearing underwear or any other swimsuit under your tech suit is prohibited in swimming and can get you disqualified. The reason is that it’s believed that wearing an additional swimsuit underneath can help increase buoyancy and reduce drag.
This, however, shouldn’t be a problem for most swimmers. Tech suits generally have an additional layer of fabric on the interior to ensure that the suit fits comfortably in all of the right areas and that your tech suit isn’t see-through.
Related: Best Tech Suits For Breaststroke Swimmers.
How to Take Off a Tech Suit
Taking a tech suit off is much easier than getting it on. It is, however, important that you know the basics in order to ensure you do it correctly and avoid damaging your tech suit.
Here’s how to take off a tech suit-
- Slowly peel the fabric off your body, leaving the suit inside out as you go.
- Avoid using fingernails when pulling off your suit.
- Make sure to ease out of the suit on wider areas such as the chest and hips.
- Slowly remove the tech suit by pulling one foot out at a time.
- Once you are done, flip the suit back out.
How Long Does It Take to Put on a Tech Suit?
As a general guideline, most men’s tech suits should be able to be put on in about 15-20 minutes tops. Women’s tech suits can take quite a bit longer as the suit covers a much larger surface area and also features shoulder straps. Women’s tech suits can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes to get on.
Speaking about time, if you want to know how much time a tech suit can help you drop, consider checking out this article.
How to Take Care of Your Tech Suit
Tech suits are both expensive and have limited durability. Taking good care of your suit will, however, help to significantly increase its lifespan, ensuring you get the full benefit.
Here are a few quick tips to take care of your tech suit to make it last longer-
- Rinse your tech suit out with cold water when you are done racing for the day.
- Do not hang your tech suit up, leave it on a flat surface.
- Allow your tech suit to air dry, do not put it in the sun or dryer.
- Don’t try to put on a wet tech suit.
- Do not dry clean your tech suit.
- Do not iron your tech suit.
- Wear shorts or clothing over your tech suit when not in the water.
- Avoid swimming over the lane ropes with your tech suit on; rather, go underneath.
For some more tips, consider checking out these articles-
Putting on a Tech Suit Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated
Tech suits are definitely one of the coolest pieces of swimming equipment out there. That said, they can be quite hard to put on and can easily tear if done incorrectly. That’s why it’s important to know how to put on a tech suit properly. That said, I hope this guide helped you to get your tech suit on so that you are ready to swim fast.