This week, I want to discuss my top three reasons for adding SWIM FINS to your arsenal of pool toys.
1. Increasing your strength and endurance: fins make you swim faster because you have the extension of the fin to push more water. They’ll also allow you to kick and swim longer, which builds your swimming endurance.
Fins also engage the hamstrings, glutes and lower back muscles (during the up-kick) and this is when you’re building strength in your legs! You’re engaging more muscles when you’re using fins.
2. Fins can help you improve your kick technique: You may be one of those swimmers that kicks uselessly at the water without fins or, you’re just using your legs to balance out your stroke. Fins can help you improve your flutter kick (which should be a narrow, short and fast kick). Fins help you focus on keeping your legs straight and work on kicking from the hips, which give you the most power.
3. Fins can help you improve your stroke technique: With fins, you can kick effectively while performing different stroke drills, like the one-arm stroke drill. This drill can be very difficult on its own, but adding fins helps you swim at your normal speed so you can focus on the reach, catch and pull.
I ask the athletes that I work for to buy fins that have a longer blade. (Most websites have plenty of good options for longer blade fins.) I want athletes to use the fins as tools and the shorter fins don’t provide enough propulsion to aid in the three reasons cited above.
Most fins aren’t expensive and you can pick up a good pair for less than $30 (I have only owned one pair of fins in the thirteen years that I’ve been using them). Give your fins a try! Happy swimming!
Maria Netherland is a Northwest Florida-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Endurance and Youth & Juniors Certified Coach as well as a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Performance Enhancement Specialist. Coach Maria loves working for athletes of all abilities, military athletes, and new triathletes as they pursue their goals. Maria is a veteran of the US Army and a United States Military Academy at West Point graduate. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.