From falling behind to fin-tastic
Trying to keep up with your swim buddy during your Swimfit pool sessions can be frustrating and many people assume that using a pair of fins will help them to build leg strength and get that extra edge.
While this may be true to some extent, strangely enough fins are actually more beneficial for a fitness or competitive swimmer wanting to improve their upper body technique!
The main benefits of using fins actually have little to do with working your legs. Many competitive swimmers or those trying to improve their technique will use fins to increase their speed through the water, helping to improve their posture and keeping their hips high in the water.
Using fins in this way helps you to focus on a particular aspect of your stroke such as hand position. This is because your stroke rate is lowered, giving you more time to concentrate on stroke drills.
More Intense Cardio
Fins don’t have to be used to improve technique; they can also help a Swimfitter increase their cardiovascular conditioning and fitness. If you are finding your Swimfit regime is not challenging you enough, using a set of fins can give you a much more intense workout.
The more muscles you use in the body, the greater cardiovascular benefits are felt. This is the reason swimming, rowing and cross country skiing are considered some of the most demanding sports.
Adding fins to the equation for a portion of your training means that there is an increased load and greater resistance in the water. This leads to a much more challenging workout with even more fitness benefits.
Those who have not been in the pool for a while might find that their ankles have lost a little flexibility, which stops their ankles from flexing properly when they kick. This is something that new swimmers also struggle with.
Good swimming technique involves hyper-extending your ankles leaving your toes in line with your shin. This increases the resistance in the water and increases propulsion.
If you are struggling to get a good kick technique during your Swimfit sessions, using fins regularly for a small portion of your workout can help to increase your ankle flexibility.
Always Bear in Mind...
Although fins do have many benefits to improving swimming technique and providing a more intense workout, always remember that overuse of fins can, in some cases, be detrimental to your swimming training.
Also be mindful that while most pools are absolutely fine with swimmers using fins, this is not always the case. It is always a good idea to contact your regular Swimfit pool to see what their policy is before you turn up toting your new set of fins!