Looking to improve your kick strength, ankle flexibility, body position, and let’s face it…just go faster during a swim practice? This is where swimming with fins or flippers can help! Like flowers, fins come in all different shapes, colors and sizes. Fins of a shorter variety like Zoomers help you add a bit more power to your kick, while allowing you to stick closer to the regular paddling foot speed you have sans fins. The shorter fins are also less stressful on the ankle due to a more flexible fin blade, and are usually seen as more comfortable when you first start using fins. I used these when doing drills when I first started swimming and still use them occasionally.
Medium to long bladed fins offer much more power, but potentially do not match your natural foot speed. They are great for working on dolphin kick drills, which I always try and incorporate in my weekly training regime. Using these fins helps you really feel you leg movements as you swim. This is especially true for the bigger fins which add emphasis to your kick and do a great job in amplifying it. My go to fins are medium ones called TYR’s Flex Fins.
No matter what kind of fin you prefer, using them helps you improve ankle flexibility by placing extra force on your ankle with each kick. Additionally, the extra ankle flexibility you will gain will result in a more efficient kick and will also allow you to focus on other parts of your overall swimming technique, such as your stroke or pull.
In summary, fins can help you become a better and a more efficient swimmer. But remember: only use fins as a training aid to avoid coming down with Swimmer’s CFD (Chronic Fins Dependency)! They offer quite a bit and will definitely help you become a better, faster swimmer BUT they should never become a crutch!by