Swim Fins Can Improve Your Strength and Technique
Although swimming is a low-impact workout, it can also provide high-resistance training when you use the right equipment. Incorporating swim fins into your training can help you increase stamina, build leg strength, and improve technique.
Fins are designed to increase the surface area of swimmers’ feet, which increases resistance in kicking drills and training sets. While wearing fins, just swimming a few laps will require more effort, thereby increasing your stamina in the water. Fins also increase stamina by helping you establish your kick tempo. When you’re wearing fins, you’ll feel and even be able to count your kicking beats. The rhythm and pattern of this kick becomes ingrained in your muscle memory over time.
Build Leg Strength
Using fins can help you focus on working your legs, creating an intense workout. Many swimmers use only their arms to swim and forget about their legs—this causes a swimmer’s pace to slow, reducing the intensity of the swim because the legs are dragging behind instead of being used as an asset to swim faster. Fins can help correct this by engaging your legs, building strength, and conditioning you to use your kick to your advantage once the fins come off. In addition to fins, using a kickboard is a great way to isolate the kick and get a great leg-intensive workout. Use the kickboard to support your upper body so you don’t have to worry about your arms and breathing. Then, you can focus on engaging the core muscles and working on your kick.
Fins help to align your body position to create a streamlined form in the water, which ensures a safe, efficient workout. Fins also help maintain proper body alignment at the surface of the water. With a floating fin, natural buoyancy keeps your feet and legs at the surface, improving horizontal body and kicking position. Fins also help give you a feeling of propulsion. Over-speed training is a great way to get a sense of swimming fast, to simulate the speed you’re trying to attain. Then, when the fins come off, you can try to maintain that velocity.
Fins are an essential product for Masters swimmers. Speedo’s Nemesis Fins, designed using biomimicry and inspired by the pectoral fin of the Humpback Whale, is one of the most highly-lauded swim products on the market. Out of thousands of products tested by the editors at Men’s Journal, the Nemesis Fin was selected as one of the 50 best swim products of 2014. David Marsh, Olympic swim coach and head coach at Swim Mac Carolina has tested the Nemesis fin, and says: “The Nemesis Fin allows fitness swimmers to gain a strong leg workout, while promoting optimal body position throughout their swim set. The comfort of the fin allows swimmers to get a great feel for the water and a great workout at the same time.”
Fins are a training aid often overlooked by swimmers, but they’re great tools that can help swimmers of all levels improve swimming and fitness.
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