Learning To Swim With Fins

Fins, otherwise known as flippers, are an essential tool for improving performance and technique. Many swimmers find that they often underutilise their leg power, as their kick is the weakest element of their technique. Fins are the number one way to improve this issue, along with a number of other common problems! Keep reading to find out how to swim with fins, and how to get the most out of them.

1. Pick the right fins

Fins come in many different shapes and sizes – but the main considerations are the length and flexibility. While long fins are great for snorkelling and diving, shorter fins are better adapted to general swimming and training. Ensure your fins fit snugly around the heel, so that there is no chance of them coming off. It can be uncomfortable if they are too tight, so it may be advisable to thoroughly test your fins before you extensively swim.

2. Start Slow

The additional strain on your ankles and legs may take some getting used to, so there is no need to rush. We recommend starting with small distances, and building up slowly to an entire session.

3. Technique!

The aim of the game is to improve your technique and swimming style. So, it goes without saying that you need to ensure your technique is strong while using fins. A proper kick takes the form of a ‘flutter’ – it is short and quick. Your legs are basically straight, and the power is generated from your hips. Remember to point your toes! The fins add resistance to the motion, so that you can build muscle and technique.

4. Don’t forget your stroke

Swimming with fins can allow you to focus on specific areas of your stroke technique, as the added power from the legs makes it easier to identify issues. Make sure you don’t completely forget your arms, as this happens often when using fins. Instead, take careful notice of the movement arc formed by your stroke, and ensure you are making use of every opportunity for speed.

5. Take them off

Many swimmers find it easy to fall into a habit of regularly using fins. While they are a great tool, it is important not to rely on them. Vary your sessions by using other tools such as kickboards and pull buoys, and ensure you are equipment free for at least 50% of your session