Swim fins are a vital training tool for all swimmers, increasing ankle flexibility and strength for a stronger and more efficient kick.
Swimming is a fantastic way for everyone to keep active and have fun. Whether you’re fortunate enough to have a pool, enjoy the lake, or prefer a public pool, swimming is tons of fun for everyone. Swim training fins have many useful benefits, including use in physical rehabilitation, aqua aerobics, fitness swimming and competitive training. Using a smaller training fin provides added resistance without overloading the muscles joints, ligaments and tendons used in water exercise. Many fitness and competitive swimmers use long scuba/snorkel fins as a training aid. Because the center of effort in a long fin is forward of the foot, the excessive blade area and displaced center of effort may cause early fatigue or cramping, and encourage a “pedaling” motion different than that used in a flutter kick. The concept of the short training fin was conceived to bring the center of effort back to the foot, increase leg strength, and allow a swimmer to train with a kicking motion that is the same as the flutter kick without a fin.
How to Use Swimming Fins
The basic ways in which a person uses swimming fins varies depending on the ultimate purpose of the fins. In competitive swimming, they are training tools, while in watersports, such as SCUBA and snorkeling, they are essential pieces of equipment.
Using Swimming Fins for Competitive Training
There are several benefits to training for competitive swimming with swim fins. In terms of strength, regular use of fins increases ankle flexibility and leg power. In addition, by aiding swimmers in achieving the critical six-beat kick necessary for race pace freestyle and backstroke, swim fins improve arm speed and cardiovascular strength. This is particularly useful for swimmers who need to improve the kick portion of their stroke.
- Activity: Different activities require different fins. What may be ideal for swimming may not work for diving.
- Expertise: Some types of fins may be perfect for experts, but very uncomfortable for beginners.
- Location: While some could be suitable for tropical areas, they may not be appropriate in cold regions where thermal protection is necessary.
- Comfort: What is the point of buying a swim fin if you are not comfortable using it? It is supposed to improve your performance. Certain styles may not be comfortable for some people.
Different Types of Swim Fins:
They are suitable for warm to temperate waters, which don’t need thermal protection. Since they completely cover your feet, no added gear-like boots are required. This makes them less expensive and easy to carry for trips. The material is usually soft, and the fins are comfortable. But there can be a problem for large sizes as it does not have any adjustable gear.
It is ideal for cold waters, as the boots worn inside provide extra insulation. An adjustable belt makes it very comfortable and convenient and it is also easy to remove. The only con is that it is more expensive since you have to buy the boots.
This type is perfect for beginners as it is more flexible and comfortable. Movement is faster, but it can be a problem while turning back. Since this swim fin is lightweight, many swimmers don’t feel the weight, which can be a drawback. As the fins are split, the resistance is less, which makes it easier to swim. It is ideal for new divers and snorkeling.
This type is stiff, offers more resistance, and gives a good sense of direction. A little extra effort is required, but the speed gained by using these fins is more. The stiffness may be too much for some divers and can cause leg cramps. A paddle blade is ideal for swimming in strong currents or diving in commercial spots.