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rtodd
October 9th, 2008, 08:13 PM
I rarely use fins at all, but today I did a fly only set with zoomers because I am struggling with learning proper fly. It really gave me a good feel for the timing, rythm and proper body position. Does anyone else fly with zoomers? If so what percentage?

I was thinking of doing at least one set a week with the zoomers.

Does anyone who has completely mastered fly continue to use fins?

pwolf66
October 9th, 2008, 09:45 PM
I rarely use fins at all, but today I did a fly only set with zoomers because I am struggling with learning proper fly. It really gave me a good feel for the timing, rythm and proper body position. Does anyone else fly with zoomers? If so what percentage?

I was thinking of doing at least one set a week with the zoomers.

Does anyone who has completely mastered fly continue to use fins?
I don't think I qualify as completely mastering but....


I've moved from the no fins on fly camp to the at least 50% of Fly with fins camp. This has enabled me to a) do more fly in practice, b) get a better feel for kick timing and c) concentrate on keep ing my head low while breathing.

funkyfish
October 9th, 2008, 10:22 PM
I struggled with learning the correct timing for fly from the 4th grade up till the fall of my senior year in high school, when my coach said "well, our butterflyer graduated last spring, so now you're swimming fly." :shakeshead:

So, I struggled with it for about two weeks, then he had me put some fins on. That first length with the fins on was all it took, I got the rhythm down and everything felt right. I did about 3-400 yds of fly that afternoon, switching from fins to no fins and that was all it took. I took 10 seconds off my 100 time during that season and in retrospect I wish I was made to swim it a few years earlier.

I think it's a good idea to use fins every once in a while to help you swim faster than race pace, might not be bad to help reinforce good kicking/core movement. Can probably save your shoulders as well.

My :2cents:

The Fortress
October 9th, 2008, 11:11 PM
Does anyone who has completely mastered fly continue to use fins?

Don't know quite what you mean by "mastered," but yes, definitely.

Typhoons Coach
October 10th, 2008, 08:23 AM
Fins are a good way to alter what you are doing in your workouts and are a good medium to shock your muscles from the norm. So, yes (though I have certainly not mastered fly).

CreamPuff
October 10th, 2008, 08:25 AM
I'm just reading this thread to see who has mastered fly. :D

Typhoons Coach
October 10th, 2008, 08:32 AM
I'm just reading this thread to see who has mastered fly. :D

LOL...I think there has been a disclaimer on almost everyone's post so far regarding that!

FlyQueen
October 10th, 2008, 08:46 AM
When I first read this my thought was nope, never use fins for fly. I've tried it a few times and felt like it changed my timing and gave me a different (bad) feel. However, I am now thinking I might throw my fins on this weekend and try it. I did some drills yesterday and I know that my kick is suffering right now so maybe this will help.

Treebox
October 10th, 2008, 08:49 AM
I agree with Hulk: fins on fly about 50% of the time. It was a standing joke with the team I used to swim with that you had to be at least 40 to use fins at all.

some_girl
October 10th, 2008, 09:34 AM
Like FlyQueen I find fins screw with my timing, but at the same time it does give me the right feel for breathing. So sometimes, but I'd say less than 1/5 of the fly I swim all year is with fins.

CreamPuff
October 10th, 2008, 11:32 AM
Here's my disclaimer in that I'm no where near mastering fly.

Did want to share what worked for me in regards to fins.

I have a long (size 9.5) foot that is very narrow. Found out that the fins I was using were not the right size for me. Although the appropriate length, they were too wide which prevented me from kicking fully during swim and off the walls. I went down a size and now my fins stay on nicely. Also, the smaller size does not fool with my timing during fly and free swimming. Finally, I learned how to kick better without fins (did this through good old fashioned kick sets - some with shoes). Now, I can kick and swim quite well with fins. Too bad we hardly use them in practices. But when we do, I no longer cringe.

So, back to the initial question. I like fins for short fly or free speed sets - used sparingly.

The Fortress
October 10th, 2008, 11:33 AM
I'm just reading this thread to see who has mastered fly. :D

I'm just reading the thread to see who disses fins. :D

Chris Stevenson
October 10th, 2008, 11:46 AM
When I first read this my thought was nope, never use fins for fly. I've tried it a few times and felt like it changed my timing and gave me a different (bad) feel.

The two reasons I've heard so far are (i) helps with timing and (ii) lets me swim more fly.

They seem pretty reasonable...but my experience mirrors FlyQueen's, it messes up my timing. I wonder why our experiences differ from those of others.

I think the "Nemo" drill (3-4 kicks per stroke) is another option that can both work on timing and allow you to extend your fly range to longer distances (it is tiring but less so than regular fly). But, a warning: the coaches at our age-group club specifically won't let the youngest kids use this drill b/c they think it too hard to master the timing! So maybe it is only a good drill if you already have decent timing in fly.

The range of people's reactions to fins is interesting. I own a pair but if they disappeared from my swimbag I probably wouldn't bother to replace them (I haven't even used them since the summer b/c I only like to use them LCM).

But we had a fast kick set yesterday and one person -- she doesn't have a swimming background but is incredibly fit -- used them and just loved them. She commented that using fins was the first time she felt she had something to "push against" while kicking. I don't have that problem at all (my legs were certainly spent after the set) and I wonder if -- in her case at least -- it was an issue of ankle flexibility.

Chris Stevenson
October 10th, 2008, 11:46 AM
I'm just reading the thread to see who disses fins. :D

(Ask and ye shall receive...)

The Fortress
October 10th, 2008, 12:14 PM
The two reasons I've heard so far are (i) helps with timing and (ii) lets me swim more fly.


I think fins probably mess up my timing in fly.

But, I have 100 reasons to use fins for fly:

1-90 = Shoulders
91 = Old age
92 = Not ever swimming the 200 fly
93 = I like them
94 = I'm still getting a bit faster, even though I use them
95 = I enjoy beating smug purists who diss them
96 = Leg strength
97 = Core Strength
98 = Improves Streamlining
99 = Improves SDKs
100 = Good for shooters (but that's really kicking, not swimming fly)

anita
October 10th, 2008, 12:19 PM
She commented that using fins was the first time she felt she had something to "push against" while kicking. I don't have that problem at all (my legs were certainly spent after the set) and I wonder if -- in her case at least -- it was an issue of ankle flexibility.

This would be me. I can't flex my ankles while kicking, although I have tried and tried since I was a youth swimmer. My kick is very weak--always has been--therefore I DETEST kick sets.
Using fins helps me enjoy the kicking sets because I get them over faster, and I feel like I get more resistance and am working my legs harder than without.

Chris Stevenson
October 10th, 2008, 01:12 PM
I think fins probably mess up my timing in fly.

But, I have 100 reasons to use fins for fly:

1-90 = Shoulders
91 = Old age
92 = Not ever swimming the 200 fly
93 = I like them
94 = I'm still getting a bit faster, even though I use them
95 = I enjoy beating smug purists who diss them
96 = Leg strength
97 = Core Strength
98 = Improves Streamlining
99 = Improves SDKs
100 = Good for shooters (but that's really kicking, not swimming fly)

(Straying from fly-only discussion...)

I can see the streamlining thing, imperfections definitely become obvious. For me probably the biggest thing was to underscore how important it is to keep my head between my arms (rather than arms behind the head, a mistake I see a lot of people make, and which I occasionally do when I get sloppy/tired.)

Still not sure that fins help my SDK or leg/core strength more than swimming without them but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

(Actually I've always hated that saying, and I'm not even a cat person...)

The Fortress
October 10th, 2008, 03:51 PM
Still not sure that fins help my SDK or leg/core strength more than swimming without them but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Do you think you've used them enough to really tell though?

Monofins are better for core/leg strength than regular fins anyway. And I agree that you should SDK without fins as well. In fact, I don't usually kick with fins unless I'm using my monofin.

I will say that, despite never doing lower body weights, I tried the leg press for sheets and goggles back in July and did almost 3x my weight.

I made it through my 10 x 75 fly set today too! :)

Chris Stevenson
October 10th, 2008, 04:13 PM
Monofins are better for core/leg strength than regular fins anyway. And I agree that you should SDK without fins as well. In fact, I don't usually kick with fins unless I'm using my monofin.

...

I made it through my 10 x 75 fly set today too! :)

Wow, nice fly set. Should give you plenty of confidence for a 100 fly race.

My ankles hurt just reading about monofins. I think any fins that are big enough to really stress legs/core will be too much for my ankles. I'll have to continue to count on dryland work for core/legs power and non-fin SDK work to work on endurance and lactate tolerance.

CreamPuff
October 10th, 2008, 04:17 PM
The two reasons I've heard so far are (i) helps with timing and (ii) lets me swim more fly.

They seem pretty reasonable...but my experience mirrors FlyQueen's, it messes up my timing. I wonder why our experiences differ from those of others.

I think the "Nemo" drill (3-4 kicks per stroke) is another option that can both work on timing and allow you to extend your fly range to longer distances (it is tiring but less so than regular fly). But, a warning: the coaches at our age-group club specifically won't let the youngest kids use this drill b/c they think it too hard to master the timing! So maybe it is only a good drill if you already have decent timing in fly.

The range of people's reactions to fins is interesting. I own a pair but if they disappeared from my swimbag I probably wouldn't bother to replace them (I haven't even used them since the summer b/c I only like to use them LCM).

But we had a fast kick set yesterday and one person -- she doesn't have a swimming background but is incredibly fit -- used them and just loved them. She commented that using fins was the first time she felt she had something to "push against" while kicking. I don't have that problem at all (my legs were certainly spent after the set) and I wonder if -- in her case at least -- it was an issue of ankle flexibility.

This story interests me as I've seen several triathletes in lanes next to me experience what this young lady experienced. I want to help them (I keep my mouth shut) as I see them doing the same thing day in and day out. (There are a few exceptions.)

I was thinking that total flexibility was a problem. When I watch them sans fins, their kick actually looks painful. I'll see flexed feet; an excessively wide kick; overly bent knees; no kicking from the hips; the list goes on. So, I'm thinking it's flexibility, technique, and a general lack of feel for the water.

I know when I ditched the hand paddles and swam or pulled without them, I developed a much better feel for the water and I became a faster swimmer. I improved with paddles but I had a larger improvement in speed the less I used them. That's why I wonder if fins prevent you from developing a feel for the water. It's just different kicking with fins than without fins. . .

So what I see is that their kick will improve somewhat when fins are added (they are faster and the fins help diminish some of the technique issues.)

However, that being said, when the fins come off, it's right back to what they were doing before. It's a continual cycle.

Leslie has had a different experience and result from fins. But I don't think she falls in the average Jo swimmer/ triathlete category.

The Fortress
October 10th, 2008, 04:47 PM
Leslie has had a different experience and result from fins. But I don't think she falls in the average Jo swimmer/ triathlete category.

It's a trade off. I can save my shoulders and swim more fly (and free), and more intensely, with fins. I'm also a fly/back sprinter -- the category of swimmer that likely benefits most from fins and SDK work. I'm sure I would lose "feel" if I attempted a 500 free (which I won't).

Truly, I think more people would benefit from using them properly. Not just as a crutch, but to improve streamlining and technique and for speed work. A 50/50 ratio seems reasonable to me. Or not. Of course, what makes the most difference is how intensely you train.

I can't be the only fin lover around who's doing all right. Oh, wait, yeah, my teammate Yana SDK Park .... lol

Big AL
October 10th, 2008, 04:53 PM
Absolutely... they certainly bring fly into play during workouts when there would be none otherwise.

Seems to really help find that horizontal race position in practice.

pwolf66
October 10th, 2008, 04:57 PM
Seems to really help find that horizontal race position in practice.

This is the A #1 reason for me. I find that when I take the fins off I can maintain a horizontal position much easier and longer.

Chris Stevenson
October 10th, 2008, 05:20 PM
Seems to really help find that horizontal race position in practice.

Except fin proponent #1 (Fortress) is a butterfly "bouncer," as am I...

BillS
October 10th, 2008, 05:22 PM
Disclaimer #1: I am a total fly newbie, having never learned it in my former swimming life. I posted a thread a couple years ago about whether an old dude can even learn how to fly, and I've been at it ever since. But I am not even close to "mastering" the stroke.

Disclaimer #2: I quit fins for the most part about 6 weeks ago due to a nagging twinge in one knee. I believed (whether rightly or wrongly, I dunno) that the fins were exacerbating the problem. But so did pushing off the wall, and the pain has been gone since I laid off for a couple of weeks after Labor Day while our pool was closed. I put the fins back on for some sprint free 25s the other day, but have been otherwise fin free for a while, even though they may not have been to blame for the knee twinges.

With that said, I'm with Chris, and find they really mess with my rhythm. They were great when I was first trying to get it, because I could actually make 25s and later 50s without going full vertical and drowning. But now the fins make everything sloooooowww down too much, and it just doesn't feel like I'm ever in the groove. For what its worth, I feel exactly the same way about swimming free with fins. Maybe this will change as I get more proficient at fly and/or start using the fins more again, but for right now I'm OK going without.

pwolf66
October 10th, 2008, 05:30 PM
Except fin proponent #1 (Fortress) is a butterfly "bouncer," as am I...


Um, Chris, you bounce even on EvilStroke so I'm not sure you are a good test case.

The Fortress
October 10th, 2008, 05:35 PM
Except fin proponent #1 (Fortress) is a butterfly "bouncer," as am I...

Hahaha ... true ... the long lost high recovery flyers ... And now that my backstroke breakout is "Going Stevenson," I'm clearly falling apart ... But, nonetheless, Chris, you've only seen one 50 fly awhile ago! I'm trying to stay flatter in my 100s. And I'm not a fin "proponent" exactly; they just work for me. But the clock is the real proof for all.

All masters bodies have worn out parts -- shoulders, knees, ankles. They need some babying. Too bad I'm not an evilstroker -- my knees rock.

Hmm ... Bill ... I definitely don't slow down with fins. Probably takes some practice. Usually, they help newbies.

JimRude
October 10th, 2008, 06:06 PM
Too bad I'm not an evilstroker -- my knees rock.

Allow me to bring you to the dark side...

The Fortress
October 10th, 2008, 06:23 PM
Allow me to bring you to the dark side...

Not a chance, baby! 3-4 lengths a year is my limit.

rtodd
October 10th, 2008, 08:07 PM
Seems a mix of opinions on their use. Of course for IM sets, fins are no good because of breast. But fly only sets they seem like a good idea.

Perhaps as long as on average, you spend at least as much time with the fins off.

Please quantify the type of fins.

I was specific about using zoomers. Is that what everyone else is talking about? I think long fins will make the stroke too different from real fly. I really dont see a place for long fins as they almost destroy my ankles.

I might cut my red zoomers down just a bit more so it is closer to no fins at all. Has anyone tried that?

poolraat
October 10th, 2008, 08:15 PM
I use blue zoomers when I use fins in a workout. I don't use them very often but they will help me get through a long fly set. As far as doing IM's with fins, just do breast with a dolphin kick.


Seems a mix of opinions on their use. Of course for IM sets, fins are no good because of breast. But fly only sets they seem like a good idea.

Perhaps as long as on average, you spend at least as much time with the fins off.

Please quantify the type of fins.

I was specific about using zoomers. Is that what everyone else is talking about? I think long fins will make the stroke too different from real fly. I really dont see a place for long fins as they almost destroy my ankles.

I might cut my red zoomers down just a bit more so it is closer to no fins at all. Has anyone tried that?

BillS
October 11th, 2008, 11:58 AM
Hmm ... Bill ... I definitely don't slow down with fins. Probably takes some practice. Usually, they help newbies.

I didn't explain this very well. It's the rhythm that slows down; I'm sure I am significantly faster with fins than without. I think, for me, fins result in an over-emphasis on the kick/lower body portion of what I'm still learning is a whole body stroke.

Again, I feel the same way about swimming free with fins. Although I am going quite a bit faster, it messes with my breathing and stroke patterns, at least for the first few repeats, and although it's admittedly a whole bunch of fun going at a race pace faster than my naked pace, I'm not convinced it has a lasting benefit.

But other than the knee twinges, which I am not certain had anything to do with the fins, they certainly haven't caused any harm.

I use the Hydro fins. I like them better than the red zoomers I tried first; they are softer and more comfortable.

smontanaro
October 11th, 2008, 12:25 PM
For me probably the biggest thing was to underscore how important it is to keep my head between my arms (rather than arms behind the head, a mistake I see a lot of people make, and which I occasionally do when I get sloppy/tired.)

I don't understand what you were explaining here. What is "head between my arms" and how is it different than "arms behind the head"???

Skip

Chris Stevenson
October 11th, 2008, 12:38 PM
I don't understand what you were explaining here. What is "head between my arms" and how is it different than "arms behind the head"???

"Heat between arms" means arms should cover the ears, or close to it. "Arms behind the head" is what I see a lot of little kids do -- perhaps because their heads are proportionally bigger? -- when, well, the arms are mostly behind the head. (I can't explain it any better than that.) You can squeeze the arms together more but the head sticks out and creates drag.

In that case, with the fins on and going at very high speed, you can feel the extra drag that the head creates.

I have a tendency when I am sloppy to put my arms slightly behind my ears. I can feel some extra drag from that too, with the fins. Good feedback.

pwolf66
October 11th, 2008, 01:41 PM
I don't understand what you were explaining here. What is "head between my arms" and how is it different than "arms behind the head"???

Skip

The optimum streamline position is with the head tucked slightly below the arms where the upper arms touch or just cover the ears. I think that what Chris was saying was that he was tucking his head too much, aka 'burying your head'.

ddunbar
October 11th, 2008, 04:31 PM
Keeping my fins on right now until the shoulder strengthens. I did not carry them on a plane with me early this week and ended up with both shoulders in pain.

We don't get much transition time between sets, so if we end up with IMs, I end up swimming breaststroke with a dolphin kick. It is the closest I will ever get to the wave form of my stroke.

nkfrench
October 13th, 2008, 11:47 AM
I love wearing fins doing fly. And back. And breast. And free. And pull sets, drills, kick sets.

The breaststroke w/ fins+dolphin kick has been terrific for drilling body position and timing. My knees only tolerate minimal breaststroke kicking anyhow. In general fins motivate me to use my legs more for a better full-body workout.

jjpj
October 15th, 2008, 06:14 PM
When i use fins i move prettly quilcky but when i take hem off - when i am stuck! I mean i move my hands for God's sake! my kick is ok but it's like iam not moving anyway.
any tips would be helpful

PS i haven't swam fly for 17years.

jjpj

rtodd
October 15th, 2008, 07:36 PM
Try zoomers. They are shorter and a bit closer to no fin.

SuperFlyGal
October 17th, 2008, 06:00 PM
My coach recommended them to me the other night. He said I should get a pair of Zoomers. I always thought that using fins was some form of cheating, but after reading all of these posts, and the fact that I now feel the universe is trying to tell me something, I think I will get a pair.

Disclaimer: The above comment is not intended to suggest that the poster has in any sense "mastered fly."

The Fortress
October 17th, 2008, 06:04 PM
My coach recommended them to me the other night. He said I should get a pair of Zoomers. I always thought that using fins was some form of cheating, but after reading all of these posts, and the fact that I now feel the universe is trying to tell me something, I think I will get a pair.

Disclaimer: The above comment is not intended to suggest that the poster has in any sense "mastered fly."

From birth, swimmers are conditioned and brainwashed into thinking that fins are cheating. Why? We are not told that paddles or pull buoys or kick boards are pernicious toys used only by the laziest of slackers. Bizarre.

I wonder if I would be as fast as I am now if I didn't use fins? I'm not sure. Probably not. I certainly wouldn't be swimming.

Personally, I can't stand zoomers. I prefer the long blade fins or the zuras. If you're going to use fins, you might as well get your "bang for the buck" from them. Zoomers help to de-weight the shoulders some, but they don't help as much with the other stuff.

swim25
October 17th, 2008, 06:05 PM
I definitely feel more confident in my fly using fins and feel like I can get the rhythm down more. I don't really like using fins on free style though, it messes with my rhythm and my breathing, granted it is fun to go fast but I feel like it hurts my stroke. There is too much propulsion from my kick that my arms feel like they are just flailing in the water not contributing. If you don't know how to do fly I would suggest using fins to get your techniques down and get a feel for the stroke. It will also help build your muscles for the stroke.

FlyQueen
October 17th, 2008, 06:05 PM
The zura alpha fins are amazing. I highly endorse those - from a non-fin wearer.

Chris Stevenson
October 18th, 2008, 08:02 AM
From birth, swimmers are conditioned and brainwashed into thinking that fins are cheating. Why? We are not told that paddles or pull buoys or kick boards are pernicious toys used only by the laziest of slackers.

Actually, in our workout group there are those who always pull on paddles/pull buoys for hard sets and they are often given a hard time about it (all in fun, of course; this is masters).

More seriously, I think fins, paddles, etc can be very useful training tools. But they can also become a crutch and that should obviously be avoided.

After all, I assume the goal eventually is to be able to swim fly well without fins (eg, in a race).

CreamPuff
October 18th, 2008, 10:19 AM
More seriously, I think fins, paddles, etc can be very useful training tools. But they can also become a crutch and that should obviously be avoided.



Almost all of the finners I know use them as a crutch. Maybe 5 to 10% of swimmers I know who use them regularly do not use fins as a crutch. That 5-10% will actually swim or kick challenging sets without them from time to time. Hence the "cheating" or crutch mentality. Take the fins off, they flounder. I feel for them actually b/c most are just covering up their weaknesses w/ the fins or other equipment. :2cents:

Interestingly, now that I think about it the top flyers I know never use fins.

If you're injured however, it's a different story. Do what you need to do.

The Fortress
October 18th, 2008, 10:52 AM
Interestingly, now that I think about it the top flyers I know never use fins.

Perhaps I'm an odd mutant strain then, but I thought I was doing fairly well. Perhaps there are different rules for masters than kiddies?

I never used fins when young. But, then, no one did. It's an adult shoulder-related addiction.

SuperFlyGal
October 18th, 2008, 11:22 AM
I am going to try it. Hopefully I won't use them as a crutch. After a little searching around, I am going to try the newer Hydro Tech 2:

http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/4004.htm

If they help me with my timing and technique hopefully I will see some progress. When I was a kid I just jumped in and hit it hard, now technique is all that is left me! Anyone else have these? Do you like them?

CreamPuff
October 18th, 2008, 12:30 PM
Perhaps I'm an odd mutant strain then, but I thought I was doing fairly well. Perhaps there are different rules for masters than kiddies?

I never used fins when young. But, then, no one did. It's an adult shoulder-related addiction.

The top flyers I was referring to and whom I know have OT or at the very least Senior cuts. I don't include myself in that group. Some are kids and some are current Div I or ex NCAA Div I masters who had OT cuts. No fins noted. My sample *pool* includes masters and kiddies alike over several different pools and clubs in GA. Just reporting on what I witness personally in practices. I tend to focus on what the fastest people in the pool are doing or not doing.

I certainly don't doubt the awesome success you've had with fins and your training! :bow:

LindsayNB
October 18th, 2008, 11:12 PM
As I recall, on the Bob Bowman/Michael Phelps dvd Bob says Michael uses fins in training, but I don't recall details. I remember the fins shown on the dvd were odd looking.

Chris Stevenson
October 19th, 2008, 07:37 AM
Michael uses fins in training, but I don't recall details. I remember the fins shown on the dvd were odd looking.

They are permanently attached. We also call them "feet."

FlyQueen
October 19th, 2008, 12:05 PM
Perhaps I'm an odd mutant strain then, but I thought I was doing fairly well. Perhaps there are different rules for masters than kiddies?

I never used fins when young. But, then, no one did. It's an adult shoulder-related addiction.

Hey chic, if they work for you work them!

Although I threatened to use fins on fly awhile back I still haven't. I'm not sure that is on today's agenda either. We'll see.