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Herman Kuhn
October 25th, 2009, 07:19 PM
I'm a little confused about the difference between swim fins, long ones or short forked ones. I'd like to get some that will help build strength, I do mostly freestyle and butterfly as a fitness swimmer, but will be entering some open water swim events before long again.

Thanks,

Herman

RuffWater
October 26th, 2009, 11:41 AM
My recommendation is to skip the fins. Do your kick work on a board (sans fins). When that becomes too easy for you, then consider using fins.

Dolphin 2
October 26th, 2009, 11:50 AM
On the subject of fins, I actually have an idea for gloves that use an elastomeric web between the fingers that can be expanded and/or contracted to control the amount of engagement.

Enhanced propulsion is a much greater factor than reducing drag so webbed gloves would be a simpler and much lower cost solution than using a so called tech suit.

Just think of all the new records that could be set due to increased propulsion. As I've said before, if FINA is allowing tech suits, why isn't everything fair game and allow gloves and fins too?

D2

aquageek
October 26th, 2009, 11:57 AM
On the subject of fins, I actually have an idea for gloves that use an elastomeric web between the fingers that can be expanded and/or contracted to control the amount of engagement.

Einstein - swim gloves have been around for at least 30 years, way to keep up on the times!

preeder61
October 26th, 2009, 05:20 PM
Fins can be used for much more than just building strength. You can increase flexibility, increase heart rate, kick without a board on your side or back, do drills more efficiently and just plain go faster to do a set at close to race pace.

For comfort, flex and speed, the Aqua Sphere Alphas are the way to go.

Munatones
October 27th, 2009, 06:31 AM
You can also try to do vertical kicking - both freestyle and butterfly. Do vertical kicking, trying to keep your knees as straight as possible, in sets of 30-60 seconds. You can do with your hands or elbows out of the water, or even holding your arms straight above your head in a locked, streamlined possible. It is a great aerobic workout, you take up very little space in the pool, and when you do butterfly vertical kick, it works on your abdominals. These are all great (and standard) sets for great open water (and pool) swimmers.

jaegermeister
October 27th, 2009, 04:26 PM
Skip the fins! With fins, you are changing the mechanics of your kick, relying much more on ankle flexion (that is, plantar- and dorsiflexion). Since fins are not allowed in any competitive events that I know of, you aren't helping yourself by using them.

Without fins, you are recruiting core muscles so much more. It is much, much harder. Vertical kicking: same thing. I've done this without fins, it is a great workout.

If you want really poweful ankles, use your fins a lot. If you want to get fitter, leave them on deck.

FYI I use my fins typically only when I am drilling, so I can avoid the sensation of sinking when I am trying to focus on technique.

orca1946
October 28th, 2009, 12:27 AM
NO fins - OK try to do sets of kicking with running/gym shoes on !! Lots of work to even go !

jaegermeister
October 28th, 2009, 04:28 PM
For a more balanced opinion on fins, see what Chris Colburn has to say:

http://www.swimnetwork.com/blogs/blog/20091015/masters_swimming_with_drcoachchris__all_about_fins-6393.html


My prior tirade against fins was influenced by a personal issue I have. Seems I have week, lax ankle ligaments that are stressed if I work hard with fins. But I stand by the gist of what I posted: many of us tend to overuse our ankles, you've got to really focus on kicking from the hips.