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ismohammad
December 28th, 2010, 12:17 PM
All

Im new to this forum; I read a few articles and Im quite impressed with the amount of information that is being shared. Hats off to you folks.

Im gettting back to swimming after good 7 years and I'm in late 30s. My goal is to shed off atleast 20-30 lbs and to have a good swimming form.

I learnt to swim when I was 26 and at that time I could do crawl and backstroke. I used to be long distant runner and used to play soccer at a competitive level; my lower part of the body is muscular and relatively stiff. The coach who taught me suggested to use fins after seeing my trunk and legs drag and to correct my kicking form; ever since then, i'm hooked to those blue zoomer fins.

I got back to swimming after a good 7 years; those 7 years made me fairly a 'round and heavy' personality :). After 8 weeks of getting back now I do 72 lengths on a 25 yard pool with 3-4 seconds gap between each length; this takes about an hour for me. I break them into 6 sets of 12 lengths; I start with fins and the first set is typically swimming at a comfortable pace. The next set of 12 will be with pull buoy. The third and fourth set will be with paddles(with buoy) or kickboards(with zoomers). The fifth set will be with pull buoy at a faster pace. The last 12 lengths is where I try to get away from my fins; 4 lengths with the kicking board, another 4 or 6 lengths of actual SWIMMING without any assist :(. The last 2-4 lengths will be leisure kicking with the fin.

My problem is that the moment I get out of my zoomers, I struggle to even complete a length; my balance, body position, head position, body rotation all simply vanishes; my single most aim is to get across to the other side. It could be partly pscyhological and partly physiological. Once I get away from the fins, I get a feeling that my body is slightly more immersed in water and my torso and legs is accelerating towards the bottom of the pool. Also the rhythm of kick(which exists with the fins on) vanishes completely; it ends up literally being desparate fluttering of my feet. And the only stroke that I'm able to do is crawl; i tried back stroke, but ended up struggling - so I simply gave up.

Im looking for pointers from experienced swimmers that would help me to work my way towards a good form and swim without any aids.

Thanks a Bunch
IM

jaadams1
December 28th, 2010, 02:53 PM
My problem is that the moment I get out of my zoomers, I struggle to even complete a length; my balance, body position, head position, body rotation all simply vanishes; my single most aim is to get across to the other side. It could be partly pscyhological and partly physiological. Once I get away from the fins, I get a feeling that my body is slightly more immersed in water and my torso and legs is accelerating towards the bottom of the pool. Also the rhythm of kick(which exists with the fins on) vanishes completely; it ends up literally being desparate fluttering of my feet. And the only stroke that I'm able to do is crawl; i tried back stroke, but ended up struggling - so I simply gave up.

Im looking for pointers from experienced swimmers that would help me to work my way towards a good form and swim without any aids.

Thanks a Bunch
IM

It sounds as if you have become "zoomer dependant". One of first things to learn is of course body position in the water, and in motion kicking plays a large role in maintaining your body position in a horizontal axis. Try kicking on your side (no fins), with your "bottom arm" upward, pointing to the end of the pool. Lay your head on this arm, with your other arm at your side. Switch sides each length. Just play with it. Learning to kick (and swim) without the use of fins will be the biggest help of all. Practice makes perfect, they always say. Don't get frustrated though, it will probably take you a while to get this, but you will in time.

celticbass1
December 29th, 2010, 11:40 PM
IM,
You are the perfect example of why I always advocated for people including my swimmers not to wear fins. I think at this point your fin (zoomer) dependency is about 99% psychological.

When I swam competitively in college I was a breasstroker and had very large muscular legs that sunk like rocks unless they were moving, much the way you describe yourself. I would submit that you can definitely keep your legs afloat but you are probably doing two things wrong (or at least one of two things) My guess is that without the fins you are bending your knees too much which causes you to lose almost all propulsion, the second thing is that the times you have given with fins on are not blazingly fast and therefore you may not be kicking fast enough. Shorten your kick stroke, keep your feet relatively flat and only allow a very SLIGHT bend of your knees. You will not be able to swim anywhere near as fast without fins as you do with them and you shouldn't expect to. As an example I may be able to swim a 50 free without fins in :30, with fins I'm pretty confident I would be near the :20 mark, that's huge in swimming terms. The good thing is that you will build more upper body strength quicker because you'll have no choice.

THROW THE ZOOMERS AWAY, grab a kickboard, kick your butt off, swim your butt off, and have someone (preferably a swim coach with some experience) take a look at your stroke mechanics and you'll be swimming like a champ in no time.

Cheers,
Larry

kgernert
December 30th, 2010, 11:02 AM
While there is nothing wrong with using fins being dependent on them is another matter. When my coach finally convinced me to swim without them as I got stronger, it made a huge difference in my overall ability. I was also told to kick from my butt, not my knees - that was huge too. Play with your fins and have fun with them, but take them off too. Your progress just may surprise you :cheerleader:

joshua
December 31st, 2010, 01:29 AM
I would like to comment on two points:

1. If your main goal is weight reduction, then swimming is probably not the most effective venue. Of course, it doesn't matter if this is the activity you enjoy and will pursue regularly.

2. Your lack of kicking ability is very common among new swimmers, particularly runners. I have found the major problem to be lack of ankle flexibility. Fins help but as was pointed out, don't become too dependent on them. I would suggest dry land ankle stretching. My favorite is sitting in front of the TV with my feet in the flex position under the buttocks. Put a towel on the floor if it hurts. Work into it gradually. Over time you will feel a stronger kick in the water.

Good luck.

berddog
January 1st, 2011, 01:20 PM
Lose the fins, and just use a kickboard for a few weeks...

Maybe someone on here can explain in what "instance" fins are a good choice...

I very very rarely use them, it makes things "too easy" which seems to me to kind of defeat the purpose of a workout. Also throws my rythm and balance off, except kicking fly.

ismohammad
January 3rd, 2011, 12:47 PM
Thanks a bunch folks. I'm planning to leave the zoomers behind. Let me see how it goes and will certainly update on the progress. You guys are awesome ! Thanks a bunch.