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n_treman
March 3rd, 2011, 03:02 PM
What do you like or dislike about swim fins? Anything you would change?

ALM
March 3rd, 2011, 03:22 PM
We tested swim fins for our magazine a few months ago. If you have not already done so you may want to watch our video, here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/USMastersSwimming#p/u/6/w3JRV4JJD28

KevinS
March 3rd, 2011, 03:48 PM
I like my fins. They can be useful and add a different feeling to a workout, however, I think they should be used minimally in training - just as much as any other peice of equipment (kickboard, pull bouy, paddles). The kids I coach and myslef use them sparingly, just on some kick sets and some small swim sets. I like using them on fly sets - I feel like I am flying and I am getting good lift with little effort.

However, I really feel if you are really focusing on improving your kick, then you should leave the fins at home.

John316
March 3rd, 2011, 04:40 PM
I personally feel fins are great and if using the proper ones can give you at the very least a good strength training workout for your legs. They are great as someone said for fly, free sprints and kick sets but do not get dependent on them. I actually think they are great for underwater dolfin kick drills as it helps with the undulation more.

BrandonNE
March 3rd, 2011, 04:57 PM
I swim between 8000 and 14000 meters a day as I train for the 2012 Olympic trials and I use my fins every practice. but when I say use them I mean really use them.. My coach says if you have fins on the I want to see you kick your heart out...

Fins are great when used right but can hurt you when you start thinking you always need them

Speedo
March 3rd, 2011, 05:08 PM
I like fins a lot- I really don't think one can use them as a crutch, especially on short-rest sets. They work your legs and create additional oxygen demand. They can take the load off of vulnerable shoulders. They also promote ankle flexibility, which some people need more of (i.e me). When sprinting, they allow you to get used to moving through the water quickly, which helps amplify hydrodynamic issues you may have. I really don't think there is a downside to using fins, unless you want to see the same times at a meet. Maybe less upper body strength as a result of using the EXCESSIVELY, but should everyone (except geek) be kicking just a little better? :2cents:

The Fortress
March 3rd, 2011, 09:53 PM
however, I think they should be used minimally in training ... the kids I coach and myself use them sparingly, just on some kick sets and some small swim sets. I like using them on fly sets - I feel like I am flying and I am getting good lift with little effort.

However, I really feel if you are really focusing on improving your kick, then you should leave the fins at home.

I like fins because I kick people's ass who don't use them or have a purist attitude about them. Oh, and I agree with Speedo's comments.

SDK is my greatest asset in swimming and I use fins. A lot.

couldbebetterfly
March 3rd, 2011, 10:03 PM
I like the fact that they make me kick harder and faster and keep my heart rate up.

I don't like them causing my legs to ache.

Jeff Maydak
March 3rd, 2011, 10:39 PM
I have a sporadic training schedule. I have a hard time getting in the pool while coaching my high school team for four months out of the year. I find the quickest way to get back into shape is by adding more sets with fins. As Speedo said, you start working the largest muscle groups in the body and put them into oxygen debt which promotes quicker conditioning. While it varies, I try to swim at least one set with fins per practice for about a month or so. This might average about 25-50% of the practice with fins.

When wearing fins, I think it's important that you "use" them. We have a lot of swimmers on our masters team who rely on short blade fins (ie Zoomers) for the entire practice. I think this may be only so they can keep up with the faster swimmers but I think this does more harm than good. We did a set last week of 8x75 (SCY) with fins. I maintained 10, 8, & 7 underwater dolphin kicks off each respective wall holding the 75s 0:41-0:43. Sometimes when we do a set like 10x50 I may put fins on and kick the second length underwater. To wear fins and not exaggerate that you are wearing them is a mistake. All equipment should be worn for specific purposes.

philoswimmer
March 3rd, 2011, 11:41 PM
I bought a pair of medium length fins in December and I still don't know what I think of them. I worry that they are easier than zoomers (because I get more propulsion) and easier than long fins (because I can kick with a faster tempo). But maybe I'm just imagining all of that. As others said, you really have to work them; if you're kick-oriented like me that requires an extra effort not to slough off.

orca1946
March 4th, 2011, 12:23 AM
Classic Zoomers hurt my feet & just about everyone else that I know!!!!!
I really like Kiefer silicone fins!!!!

KevinS
March 4th, 2011, 10:05 AM
One thing I didn't add to mine, is I feel like they are really helping build up my ankle strength and flexibility. I had total ankle re-construction about 13 years ago, and although that ankle feels like it has fully recovered for normal activities - when I put the fins on I can tell it is somewhat weaker. I just wish I would have been interested in swimming when I re-habilitated the ankle that many years ago.

ElaineK
March 4th, 2011, 02:26 PM
I like fins because I kick people's ass who don't use them or have a purist attitude about them. Oh, and I agree with Speedo's comments.

SDK is my greatest asset in swimming and I use fins. A lot.

I took your advice and bought fins, and have found them to be a great help in strengthening my legs. In addition to doing SDK's (front, side, and back) I also like using fins to do fast dolphin kicking on my back (on the surface) to strengthen my core. For those who are against the idea of doing dolphin kicking on your back, on the surface, it IS great for strengthening your abs. Try it fast for several laps and see how you feel the next day! :cane:

I also borrowed some Speedo breaststroke fins to help with muscle memory in my catch; especially my stubborn right foot that doesn't always want to turn out. Using them for a couple of laps before swimming breaststroke really helps! I liked them so much I bought a pair. (I will use them sparingly, though, because they put a lot of stress on the knees.)

Redbird Alum
March 7th, 2011, 11:53 AM
Fins are a useful device in getting new swimmers to:
- flex their ankles
- kick both up AND down
- kick from the hip

I'm with many here that they should never be used as a crutch or sole replacement for kicking without fins. One must practice at that with which one competes.

Mary1912
March 10th, 2011, 11:34 AM
I love fins. Right now I am swimming for fitness and pleasure. I have shoulder issues and using fins takes the pressure off and enables me to swim more often. I could not swim as often as I do (3-4 days a week) if I didn't use fins.

The Fortress
March 10th, 2011, 03:48 PM
I'm with many here that they should never be used as a crutch or sole replacement for kicking without fins. One must practice at that with which one competes.

Are you really sure about that?

I ask because I never swim even one stroke of fly without fins in practice and I am regularly in the TT in the 50/100 fly.

gigi
March 10th, 2011, 04:10 PM
Are you really sure about that?

I ask because I never swim even one stroke of fly without fins in practice and I am regularly in the TT in the 50/100 fly.

Really? In all the time I've been reading your blog, I've never noticed this. I've got to re-think my fly training strategy! Your TT's still won't be in any danger from me, though.

The Fortress
March 10th, 2011, 04:40 PM
Really? In all the time I've been reading your blog, I've never noticed this. I've got to re-think my fly training strategy!

Really. And I think most conventional swimming "musts" could use some re-examining.

I do fly drills and fly kicking with and without fins. But I always swim fly with fins. It began as a shoulder paranoia practice. But, in reality, as a result, I think always using fins has made me faster (better streamlines, better body position, better kick, etc.).

Here's another unconventional practice. Most people train fly or free for fly. I train dolphin kick for fly. I do very little fly or free in practice.

Redbird Alum
March 11th, 2011, 11:50 AM
... I do fly drills and fly kicking with and without fins. But I always swim fly with fins. ...

So, Fort, you DO do some practice fly drills and fly kicking without the fins. And that is my point. If you never did at least some practice without the fins, you would not have a feel for the kick in the race.

I didn't say you couldn't use them, I just said you eventually have to practice in the manner you race, in order to understand the feel of the water/race.

The Fortress
March 11th, 2011, 11:59 AM
So, Fort, you DO do some practice fly drills and fly kicking without the fins. And that is my point. If you never did at least some practice without the fins, you would not have a feel for the kick in the race.

I didn't say you couldn't use them, I just said you eventually have to practice in the manner you race, in order to understand the feel of the water/race.

But that's my point too. I never swim full stroke fly without find and thus I never practice the way I compete. Toys rock.

KevinS
March 11th, 2011, 01:18 PM
Toys rock.

I agree, My mesh bag I carry to the pool keeps getting more and more full. I don't wear fins all the time, but it seems like I am always using something.

aquajock
March 27th, 2011, 12:29 PM
I hate fins because they hurt my sacroiliac joint and lumber area. And I can kick really fast without them anyway.

shyswimmer
March 27th, 2011, 01:16 PM
The only time I hate wearing fins is when I get toe cramps. It adds 2 times the pain if I use my feet.

orca1946
March 27th, 2011, 01:50 PM
Old zoomers hurt my feet. New Kiefer silicone fins do not!:applaud:

aquajock
March 27th, 2011, 04:03 PM
I forgot to mention that I have torn calf muscles wearing them as well. After they caused gastrocnemius, sacroiliac and lumbar issues, I deduced I am not physiologically designed to use them!