Are you looking to improve your skills in the pool? If you are, you might pack a kickboard, a pull buoy, and paddles in your bag. But you’d be missing one of the most useful swim tools: swim fins.
Children aren’t the only ones who use swim fins. Adults can also benefit from using them. But why are they useful? Why should you consider using them?
Keep reading to learn about 5 swim fin benefits that’ll take your swimming skills to the next level.
1. Better Stroke Form
If you’re just getting started with swimming, it can be difficult to maintain a proper stroke. Many people try to swim fast as opposed to maintaining their form. Yet once you get your form down, speed comes naturally. Swim fins can help you nail down a solid form.
Swim fins provide you with extra stability and propulsion. This allows the swimmer to focus on a specific aspect of their stroke, such as keeping long arms or regulating their breathing. Fins also let you practice advanced techniques, such as using one arm. This would be too difficult with a normal flutter kick.
Whether you’re a swimming newbie or a fish that’s been practicing it for years, fins can help you improve your stroke.
When kids begin swimming, it’s important to get them started with the proper form. That’s why it’s a good idea for them to practice while wearing fins. Check out this guide to learn about the best kids swim fins.
2. Better Kick Technique
You want to become a faster swimmer but aren’t sure how to do that. Your form looks good, so what’s the problem? It might be your kick.
The right kick is the difference between a fast swimmer and a very fast swimmer. Yet many people find their kicking to be the weakest parts of their strokes. This often has nothing to do with leg strength, but rather technique.
When you’re kicking, your legs should be short and fast, as opposed to powerful and large. Power comes from the hips, and your legs should be straight with pointed toes. For many swimmers, the weakness comes from their up-kick.
The up-kick is the part of the kick that engages your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. When you use swim fins, they add resistance to this range of motion. This helps strengthen these muscles and increase endurance, propelling you faster, and providing positive muscle reinforcement.
3. An Olympian-like Body Position
Next time you’re watching the Olympics, make an effort to watch swimming. Not only is it amazing to watch, but you can also observe how the athletes swim. Pay special attention to how they position themselves in the water.
If you compare an Olympic swimmer with a novice, one of the most obvious points of difference is in body position. Elite swimmers position themselves in the water in a way that lets them cruise through the water like speedboats. Fins can help you achieve something similar.
When you swim with fins, you add velocity to your stroke. At the same time, you also teach your body how to swim quicker and more efficiently at the surface of the water. Thanks to the propulsion from the fins, you’ll be able to hold and maintain a higher body line.
This, in turn, causes you to swim faster and slash your way through the water. As you strengthen your muscle memory, this will carry over even after you take the fins off.
4. More Flexible Ankles
As you know, the kick is one of the most important parts of the stroke. The most efficient kicks are those with small amplitudes, where your feet don’t move more than 12 inches apart at any point in time. To do this, you need to have strong legs, but also flexible ankles.
This develops over time on its own, with some swimmers naturally being more or less flexible. To expedite the process, you can wear swim fins during kick training. This creates a more efficient dolphin or flutter kick, increasing your ankles’ abilities to adapt.
The fin resistance reinforces the proper kicking mechanics, helping you improve faster than someone who isn’t wearing them.
Many swimmers and athletes, in general, suffer from ankle injuries. Wearing swim fins can help you strengthen your ankles, lessening the chance that you’ll suffer an injury there.
5. Less Shoulder Stress
Another area of your body that can hold a lot of tension and stress is your shoulders. Although swimming is a comparatively low-impact sport (especially when compared to sports such as rugby and football), you can still damage your shoulders if you’re not careful.
Often, a small problem can be unnoticed or passed off as mild discomfort. Yet this in turn can lead to more severe problems developing. At that point, you may need physical therapy or surgery to set things right.
By wearing fins while swimming, you’re taking away from some of the tension present in your upper body. This lowers the extent of the impact on your shoulders and also lets you focus on improving your technique and form. You won’t have to worry about muscle damage or pain.
Get Comfortable Swimming With Swim Fins
If you want to become a better swimmer, you might be unsure how to increase your skills and endurance. Yet by wearing swim fins, you can benefit your body and your stroke in a number of different ways.
Do you know of any other swim fin benefits? What do you think are the best swim fins? Let us know in a comment below!
If you enjoyed reading this article, don’t forget to check out some of our other blog posts for more tips and guides.