Swimming with fins is a great way to build muscle, improve technique, reduce shoulder stress, and elevate your swim workout. Unlike long-bladed fins, using a short-bladed fin will allow you to whip up a speedy kick, activate the abdominal muscles, and improve your stroke tempo. Laguna Fins are lightweight (1.4lbs total) and they float, so they won't drag you down, but will help to keep proper horizontal body positioning. We've all seen the swimmer whose not kicking with their legs dragging behind them, weighing them down. Using fins will help you create muscle memory, subconsciously reminding you to kick, even when your not wearing fins. So if you're ready to dive in with some swim fins, here's a good way to get started.
Focus on two primary kicks: back flutter (backstroke without arms) and back dolphin (body facing the surface). These kicks keep your hips in a neutral or extended position, which activates the glutes, stretches the hip joints and fires the quads and hamstrings. Additionally, these back kicks apply a dynamic stretch to the foot flexors, which – over time – will improve plantar flexion. When doing these exercises point your toes, gently tightening your core and squeezing your glutes. Focus on the muscles your activating and if you can't tell, you'll know after your workout because those muscles will be sore 😀!
Once you feel comfortable with the back kicks, turn over and add freestyle with fins. This will allow a longer front end to your stroke and you’ll feel the upbeats and downbeats of the kick. Remember to kick from the hips and not from your knees. While doing freestyle, you can start to introduce different drills with fins. Like adding a kickboard and focusing on your kicks. You can also introduce paddles to your workout, to increase resistance and build muscle in your arms. A great exercise to try with paddles and fins is to start with one paddle on the left hand and one fin on the right foot. Then switch both paddle and fin to the opposite side (one passle on the right hand and one fin on the left foot). You’ll feel an asymmetry that will help you focus on stroke mechanics.
Always remember to try and keep your body in a horizontal position along the surface of the water. Most swim fins are heavy and hard to keep up, so be careful not to use fins that drag you down. Laguna Fins are lightweight (1.4 lbs total) and they float, assisting your legs to stay in the position they're supposed to be - horizontal! When starting with fins, kick hard to learn the mechanics and when you remove your fins hold your core firm, and minimise the leg bending and hip swing. When you kick with a straighter leg, you’ll discover that your kick stabilizes the front end of your stroke. For triathletes the benefits of an efficient kick include the conservation of energy and the enhancement of body position. A very ferocious kick is a waste of energy and will contribute to overall body fatigue. Practice your kicking drills with Laguna Fins, and you’ll soon reap all the benefits listed below.
Working out with fins in the pool is more than just toning your legs and abdominal muscles. Exercising in water is a great cardiovascular exercise that helps reduce body fat, promotes flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance. Water comes with a fluid resistance which helps build strength and tone muscle, so wearing fins will increase this resistance to your legs. Swimming is one of the least impactful sports on your body. So you can get an amazing workout without being prone to injuries. The Laguna Fin Co. blade is designed to make your legs work harder and build muscle strength in your legs & feet. Over-time this will create muscle memory, so when your fins come off your kick is stronger than ever. Swimming with Laguna Fins will also help you increase your ankle flexibility. Our open heeled fin allows for maximum flexibility of your ankle, while the heel strap is easily bendable and won’t cause friction to your foot.
Now it's time to get in the pool with some fins! Let us know if you have questions, comments, and advice! Once you're comfortable with your fins work on training all 4 competitive strokes. Here's a video of Kaitlin Sandeno 4x Olympic Medalist, 2x Olympian training all 4 competitive strokes with Laguna Fins!
If you'd like to know more about how Laguna Fins can improve your swim training read this article: 7 Reasons Laguna Fin Co Will Improve Your Training