When To Use Fins In Freestyle

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After that Triathlete magazine article on how kicking is the most important part of the swim, it’s a good time to bring up the issue of the kick and in particular, fins. At TSC, we are not big fans of pool toys per se. Don’t read us wrong, we think pool toys are fine when used appropriately, wisely, and with purpose. However, if you use toys mindlessly and without understanding their use, then they will become a crutch and overall will weaken your swim. This is no more evident than with fins.

finsWhen I say fins I am not referring to those foot long scuba looking fins; those have NO place in a triathletes swim bag. I am referring to the shorter fins called zoomers. The larger the fin the more glide and propulsion you will get, but as swimmers and triathletes we do not want to rely on fins for movement but rather want to rely on our own good form to move us efficiently through the water. Zoomers, however, with their snub nosed flippers do not aid tremendously in moving you forward and thus can help your swim stroke in certain situations.

Here are three examples of when and why you may want to use a similar fin in a workout:

  • When working on cadence: Since fins, even zoomers, makes your back end faster in the water,  you can focus more on your arm turn over. Once a week, I do a large sprint set with fins where I try to turn my arms over as fast as possible while maintaining good form and a shallow catch. It is similar to how high cadence drills  with low resistance the bike make you more efficient.
  • When you have shoulder pains: As many of you know, Coach Kevin has been rehabbing his shoulder and rotor cuff since aggravating it back in the Fall. If you too are experiencing some shoulder injuries, then putting on a pair of fins can help take the pressure off the pull phase.
  • When you need to work on ankle flexibility: Coming from a running background, I have very inflexible ankles, so my toes point down in the water rather than straight back. Fins help point your toes and thus giving you a more efficient kick.

To pick up a pair of Zoomers Z2 fins, check out our store: https://triswimcoach.com/store