One of the most commonly asked questions in all of competitive swimiming is whether fins are beneficial in training. There is no one answer; whether fins are right for you depends on what you hope to gain, your level of skill, and the type of fins used.
Swimmers often wear fins simply to maintain the same speed as the other swimmers working out alongside. In other cases, a swimmer might want to move to the next fastest lane. If your goal is only to get into better shape, and don’t plan on competing, using fins is a perfectly acceptable way to accomplish your goals. There are specific fins (such as Zoomers) that actually help you to burn more calories than swimming solo.
For those in the world of triathlon racing, however, there is more to be concerned with than simply burning fat. That said, there are some specific situations in which you may want to add fins to your workout. For instance, fins are great for building leg strength. You’ll also be able to use more oxygen throughout your swim. This will enable you to support more muscle mass use (and at greater intensity). At the same time, it’s important to realize that using fins regularly (especially when intended to make the swimmer faster, or to keep from sinking in the water) is a mistake.
In particular, runners can benefit from training with fins. Those unaccustomed to swimming often produce little or no kick, or even move backwards when kicking. Using fins (albeit for a relatively short period of time) can slowly improve stroke and speed. For these purposes, Zoomers are perfect, although any of the shorter variety will do. The reasoning behind this is relatively simple: fins allow you to concentrate on the movement of your upper body, and your endurance as a whole, rather than having to constantly think about leg movement.
Take into account that approximately ninety percent of your propulsion through the water comes from your upper body; obviously, it makes a lot of sense to concentrate on fine-tuning this section before moving on to others. Once you have the upper body down, you can start slowly moving away from fins. You’ll likely notice the difference from your “pre-fin” days, even in your legs, due to imrpoved ankle flexibility.
Zoomers can be a great tool in your training for triathlons. Remember, however, that they can also become quite addictive, preventing you from naturally improving your stroke and times. If you utilize fins correctly, without abuse, they can add great benefits to your workout and overall freestyle stroke.
For 20% off a pair of Zoomers fins, check out the Finis store and use discount code ‘aggies20’ at checkout!