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Published on: 01 Mar 2017 by jshaw
Like you need an added excuse to wear fins—Here’s why wearing
fins on during warm-up will help ease shoulder pain and prepare you for faster
swimming later in practice.
When it comes to pieces
of swimming gear, nothing gets swimmers excited quite like getting to wear swim fins.
After all, the joys of
ripping across the pool at Mach-1 are universal. It doesn’t matter what stroke
you specialize in, getting to strap up the fins ranks as a highlight during
those long swim
Besides getting to go
super duper fast, wearing fins also helps to serve some other sneaky little benefits.
Although a lot of swimmers use them as a crutch, or lean on them to make the
intervals during tough kick sets, using fins during warm-up will:
1. Loosen up your hips and ankles. Your legs, those big, muscular and oxygen-thirsty stems
that they are tend to take longer to warm-up. There are lots of benefits to
wearing swim fins beyond the ability to go really, really fast: they help to increase
ankle flexibility, develop overall leg power and capacity, and teach you
how to kick efficiently. Added speed means your body is more sensitive to drag
and resistance in the water.
2. Takes it easy on your shoulders. As a competitive swimmer one of the “perks” of
the hilarious amounts of mileage done during training is the wear and tear on
our shoulders. At some point, we all run head-on into the dreaded swimmer’s
shoulder. For some it’s a career-long epidemic, while for others it’s the
random acute injury. Whatever the case, it sucks. And one of the ways that you
can help to lessen the load on your money makers is to warm up with fins on. When
you consider that most warm-ups are in the 1-1.5k range, and that they often
involve cold muscles in your shoulders, chest and back, strapping fins on can
be an easy to get things warmed up while slowly introducing your shoulders to
3. Gives your breakouts some TLC. The break-out makes up a stunning proportion of short
course races. It’s your baseline speed—at no point (except for the dive) are
you going faster when swimming than in the moments that you are pushing off the
wall and breaking out. Wearing fins, and getting your target number of underwater
dolphin kicks, will help reinforce a more streamlined, drag-free breakout
4. Leg endurance + warm-up. Most swimmers, when swimming, don’t kick. Okay, maybe they are freestyle kicking, but
let’s be honest, a 1-beat kick isn’t really kicking. Sure, the same could
happen when putting on fins, but whole fun in wearing fins is going fast, and
the only way you can do that is with some measure of kick.