Swim tips 5 – Using fins to improve your stroke

Swimming front crawl (FC) efficiently is a complex motor skill to learn. It involves the coordinated movement of the head, spine, pelvic and shoulder girdles and all four limbs at once in an environment that not all of us are comfortable in. Oh, did I forget to mention breathing too? Breaking down a skill into parts and learning each part before putting into practice the whole skill is one way we can learn complex motor skills. This is where the use of fins can be very effective.

For example, we might want to concentrate on our body position in the water using the ‘kicking on your side’ drill. This is a great drill but at first it can be difficult to get the right body position while trying to kick effectively. So the drill can be practised with fins initially, allowing you to focus on body position while taking some of the pressure off your kick. Once you have the body position sorted you can progress by practising the ‘whole’ drill without the use of fins.

I recommend you buy yourself some fins and bring them along to our swim sessions. You should go for swimming specific fins, they tend to be shorter and more flexible, no diving fins allowed! We can incorporate the use of fins into each session, not only to add variety but allowing you to refine your technique through the use of swimming drills.

Bring them along next Sunday! Tim (LFTC Coach)