Ralph uses shinfinTM fins to improve the swimming technique of his grandchildren of all ages, for freestyle, backstroke and butterfly. The fins encourage them to activate their stronger muscles by kicking from their hips with straighter knees, and build up their stamina and muscle memory.
Ralph’s review from Delran, USA
“I have found that shinfinTM fins are a positive alternative to promoting a more anatomical utilization of the muscles for freestyle, backstroke and butterfly. Just swim freestyle across the pool and feel the fins aid in your leg motions. The fins encourage the muscles of the upper leg, gluteus, lower back and abs to rhythmically move the legs. Presto! That was fun, easy and fast. Your legs do get tired as they react to the exercise and build muscle but it’s more advantageous to practice something technically more correct than perfecting self-defeating inappropriate muscle memory.”
Ralph’s review: Fins to improve swim technique for all ages
“I became interested in shinfinTM fins because as I observed swimmers attending swim practices and competing in meets, most of them (no matter how good they thought they were) exhibited serious mechanical flaws in the swimming, in particular, the various kicks of competitive swimming. I observed a lack of interest or knowledge on the part of many coaches and parents to offer intelligent drills and suggestions for their swimming improvement. Such comments as “kick faster”, “swim faster”, “keep your legs straight”, “point your toes”, “KICK”, praise for doing the “doggie paddle” and land demonstrations by the coach, were not, and probably never can, facilitate the learning process involved in swimming and other sports as well. These experiences often led to young people quitting prematurely or hating the practices. Add that to asking one to swim in hypothermic water at eight o’clock in the morning.”
“Some coaches added fins of various designs. Some are beneficial for scuba diving but as yet this is not a competitive swimming event. Others are so stiff, Arnold Schwarzenegger could injure himself. Some coaches refuse to use fins, period. The good coaches are coaching. Unfortunately, most beginning swimmers do not have access to these individuals and never will. The point is, the chief objective of sports is to enjoy the activity throughout one’s lifetime, safely and have fun making friends and staying healthy and fit. Most of us are not able or so inclined to devote our entire lives to swimming. So why do we attempt to force on others what we ourselves can’t do.”
A positive coaching alternative
“I have found that shinfinTM fins are a positive alternative to promoting a more anatomical utilization of the muscles for freestyle, backstroke and butterfly (dolphin kick). Not only has it helped a more “mature” member of the swimming community (and a retired lifeguard) but I have also personally observed a 13, 11, 9 and even a 6 year old swim the length of a backyard pool using excellent technique for the first time in the legs.”
“No yelling, little talking about how to “kick fast” or KICK. Just swim freestyle across the pool and feel the fins aid in your leg motions. The fins encourage the muscles of the upper leg, gluteus, lower back and abs to rhythmically move the legs. Presto! That was fun, easy and fast. Your legs do get tired as they react to the exercise and build muscle but it’s more advantageous to practice something technically more correct than perfecting self-defeating inappropriate muscle memory.”
“With these shinfinTM aids working with a coach, the coach and swimmer can now focus and concentrate on the various other aspects of the various strokes, except the breaststroke. They are not conducive to learning or practicing the “whip kick”.”
“Practice makes better. Enjoy the water and the challenge of competing against yourself.”
Thank you again for all your recent orders. I see that you have ordered four pairs of fins over the past few weeks. I’d love to hear back from you if you get a moment to email me.
“I have ten grandchildren. Four of them swim for a local swim club. Their ages are 13, 11, 9, 6 and 3. Obviously the 3 year old only kicks with the kick board in “competition”. I became frustrated with their coaches and swim instructors, in their failure to address techniques which where preventing them from enjoying and using the water to their advantage instead of fighting against it.”
“I heard about shinfinTM fins while researching questions on the latest swimming drills, racing technique and research. One of the biggest problems for swimmers is learning how to kick using one’s core, obliques and upper leg (quads for instance), instead of kicking with the knees bent up to 90 degrees in an attempt to go faster. shinfinTM fins address these issues.”
Swim technique fins that fit all ages
“So far the older three have begun to use the shinfinTM fins for all three kicks. The 6 year old has the musculature of her sister who is 9. Today we tried on the fins and they fit as well as they do on her 9 year old sister. She has also been “swimming” since she was 3 or 4. The next pair of fins will be ordered for her, after we check the fit in the water and get her familiar with how they “feel” in the water while she is swimming using only her arms.”
“The 9 year old had them today for her second session and she was swimming like she was born with them on her shins. The eldest two have had three sessions. They are becoming more accustomed to them and beginning to build up stamina and “muscle memory”. Each session lasts about 30 to 45 minutes with short interval drills to prevent injuries and allow time for the neuronal pathways to become patterned.”
“Thanks for your “thinking outside the box” and providing an option for swimmers who desire to improve their technique and their love of the water.”
It is fascinating to hear the story of your grandchildren swimming. It is wonderful to hear how they are progressing. I couldn’t agree more with your comments on shinfinTM fins and their swimming techniques. You are clearly in tune with the human movement aspects.
My passion is designing the fins to guide and strengthen a natural streamlined kick. Without the swimmer needing to think about it too much. Instead, just relaxing and letting the fins guide you into a streamlined swimming kick and whole stroke pattern, arms too.
“I was amazed at how quickly my 6 year old adapted to the fins and began to use her abs, quads, glutes, and oblique’s effortlessly to move along the surface of the water. I have been “coaching” her for three years so she is not the normal “swimmer”. But my observations and experiences with my granddaughters and my own “learning curve”, convinces me that these “aids” are extremely useful in facilitating a more adequate kick. An alternative to trying to only use language like “keep your legs straight” and “point your toes”.”
“Our swim team has 100 swimmers and it is sad to watch most of these young swimmers attempt to swim faster by bending their knees and “beating the water to death”, with little instruction from the “coaches”. My observation is that in competitive swimming, many coaches are only interested in the “talented swimmers”. They have little time or ability to help others with some proper instruction and encouragement, so they could at least enjoy the sport more and maybe become “talented”.”
Very pertinent observations and I totally agree. The shinfinTM biomechanics (and human movement in general) is my real design passion.
“I am convinced the shinfinTM fins are a valuable coaching tool. I had my 6 year old granddaughter in the 25 meter pool today, for the first time after I had her try them on in her backyard pool two weeks ago. So this was “the acid test” to see if her second experience was as positive as the first introductory session. She swam freestyle with and without a Speedo kick board, backstroke and dolphin kick with a kick board. Kick technique was “textbook” after a few suggestions regarding chest and abdominal down thrust to initiate the dolphin kick. Her flutter kick was more than adequate to progress to freestyle arm and breathing technique.”
“She had been using foot fins for two years and was kicking like she was a scuba diver. Now she will be able to transition to using a kick more conducive to competitive swimming. She has two years to go in her age group so this should be interesting.”
“One of my ideas was to stress the value of preventative and/or corrective coaching. This would involve the utilization of shinfinTM fins as early as possible for the beginner swimmer as a preventative measure and for the older swimmer as a corrective alternative. “Point your toes”, “keep your legs straight” and “kick faster” are often not very useful coaching approaches. This model is analogous in the field of medicine when utilized in Preventive Medicine. The idea of preventing a problem is a paradigm shift. Still a “work in progress” and a great opportunity for coaches and their students, no matter what their sport.”
You can use shinfinTM fins to improve swimming technique for all ages, for freestyle, backstroke and butterfly. If you use them for swim training, they will increase your muscle memory and stamina for a stronger muscle kick from your hips with straighter knees. All this and more, with great fin comfort too.