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Tips | Kicking Your Fins

Streamlined kick from your hips. Only a little knee-bend.

Kicking Your Fins: from hips, slight knee-bend

 

We get a lot of great feedback from swimmers saying that swimming with shinfin™ fins (especially full stroke swimming) improves their horizontal body position, breathing, speed and overall swimming technique (arms too).

Streamlined kick for freestyle, backstroke and fly

They are designed to work best with a good streamlined kick like swimmers use for freestyle, backstroke or fly (not breaststroke).

Kick from your hips with only a little knee-bend

You feel the shinfin power in your thighs, buttocks, stomach and torso – the same muscles as for good “no-fins” swimming. (A foot flipper kick is very different, with more knee-bend and power in your calf muscles and ankles, so foot flippers can’t provide the same benefits – their biomechanics is all wrong for a proper streamlined “no-fins” kick.)

Your kick balances your arm pull

The shinfin kick does more than just add leg power – it balances your arm pull and supports good breathing technique. For example, in freestyle, there is often a larger kick down with the left leg when the right arm pulls (and with the right leg when the left arm pulls) – a diagonal force balance across your body.

Best for full stroke swimming (arms and legs)

I think they work best for full stroke swimming – that is what I really designed them for.

Great for kicking exercises too

For kicking exercises, you might like to keep your arms going but with longer strokes and not pulling so hard. Then your kick technique is most likely to remain the same, so you are strengthening for the right action. Also, you should feel your arm stroke lengthening and becoming smoother, and your breathing nice and regular – other benefits of training with shinfin fins. You can use them for kick only exercises, with or without a kickboard, but your body position and hence kicking technique is more likely to change with a kickboard.

Same kick as good “no-fins” swimming

Most importantly, the benefits of swimming with shinfin fins transfer across to your “no-fins” swimming too, especially if you swim a bit more just after you take off your shinfin fins. This is because the shinfin kick is very similar to a proper streamlined “no-fins” kick.

They improve your “no-fins” swimming too

I have a suggestion for you. Immediately after swimming with the shinfin fins for a while, take them off and swim a bit more. You should find that your body remembers the shinfin kick pattern, so your “no-fins” swimming improves too. If you keep doing this each time you go swimming then you should notice continual improvements in your swimming technique.

Still having some difficulties?

My suggestion for you is this. Put them on and then just “go with their flow” without thinking about it too much. In fact, for the first few laps, maybe hardly kick at all – just use freestyle arms. Then start adding the kick as guided by the flex of the fins – without thinking about it. Swim with them for a few laps to really get into the feel of the streamlined body position and relaxed ankles that they promote. If you keep doing this each time you go swimming then you should notice continual improvements in your swimming technique.