Benefits of Swimming With Fins
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If you are used to swimming in a pool, you might not have experience with fins. When you first try them, they may be hard to put on or feel awkward, especially if you’re walking down the beach in them. But don’t give up. Fins offer swimmers many benefits, including added power for your legs and protection for your feet.
Speed, Power and Strength
Donning a pair of fins can increase your swimming speed by 50 percent, according to Snorkeling.com. They also make your legs stronger. The added resistance of fins builds strength in your quadriceps and hamstrings. Many swimmers focus more on upper body strength than lower. Wearing fins helps bring greater attention to your legs, which consist of the largest muscles in your body. Exercising these large muscles reaps great cardiovascular benefit.
When you wear fins, keep some things in mind for safety. If you get caught in a strong tide, your fins will give you added power to escape. They also protect your feet. If you’re swimming or snorkeling near coral – which is very sharp – you’ll be glad to have your feet covered. Of course, do your best to avoid touching the coral, which is a delicate ecosystem.
Swimming with fins is not uncommon when doing different water activities, including snorkeling and scuba diving, which also involve additional pieces of equipment. Fins help you handle this extra stuff better. If you’re snorkeling in deep water, for example, and you need to surface to adjust your mask, it’s easier to tread water with your fins on. Underwater photography enthusiasts will appreciate the added propulsion power of fins. With reduced demands on your arms, you’re free to snap more shots.
Swim Fin Techniques
When swimming with fins, keep them submerged. Breaking the water’s surface wastes energy and sacrifices efficiency, according to the Rhino Dive UK website. For easy and streamlined snorkeling, try keeping your arms along your sides while doing a basic underwater flutter stroke at a pace of about 20 kicks each minute. More advanced fin users can learn the dolphin kick, which involves moving your legs up and down together.
Teresa Bergen writes about fitness, health, yoga, travel and the arts. She is the author of "Vegetarian Asia Travel Guide" and has written hundreds of articles for publications online and off. Bergen also teaches yoga, spinning and group fitness classes, and is an ACE-certified personal trainer.