Message Boards » Fitness and Exercise

TOPIC: swim fins...any thoughts?

Topic has been inactive for 30 days or more and images have been disabled.
Display All Images
June 15, 2011 1:43 AM
I swim laps (breaststroke) for 45-60 minutes per day 5-6 days a week. Does using swim fins improve the calorie burn? Increase toning? etc.....

I have only used swim fins while snorkeling in Jamaica and it was easier to swim (while snorkeling). I have never tried them with traditional swimming.

Speaking of Jamaica....wish I was there......laugh
June 15, 2011 1:48 AM
Swim fins do increase resistance, calorie burn and toning. No idea how you'd find the figures though! BUT I'm not sure they'd work for breast stroke, they're more for an up-and-down kick like in front crawl (freestyle) or snorkelling. You could also try using water-aerobics gloves for the same effect on your upper body. I feel like I've been boxing after I've used mine!
June 15, 2011 1:50 AM
I've been swimming laps for the last few months and haven't really though about accessories aside from a pair of goggles, I don't think you use fins to help burn calories but to improve your swimming form, but I don't know and could easily be wrong
June 15, 2011 1:53 AM
Found a reference:

Increasing Effort

Use plastic hand paddles to increase the upper-body workout you get swimming freestyle laps. Short, stiff swimming fins increase the workload for your legs, as well as overall effort, burning more calories. A drag suit is a looser-fitting suit you wear over your regular suit, which increases your drag in the water, making you work harder to move forward, using more energy.
June 15, 2011 2:03 AM
You can use fins doing a frog kick (aka breast stroke). It's difficult to learn. You'd look kinda funny. You'd get the same exercise benefit just swimming longer and faster.
June 15, 2011 2:03 AM
They definitely do. Both fins and the hand paddles. It's also good to train using floats like the pullbuoy.
June 15, 2011 2:06 AM
I just might have to go shopping tonight...
June 15, 2011 2:09 AM
I heard fish love them!wink
June 15, 2011 2:33 AM

I heard fish love them!wink

lol.....good one laugh
June 15, 2011 11:46 AM
If you aren't an experienced swimmer, do NOT use fins while doing breastroke! You will tear up your knees trying to get the fins turned the right way. Any other stroke, yes, they will work your leg muscles a little bit more. Paddles should be used cautiously; they are not meant for beginning swimmers and can lead to serious damage in your elbow, shoulder, and rotator cuff. They are really meant to increase the power in a competitive swimmer's stroke. Like someone else said, if you just swim harder, that will burn more calories too. After swimming for 14 years, I personally cannot use fins and get my HR up as high as if I just sprint w/o fins. HR is the main determinant of how many calories you are burning.

As far as swim "accessories," I recommend just a kickboard and a pull bouy. No injuries if you stick to those. Work your leg muscles by doing lots of kick w/ the kickboard and work your arm muscles using the pull bouy to keep you from kicking.

Have fun swimming!
June 15, 2011 9:20 PM
Well, I got the swim fins today. They did increase the resistance for my leg muscles when doing freestyle and just a kickboard. It was a little awkward with the breaststroke. I swam some with them and some without. It was a good workout.
I think I will have to invest in a pull bouy next.
June 15, 2011 9:46 PM

If you aren't an experienced swimmer, do NOT use fins while doing breastroke! You will tear up your knees trying to get the fins turned the right way. Any other stroke, yes, they will work your leg muscles a little bit more.

Yeah, my "career" as a regional-level USS swimmer (it's been awhile, but my 100yd breaststroke time was somewhere in the 1:12-1:19 range?) came to an abrupt halt at 14 from just the kick alone. I had both my knees scoped an a dual lateral release done before my freshman year of high-school. Most USS coaches would never even dream of making us do breaststroke kick with fins. It certainly doesn't help with technique or speed. The worst I had to endure as a Marine Corps combat water survival instructor was swimming >survival< breaststroke with full camouflage uniform and boots which was awkward enough. (survival breaststroke is far more relaxed and leisurely than competitive breaststroke where your hips come into play nearly as much as butterfly and your upper body comes up high and out over the surface.)

If you need more burn calorie-wise, add more drag to your endurance swims (I still use camo pants) or work in timed sprint intervals (start with 6x50free every 60 seconds, work towards 12x6 every 45 seconds, then 6x100free every 120 seconds, work towards 12x100free every 90 seconds, etc.) Also, fins get kinda inconvenient/frustrating when you're dealing with standard 20-25yd/m pools because of how few strokes you need between flip-turns. I pretty much only think they're worth it for 50yd/m pools and I think they are better for building leg strength & helping with breath control drills than cardio.


Message Boards » Fitness and Exercise

Posts by members, moderators and admins should not be considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy.