Why swim with fins, which fins should we use? And how?

Why swim with fins, which fins should we use? And how?

In swim WEST we believe in 1.Loosening 2. Elongating 3. Strengthening the reason is we want to build a swimming technique that will be like a shock absorber.

What do we need fins for? Which ones to buy? How should it be used? Can it be addicting?

Why fins? Basically it helps us move forward. Unfortunately, or not, most of us don’t walk on our toes so are not used to flex point our feet, except maybe dancers. Swimming with fins helps us go faster. The fin increases the surface area, as well as the kicking intensity. It makes us flex point our toes naturally, so our forward movement is faster. Consistent flex pointing our toes lengthens our legs muscles, especially our feet. A long muscle is more flexible and floats better. Kicking with flexible feet is less likely to get us lactated out, since we move forward further per kick than we do with less flexible kicking.

So, what fin should you choose? Short (zoomers)? Long and rigid? Long with a midline slit? Scuba divers fins? If you are not a professional swimmer who swims at least 4 times a week, go for a longer and more flexible fins, in order to have a greater range of motion and prevent foot or back injuries. It is better in general to go for flexible fins, attempting to create a longer muscle and protect your joints. You can gradually go for a more rigid fin. I recommend you to start off with a rubber flexible fin such as Speedo or DOLPHIN, which are the most flexible ones.

Flexible fins are good for advanced swimmers as well as for people who want to learn swimming.

More advantages of swimming with fins-

  1. Fins help drilling. The fins neutralize the effort we put in kicking, so when we drill we can concentrate on our stroke.
  2. Speed tempos- some swimming workouts are all about the speed, a way faster one we could generate on our own. Fins make it possible. But we don’t want to get addicted- so once you master swimming technique with fins, you should take them off and try to practice the same speed you swam with fins on.
  3. Children- fins help them improve their coordination, and use muscles they aren’t used to. Improving flexibility enables us more complicated and integrated movement when we take the fins off. Of course it also improves our land flexibility. This is very notable with children under the age of 12 years old.

Recommended swimming workouts-

  1. 8*25 dolphin diving- the goal is improving hip flexibility and creating a long movement with your feet and legs.
  2. 8*25 freestyle with fins- with no kicking. Push hard off the wall and try not to take more than 12 strokes (dragging your legs elongates your body and protects your lower back).
  3. Stretching swimming drill- grab the tip of your fin and pull towards you.
  4. Stretching drill- grab the fin from its base and pull towards you.

Those 2 drills are very important post workout, for your shins and your hip. Long hip muscles prevent lower back injuries.


To sum up, I use fins when I swim and when I coach age grouper, in swimming classes,people who learn how to swim, from kids to masters. However, it is important to keep in mind the fins are only a means on the way to our ultimate goal, so you shouldn’t go a full workout wearing fins. Moreover, you should pick the right fin type for you, to minimize injuries, keep a healthy body and enjoy the process.

At any case you feel a sharp pain in your back, neck, knees or ankles, consult one of the swim WEST coaches immediately, so we can modify your fins program.


If you do want to work on your swimming technique fill in the questionnaire and an swim WEST, learn to swim online program will be send to you (according to your flexibility and swimming level) https://swim-west.com/diagnosis/


The writer of this article is Ori Sela founder of swim WEST technique and the owner of Water World Israel – one of the biggest and most professional clubs for Hydrotherapy in the world.



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