So I have been swimming a LOT more lately and I have noticed that my 50 yard and 100 yard times have gone down a few seconds in the past few weeks. Before this season, I was swimming maybe once or twice a week no more than 1500 yards and each time I went to the pool, I was focused on completing the workout as fast as possible and getting OUT of the pool! Swimming to me had been a necessary evil and my attitude toward it was pretty negative.
Since February, I joined a Master's Club and we meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for about an hour and 15 minutes. The coach incorporates a lot of different drills, different pieces of equipment, and changes up the workout every time. This has made a world of difference because I never get bored and I am constantly challenged by every workout. I invested in a pair of fins and our coach incorporates these often when doing drills. I was curious as to why adults need to swim with fins on their feet- I had never really used these before. So I did a little research as to why they can be a great tool for effective swim workouts.
1. The number one reason I love my new blue and green fins is because often, I have to finish a workout quickly to go and pick up my kids or get to a client on time. Fins are great if you want to train hard but are crunched for time because they speed up your swim time but you are still working hard on your pull.
2. I find that fins build ankle flexibility. I never used to swim with them much but now that I use them almost every single workout, I can feel that my plantar flexion and extension are much greater.
3. Fins keep you above the water a little bit more than without, and this is nice when you are tired. I find that I can easily do 4 lengths of butterfly with fins but it would be a struggle without them. Using fins on the butterfly kick brings you out of the water more making it easier to expand the shoulders around for the pull.
4. Fins make your swim drills go a lot smoother too, especially kicking drills. I am not a fan of backstroke probably because I am not good at it, but doing backstroke kick using the fins makes going down the pool much nicer and smoother.
5. Fins improve your lower body strength and improve your kicking by almost forcing you to kick at the hips not the knees. I think this is because fins actually lengthen the lever of your body in the water.
Lots of the above information is my own opinion and a summary of articles I have read from simplyswim.com and triswimcoach.com. Check out both of these websites!