Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Freestyle
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-07-2017
scribe3 scribe3 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 66
scribe3
Default Fins

I am a newbie, and I just started using swim fins again. I couple years ago, my swimming instructor talked me into buying some AQUA SPHERE ALPHA SWIM FINS.

Along with being strange looking, you have to keep your legs completely straight or they don't work at all[they will only float on top of the water]. At the time I was doing drills, not swimming freestyle with them because you have to have a strong kick in order to do that.

Recently, I dug out a pair of my old swim fins which are short fins. I was just wondering when using all fins should you keep your legs completely straight, the way I had too, with the AQUA SPHERE ALPHA SWIM FINS?.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-07-2017
CoachStuartMcDougal's Avatar
CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
coach
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,353
CoachStuartMcDougal
Default

Hi Scribe,

The AquaSphere fins somewhat turn you into a wheelbarrow lifting from the feet, arch the back and encourage a rigid leg to keep them stable. Regular length fins work well, help remove excessive knee flexion in kick and promote and kick from hip/glutes. Used minimally, you will feel the kinetic flow from the hip through to the toes. Don't use for balance or stabilizing your body.

Stuart
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-08-2017
Streak Streak is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 376
Streak
Default

Scribe,
Listen to Stuart, he does know his stuff. I had my alpha fins before I started following TI.
As the only fins I own I have used them on and off. I found that they helped with my kick timing and also I used them instead of a pull buoy for some arms only action.

See here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9XtaCp5CeI

As Stuart says, limited use but I did find them of some value and probably would have bought different ones if I knew I was getting into TI.
__________________
Coach Stuart McDougal knocking me into shape

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79Yp_lgN4mQ
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-08-2017
scribe3 scribe3 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 66
scribe3
Default fins

At the time, I was using those AquaSphere fins, my instructor had me doing a drill, where basically I would push off the wall in a streamline position, without a kickboard. The idea was to teach me how to kick harder, by having me with straight legs kick and lift my head to breath when I needed too, having both hands tilted up would keep me closest to the surface without the aid of a kickboard.

Actually, I never used them as a pool buoy replacement, however looking at that video you posted, they would probably work great.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-09-2017
CoachStuartMcDougal's Avatar
CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
coach
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,353
CoachStuartMcDougal
Default

Hi Scribe,

What reason did your coach give you that you needed to kick harder and what benefit do aqua sphere fins provide or encourage a hard kick? Namely, what was the error in your kick he was trying to help you fix?

The kicking legs should be soft and fluid - not riged or held straight. If you are kicking from the knees (excessive knee bend), kicking harder with straight leg will only cause other problems.

The shorty fins are mostly useless, and won't help or reduce the kicking from the knees. Plain old long (normal length) fins work great for feeling fluid flow from hip/glutes through to the toes. And due to the long fin, it's very difficult to kick from the knees.

Stuart

Last edited by CoachStuartMcDougal : 01-09-2017 at 04:27 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-09-2017
scribe3 scribe3 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 66
scribe3
Default Fins

So, this was a few years back, as I recall my swimming instructor had been on the swim team, every since she was 12-13 years old. After, school she became the assistant coach on the team. Basically, she said I had a small fast kick, and in her opinion, I needed to kick hard until I determine how hard I would have to kick to maintain a horizontal position during freestyle swimming.

The issue was my lower body was dragging in the water, she also mentioned I needed to squeeze my glutes and brace my core, lack of core stability and a small fast kick. Due to her background, her mindset seem to be you needed a strong kick, the water should seem to be boiling from the kick and your heels should barely be breaking the surface of the water. I don't remember if she used a 2-4-6 beat kick, we never discuss it.

I believe she suggested the Aqua Sphere fins because she was hoping I would get a feel for how your feet should be closest to the water line. When I read Coach Stuart reply, I actually thought about her, she uses to say keep your legs straight and kicks from the hips.

Thanks, Coach Stuart, we have some normal size fins at the Y, and I will take your advice and start using them instead
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-09-2017
CoachStuartMcDougal's Avatar
CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
coach
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,353
CoachStuartMcDougal
Default

Hi Scribe,

Kicking harder and/or more is a common remedy to lift hips, but that comes at a huge expense of wasting a lot of energy, and often drives the hips even lower.

I was given that same remedy years ago (I have heavy hips) and was told I needed to kick more and harder. Legs are o2 busting machines. Making the legs lighter comes from learning correct body position, "balance" over center of buoyancy and using recovery arm to re-balance the vessel on each stroke.

Head position is #1. Head-spine aligned, no tension in neck and shoulders have immediate impact on balance - hips and legs almost magically rise to the surface with no or very little kick.

Do you have any of the books/dvds? The 1.0 Effortless Endurance Self-Coaching ebook/video is worth its weight in gold. The very first topic and priority is learning the skill of balance, making your legs light without hard/heavy kick.

Stuart

Last edited by CoachStuartMcDougal : 01-09-2017 at 06:46 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-10-2017
scribe3 scribe3 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 66
scribe3
Default Fins

Hello,

Yes, I have "Total Immersion The revolutionary way to swim better, Faster, and Easier", book and also, "Swimming made easy" book. I started reading "The Revolutionary" way to swim". You mentioned head position, I remember her telling me to look at 45 degrees down while swimming freestyle in an attempt to get my hips closer to the surface.

When my chin is almost touching my chest [which I think is past 45 degrees] my legs do seem to feel lighter during freestyle swimming.

I will continue to read this book and switch to normal size fins
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-10-2017
CoachStuartMcDougal's Avatar
CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
coach
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,353
CoachStuartMcDougal
Default

Hi Scribe,

Ok excellent. Those are all great too.

Re Head Position: Often we have to use extreme positions, perception-wise, to make corrections in posture and stroke. Perception vs reality thing. What we think we are doing, reality can be quite different and takes some time to bring those two together. Initially perception and reality are at almost complete odds with one another :-)

I have had swimmers actually tuck their chin to the chest and it feels awkward and very wrong to them, "this can't be right"! Reality is their head-spine are in perfect alignment, no tension in the neck. Those that have been looking forward for years, tension in neck *and* shoulders, poor posture, never had head-spine in alignment will need perceived extreme focus to get head-spine-hips in alignment to achieve good swimming posture and make those legs light.

Stuart

Last edited by CoachStuartMcDougal : 01-10-2017 at 05:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-11-2017
ScoopUK
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I only use fins as an in-water strength and conditioning tool and never for freestyle or back stroke. Typically it's for dolphin kicking drills to get the legs and core burning.

I find the learned sensation when wearing them doesn't translate at all well to the act of swimming without them, especially is you are having to kick wider so you aren't banging the blades of the fins. Bit like when you take paddles off and suddenly you've lost your feel for the water.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.