Training equipment can be a contentious topic among swimmers and swim coaches.
Some love it and some hate it.
Some think equipment is great for helping swimmers learn skills and others feel they simply let swimmers cheat their way through sets, hiding their technical flaws.
So, what’s the verdict?
It depends on your intention.
If you’re using any training equipment for a specific purpose, and that specific purpose is geared towards improving your skills, then training equipment can be really effective.
If you’re using training equipment to avoid your weaknesses, then training equipment is not going to be doing you any favors.
In this next series, we’ll explore some of the more popular pieces of equipment, and how you can use them for good rather than evil.
Some tend to view fins as training wheels for those who are struggling to make swimming work, especially if they have a really weak kick.
While this can certainly be the case in some circumstances, the value in using fins is simple-
Fins allow you to do things you can’t do without fins.
Why does that matter? If you can swim in ways you otherwise are unable to, it allows you to feel in ways you are otherwise unable to feel.
You can harness the novelty that fins allow to expand what is possible from a sensory perspective.
Fins allow you to achieve speeds that you can’t achieve otherwise for the same type of set.
You can perform a LOT of swimming at race speed without race intensity.
Changes in speed leads to changes in what you feel.
This will help you learn how to manage the flow of the water on your arms, and the flow of the water over your body.
Further, fins also allow you to take pressure off the arms and allow swimmers to feel what it’s like for the arms to take on less of the propulsive burden.
It allows you to feel what it’s like to have the kick drive the stroke.
If you’re throwing your fins on during every lap to avoid the struggle that will come with regular swimming, then fins are a crutch.
If you’re strategically using fins to create novel sensory experiences that force you to pay attention and expand your skill set, then using fins makes a lot of sense.
Know the difference and use your fins with intention to enhance your progress.
Faster. Easier. Better.