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Kick from the hip with fins, keeping your toes pointed and legs straight, but relaxed.
David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images
Swimming for exercise allows you to take advantage of the water's ready-made resistance. Adding fins to your workout boosts that resistance for effective toning of your legs, as well as increase calorie burn. If you have a weak kick or feel like your kick isn't getting you anywhere, fins will help by forcing your feet into the correct position, toning and strengthening the muscles you need for an effective kick.
Maximize the resistance benefits when exercising in water by swimming or kicking with fins for part of the workout. Wearing fins, even if only for part of the warmup or cool-down, means an increase in the resistance you'll feel. You are moving more water when you kick, which in turn means more toning and strengthening of your leg muscles. An added benefit to using water's resistance is increased intensity, which MayoClinic.com says is a good way to burn more calories.
Get the most out of your kick when wearing fins by kicking from the hips and keeping your knees straight, but not locked. Point your toes and start out with tiny flutter or dolphin kicks, kicking bigger and harder as you feel your finned feet effectively working to push the water behind you and propel you forward. This can be done by kicking with a kick board or swimming the whole stroke, alternating big and small kicks on both your front and on your back.
Calorie Burning Benefits
Swimming or kicking with fins for at least 20 minutes provides a good cardiovascular workout that takes advantage of the benefits of working out in water. Water exercise, according to the American Council on Exercise, helps to promote flexibility, build strength and fight body fat. Lowering the amount of fat you carry while increasing muscle mass means that you will burn more calories with your workout, promoting good health and reducing your risk for heart disease.
Strength and Endurance
Swimming strengthens and tones muscles in both your upper and lower body, but most swimmers find that their pull - how you use your arms to swim - is stronger than their kick. Wear fins for part of your workout and include some lengths of flutter or dolphin kick with a kick board. The laps you swim with fins will help you build leg muscle strength and develop endurance needed for swimming longer and for greater distances before becoming fatigued.