3 Training Fin Drills To Make You a Better Swimmer

swim training fins drills

Using swim training fins as part of your practice plan is a fantastic way of developing your technique, strength and speed in the water.

Training fins can really add a whole new dimension to your swim training and help you become a better all-round swimmer.

Of course, the first thing you'll notice when wearing swim training fins is the increase in speed it gives you, as well as the ability to swim at a faster pace for longer.

However there is far more to these training aids than just speed. Swim fins will also help adjust your upper body to swimming at an increased pace, and you're sure to notice improved flexibility and strength in your ankles and calf muscles as a result of the increased resistance.

Check out these three swim sets from FINIS which have been created for swimmers to build their speed, strength and technique.

We recommend trying these swimming drills wearing fins with a short to mid-length blade. Training fins with a shorter blade allow for more foot speed and proper technique work, so you'll get the maximum benefit from these sets.


3 Training Fin Swim Sets

 Swim Drill Speed

Starburst Drill

This drill capitalises on the power of short bursts of high octane speed to build fast-twitch muscle fibres.

1 Round, with a kickboard

2 x 25 (1/4 Sprint, 1/4 Easy, 1/4 Sprint, 1/4 Easy)

4 x 25 (1/2 Sprint, 1/2 Easy)

6 x 25 (Odds=Sprint, Evens=Easy)

4 x 25 (1/2 Sprint, 1/2 Easy)

2 x 25 (1/4 Sprint, 1/4 Easy, 1/4 Sprint, 1/4 Easy)

 Swim Drill Strength

Tombstone Kick

This drill calls for a small adjustment on a classic training tool – the kickboard. To implement the Tombstone Kick drill, simply turn the kickboard to a vertical orientation and ensure that at least half of the board is submerged. The altered surface area makes for unbeatable resistance and a killer workout for the glutes and hamstrings.

3 Rounds, with a kickboard

4 x 25 (3/4 Easy, 1/4 Sprint w/Tombstone Board)

2 x 25 (1/2 Easy, 1/2 Sprint w/Tombstone Board)

1 x 100 Kick for time

 Swim Drill Technique

Drama Queen Kick

Essentially this is a slow motion, over-exaggerated flutter kick. When performing this drill, swimmers should focus on slowing down the kick cycle and dramatically increasing the range of motion. The over-exaggerated technique allows swimmers to more easily tune into ankle flexion and proper body alignment throughout the kick. As a bonus, this drill is also quite taxing on the legs and core – the increased workload of a large kick also makes for a great strength-building exercise.

2 Rounds

2 x 25 Drama Queen Kick (recommended: streamline, no board)

4 x 25 Freestyle, easy

2 x 25 Drama Queen Kick

4 x 25 Freestyle, mid-level effort

2 x 25 Drama Queen Kick

4 x 25 Freestyle, sprint from a dive


5 Best Swim Fins for Training

As mentioned above, using swim training fins with a shorter blade is recommended for sprinters and mid-distance swimmers.

Longer fins make it more difficult to kick with any kind of turnover, and are usually favoured by long distance swimmers and scuba divers.

Shorter blades allow for greater foot speed and thorough technique work, so here are five suggestions for training fins you may want to incorporate into your swim practice.


finis edge fins

FINIS Edge Fins

The ultimate choice for speed training, these FINIS Edge Fins have been made to feel like a natural extension of the foot.

Using FINIS SmartFin™ technology, these training fins help you kick properly at high speeds and have been designed to catch water on the upkick, activating your hamstrings and glutes.

They will help you build cardiovascular endurance while improving your speed and kicking technique.


speedo fastskin kickfin

Speedo Fastskin Kickfin

The Speedo Kickfin is an elite training aid which is part of the Fastskin family, having been designed at Speedo's AquaLab with advice and feedback from top international swimmers.

They have been made using 3D flex foot scan technology for the perfect fit, and have been designed to work the calf muscles and legs to increase strength and endurance.

They also feature Speedo's smart red and black colour scheme, which makes them look every bit as good as they feel in the water.


arena powerfin pro

Arena Powerfin Pro

The Arena Powerfin Pro is available in a selection of cool colours, and will deliver an exceptionally fast and powerful kick.

Made using Arena's world exclusive design, these swim training fins have an aqua sole for improved grip and an inclined blade for maximum propulsion.

Side rails on the fins will give you better control in the water, while the Powerfin Pro's open heel design allows for greater ankle flexibility.


mad wave short blade training fins

Mad Wave Short Blade Swim Fins

Mad Wave Short Blade Swim Fins come in a range of colours depending on foot size.

They have been designed to increase leg muscle strength to result in a faster and more powerful swim performance.

The short blade is shaped to promote a shorter, faster kick similar to the style you would use in a race, and it also promotes correct body alignment and feet positioning.


mp michael phelps alpha fins

MP Michael Phelps Alpha Fins

These MP Michael Phelps Alpha Fins have been designed to be up to 70% lighter than traditional swim training fins.

Their unique shape deliver comfort and promote an improved body position in the water, making them perfect for practising race pace kicking tempo.

With an asymmetrical design, these Alpha Fins will promote a natural kicking motion and they look great too in that stylish MP Michael Phelps green colour.


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