Burn calories while keeping your cool with 20 minutes of swimming at least three times a week. Take advantage of water's built-in resistance to build endurance, increase strength and tone your muscles. Fine-tune the water's resistance -- and add a little fun to your workout -- by donning a pair of swim fins to ramp up workout intensity and motivate you to swim longer.
Dial up the intensity of your workout with added resistance, recommends MayoClinic.com, and you'll use more calories. The muscles in your legs and core work hard to power your kick while helping you maintain a good body line in the water when you swim. Wearing fins increases the surface area of your feet, moving more water -- and burning through more calories -- as you kick your way from one end of the pool to the other.
In addition to ramping up the intensity of your swimming workout, fins add a new dimension to your swimming and kicking sets, allowing you to rest your upper body and making it easier to swim a longer workout. Boost the power of your kick by wearing fins, allowing you to add sets of kicking to your workout you may not be able to manage without the boost from kicking with the fins. Work out a little longer, MayoClinic.com explains, and that additional time will help you burn through more calories.
Burn through additional calories by working on your flutter kick and dolphin kick. Add fins to some of your kicking and swimming sets for freestyle, backstroke and butterfly to better position your feet to kick correctly during kicking and swimming sets, making the stroke faster and more efficient. If you have a hard time swimming a length of butterfly, a strenuous stroke that uses the dolphin kick, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much easier it is to swim the stroke while wearing a pair of fins.
Swim fins should hug your feet with a snug fit that doesn’t pinch or chafe. Both flutter and dolphin kicks are from the hip and should be performed with straight legs and relaxed knees and ankles. Fins help many swimmers improve their form for backstroke, freestyle and butterfly because wearing fins forces the feet into the right position – toes pointed back. Fins also promote proper kicking from the hip while strengthening the core muscles needed to power the kick.
Christy Ayala writes about recreation, sports, aquatics, healthy living, family and parenting, language development, organizational change, pets and animals. Ayala holds a master's degree in recreation administration from Aurora University’s George Williams College, a graduate certificate in organizational change from Hawaii Pacific University and a bachelor's degree in Spanish from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.