Fin Kick Exercises?

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milbournosphere

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Confession: I've been diving with split fins for quite a while now.

Since getting my AOW cert I've been working on improving my kicking and trim. I've been working on getting the frog kick down, which of course necessitated a move back to a more solid fin. This is all well and good, and I prefer the frog kick to moving with my split fins, except for the fact that my leg strength is totally gone after using the low-resistance split fins for so long.

Are there any exercises/streches that somebody might recommend to strengthen the muscles that one's legs use in frog-kicking (besides, more diving, of course) and similar kick movements? I try to run 5 miles every other day and my legs are in decent shape for that, but the two motions use different muscles so my running isn't really helping my diving much, other than with weight loss and the cardio workout.

Any input on some gym work I could do to help my kicking strength would be greatly appreciated.
 

SnorkelLA

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Squats. Front squats. Clean pulls. Power cleans.

I've been lifting for most of my life and I'm squatting 405 lbs, so I can move myself very quickly any fin you give me, but I prefer to take diving very slow, but I'm happy to state that not many currents are a match for me :rofl3:

Using a certain fin should not impact your leg strength if you're a regularly exercising person, but I understand that it gets away from us all at some point.


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---------- Post added June 3rd, 2013 at 02:59 PM ----------

Oh, and calf raises. Those help a lot with your calf strength which is used a lot In diving, especially with paddle fins


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Sieg@VU

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Interesting comment, I have been frog kicking (my prefered kick unless motoring thru a current) with my splits for years with no problem, it just took a little technique change. I will admit it is easier with blade fins, but I haven't experienced any leg problems whatsoever.
 

milbournosphere

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SnorkelLA, thanks for the input, I'll work on doing some weighted squats and raises.

Seig, I found a frog kick to be somewhat ineffective with my split fins, so I put my blades back on and got much more control and power. However, in Arnold's words, I must I'm a 'girlie man', as my calf muscles protested the switch. I'm pretty sure it's a result of my beginner technique and skipping many leg days. I'm thinking that with some extra effort, both problems can be resolved.
 

flots am

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Confession: I've been diving with split fins for quite a while now. Since getting my AOW cert I've been working on improving my kicking and trim. I've been working on getting the frog kick down, which of course necessitated a move back to a more solid fin. This is all well and good, and I prefer the frog kick to moving with my split fins, except for the fact that my leg strength is totally gone after using the low-resistance split fins for so long.
There's nothing wrong with your legs.

What's "broken" are your expectations.

You're expecting to be able to maintain the same kick speed and style with the rigid fins as with the splits and it's not going to happen. Just relax and kick slower and everything will be fine.

The biggest change between rigid fins and splits is that the splits require a larger number of smaller-range kicks and the rigid fins like Jets, require a smaller number of slower, wider kicks. With the frog kick, for example, do one nice, slow kick then stop kicking. You should have a pretty good glide, then you can do another one. If you do this with splits, you'll find that the "glide" period is shorter, however the kick is easier, so it's pretty much a wash.

All religious arguments aside, the fins just feel different and require different kicks. I'm not convinced that any of them are any better than any others. The only real exception I've found is that the soft twin jets seem to do much better with my ankle when the arthritis is kicking up. Whatever you had was probably fine as is whatever you just bought.

flots
 

danvolker

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I'm a Fish!
Confession: I've been diving with split fins for quite a while now.

Since getting my AOW cert I've been working on improving my kicking and trim. I've been working on getting the frog kick down, which of course necessitated a move back to a more solid fin. This is all well and good, and I prefer the frog kick to moving with my split fins, except for the fact that my leg strength is totally gone after using the low-resistance split fins for so long.

Are there any exercises/streches that somebody might recommend to strengthen the muscles that one's legs use in frog-kicking (besides, more diving, of course) and similar kick movements? I try to run 5 miles every other day and my legs are in decent shape for that, but the two motions use different muscles so my running isn't really helping my diving much, other than with weight loss and the cardio workout.

Any input on some gym work I could do to help my kicking strength would be greatly appreciated.

Riding a bike....20 to 40 miles a few days a week, or simulating competitive riding on a trainer, will work the correct muscles needed for kicking fins, and boost the aerobic use of the fins.
Frog kicking will put more tension on the leg biceps/hamstring muscles than most people are conditioned for, so this is an area worth hitting at the gym....leg bicep curls super-setted with dead lifts 3 days per week---but not the day prior to diving or you will deplete glycogen from the hamstring muscles and potentially cause cramping if the muscle has not yet recovered from the intense gym work.

Riding a road bike with bike shoes and cleated pedals, is spectacular for diving......if you had to pick one thing, this would be hat you would need to do.
 

Sieg@VU

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By all means, do what works best for you and continue to have fun diving. What I miss most about my blade fins is what I would call "finesse", the ability to make those little movements or "twitches" to get into position to get that U/W photo, but I have adjusted my finning style to compensate for most situations.

My only issue with splits is the length. I do a great deal of travel and am looking for a travel fin that really performs well (split or blade). Really looking forward to the release of the Aeris Accel fin.
 

milbournosphere

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Whatever you had was probably fine as is whatever you just bought.

Flots, thanks for the added input. I already happen to own both split and blade fins, so I'm not out any extra money; I'm just trying something new. I like that the frog kick has a lengthened glide cycle, so I'm going to give it some more time to get used to the motions of the kick, I'm sure it'll work out fine. If not, well...my splits are sitting right there next to my other gear. :)

...the ability to make those little movements or "twitches" to get into position to get that U/W photo, but I have adjusted my finning style to compensate for most situations.

The added finesse is what drove me to try changing it up a bit. Hopefully I'll get better with control once I get used to the kick.

danvolker said:

Dan, thanks for the info. Very good breakdown, just what I was looking for.
 
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