Originally published September 22, 2006
Using fins – especially a Monofin – can help you simulate race-pace breaststroke in practice. Here’s how to do it. For more breaststroke drills featuring Dave Denniston and Staciana Stitts, pick up a copy of their DVD: Go Swim Breaststroke Drills.
Why Do It:
One of the keys to swimming fast in meets is to swim fast in practice. Before you step up to the blocks, you want to know exactly what it will feel like to move through the water at an accelerated pace. How do you deal with the extra resistance caused by your extra speed? How fast can you move your arms and still maintain good technique? How well can your aerobic system deal with the added stress?
One way to answer those questions is to use fins. Fins – especially the Monofin – can given you tremendous power and speed, and can heighten your feel for a race-pace pull.
How To Do It:
Put on a pair of fins. Just about any type will work, but the larger the blade, the more power and speed you will be able to generate. In the video, Dave is wearing Positive Drive Fins (PDFs). Staciana is wearing a Finis Monofin.
1. Start by dolphining with your body in streamline, then add breaststroke arms.
2. Make the pull quick and aggressive, with no hesitation between the insweep and the recovery into full extension.
3. Start and finish each armstroke in streamline. Let the body flow from one streamline into the next.
4. Set up a quick rhythm with your body, and fit the pull into the rhythm. Think FAST HANDS.
5. Make the pull fast, continuous, and aggressive. DRIVE the hands forward into streamline.
How To Do It Really Well: You can practice this drill at easy and moderate speeds, but to get the full effect and benefit for race-day swimming, you need to do it at speed. To do this, limit the drill to 25 yards or meters. Take a break, then go again. Keep the effort intense and focused.
Think about flowing everything through one hole in the water.
Pick up a copy of the Go Swim Breaststroke Drills with Staciana Stitts and Dave Denniston. You’ll find this drill, and 23 more drills demonstrated by two of the all-time great breaststrokers.