Monofin Training Tips
Training with a Monofin provides benefits for all strokes, such as improved streamline, body alignment, dolphin kicking technique and general kicking efficiency. Below are five key steps to improving your Monofin technique.
Step 1: Streamline Extend arms as far as possible and overlap hands, which are clasped together by the thumb of the top hand. Tuck head securely beneath the biceps while reducing the triangle-shaped space between the arms. Compress body to remove as much resistance as possible.
Step 2: Slight Hunch of Neck and Shoulders While streamlined, slightly hunch the neck and shoulders without dropping the hands or head. This not only initiates the crucial undulation that will grow as it reaches the hips, but also keeps the upper body in a more aligned position while creating a forward "over the top of a small wave" sensation.
Step 3: Drive the Legs With heels up and knees slightly bent, quadriceps flex and feet are driven downward in unison and with equal force.
Step 4: Hips Forced Up At the feet drive down, the body's undulation reaches the hips which should be forced up to accentuate the power of the downward kick. Do not drop hands but keep them oriented forward and in alignment with the upper body from the waist up.
Step 5: Hips Slide Forward Thrust the hips forward to assist the sweep of the upbeat kick and to get the heels ready quicker for the propulsive downbeat.
This hip thrust should also trigger the neck and shoulder hunch starting the body's undulation and the Monofin cycle all over again. The feeling created should be of the hips sliding forward as the speed created from the downbeat is maintained. Transition from the up position of the hips to the hip thrusts forward should be smooth and continuous with no delay in between the respective motion.
Note: Proper Monofins technique should yield powerful yet smooth movement through the water. Extra body movement should be minimized. In particular, there should be little up-and-down motion from above the waist through the fingertips, which should be kept straight and in alignment to set the most forward moving, least-resistant body position.
As indicated by Steps 4 and 5, the primary movement is the Monofin technique in the upwards and forward undulation of the hips. The main source of power derives from the swimmers mid-section, involving the lower abdominal and back muscles, butt and quadriceps.