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Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Oct 16, 2001
I'm happy to say that I have learned a new technique!!

I have one of my buddies on a visit (he lives 200km from me) and we did some training this weekend.

My buddy Erik was on a seminar with the Swedish finswimming coach Valter Olander and learned a training drill called "The soldier".

He said that all newbees training for Valter go through this drill for years BEFORE starting training whith classic finswimming technique including arms stretched in front of the head.

This is the technique:

Arms locked along the body (hands in front of pelvis). The upper body should be moving in opposite phase as the kick. It looks very similar to the technique I have seen Sebastien Murat do in the clips on his site.

This was the first time I have really found out how to do this, it was kind of "AHA, THIS IS IT!". I get some kind of flow and it feels like automatic movements... hard to explain. Most important (and hardest) for me was to get the upper body curving down in the same time as the up-kick and to stretch the body out (up) on down-kick.
(I have never got my body to work this way earlier and my upper body was to stiff..)

I was able to do 50m race 1-2 sek faster than I have done with arms in front and I was not as tired as I am used to when sprinting. (I am not fast though) It felt like the arms along the body release the body to move more free and get a better feeling in the water.

I have only tried this for one training (today) and I look forward to do more tests and trainings with this technique, maybe this is my new technique for dynamic.

I am very happy every time my previous thinkings/techniques are proven wrong because then I can improve.:)

Maybe this can be a thread for sharing new techniques because everybody is probably learning all the time!
Soldier ..

Soldier is a fine name for this hands on side technique.
I took this picture series by capturing them from a videoclip.
Picture 1 is where the legs are upmost. Many divers are not able to bend their thigs back when hands are up, but with this style it is easier.
At pic 4 the mono blade is bending too much, so the kick should be slowlier.
Picture 6 seems the most clumsiest, but in the video the movement seems quite smooth.
The head position should be better.
Hands in pic 7 should be positioned better.

Note that head is all the time at the same level, maybe this is not very visible in this collection.


  • soldier.jpg
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As Teppo said the head should be at the same position all the time which minimizes the drag and makes the body to act like a fish.

I was earlier thinking that this technic is difficult whith a stiff blade but my big problem was a stiff upper body.:D

My training now will be on this technic and the goal is to build up a skill that makes me able to swim at speeds of 1.5m/s relatively relaxed which I don't think is impossible. Speed training (50m) is one thing that I 'm gonna focus on whith very much attention to technic!:)
I can't add much to this discussion except for the fact that during my first ever monofin experience last week in a very shallow pool, I found it almost impossible to swim with my hands infront. I found this very strange because it's so easy for me to do with bifins...

Anyway, thinking of Seb Murat's video I clamped my hands on my thighs and BINGO! I was slipping effortlessly through the water.

All the monofinners at the comp did dynamic with the arms infront. Personally I'm going to copy Seb!!

I like Seb's technique too. It works for me, and my best performances are with this movement. I train both ways, but prefer the "seal" imitation. Despite having great flexibility in my arms and chest, I still feel better with my arms at the side.
I notice that my head leads the movement, like a snake, which contradicts the theory that the head should remain static in the horizontal. I use this big undulation in vertical diving too.
Erik Y.
Just came from the pool

A good thing to try in order to see if the head remains static in the horizontal, like Erik mentioned, is to swim near the bottom. If I do this technic correct (I think it is near correct) I have no problem swimming ~20cm above the bottom and the head is fixed in this horizontal position.

Today I managed to do some 50m laps (2x25 and waterstart) in 33-34sec with a relatively relaxed swimming.

My max speed now is 2x25m with waterstart in 25sec with this technic.
With my hands in front I have done 26-27sec.

If we are talking max speed then i do a 50m drag in 15.78 seconds with Sebak Peter hard. ( Waterstart)

I burn that fin so hard and fast that i have managed to kick the right footpocket off already. Small fast amplitude vibrations.
I had to fix it afterwards.

I have no idea if this is fast or slow or average.

I couldnt do half that with my arms by my sides...

Skin ?
Well, when the world record at 50 m is 14 sec something, I would say you have a pretty good kick. And they don't do waterstarts.

Ok. i must qualify the water start.

They start to time when i am able to make the first kick. I dont kick off the wall and the little dive forward to get the fin up and away from the wall and me under is ignored for timing purposes. Perhaps 3 - 4m worth.

No manner of goggles or mask stays on my face. I dont wear a wetsuit and the swimming cap also departs at some early point.

True story, done just for the hell of it to see how fast the hard was compared to a medium fin....

Skin- have you timed yourself using a medium or soft blade also? It would be interesting to see the differences.
Fantastic time

I'm very, very impressed, Skin!

I think you should try competing in finswimming!

I feel like a turtle on land with my 25sec..:waterwork
No No...

I think we must add on at least 3 seconds for my ignored start. 18 seconds sounds more reasonable.

Anyhow the racing thing is not my bag and i only mentioned it to show that i feel that arms by my sides im sure i would take 30 seconds :) Its difficult to describe but i feel the power comes out of my hands and arms..

I did race someone who had a medium fin and left him paddling. He was an oldish guy though...
I tried the medium fin but didnt kick it hard. It bent very easily and i might have broken it i'm if i hammered it the way i hammered the hard. It wasnt mine. It produced way less speed anyhow.
A soft blade, if it survived 25m would have been toast at 50m and with much thrashing and little speed. But then its not meant for that...

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