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ande
February 23rd, 2008, 12:01 PM
SDK stands for Streamlined Dolphin Kick
some people call them "underwaters"

Swimmers use SDK in sprints, 50's, 100's & 200's
free, fly, back and IMs

for several years we've had the

"Help my flutter kick is horrible" thread

It's time for a thread to help people improve their SDK


This is the thread for people who want to improve their SDKs

here's what excellent SDK technique looks like

crocker 100 fl http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym_ks0aHkCE

phelps 200 fl http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlXuJP_9DjA&NR

phelps 200 fr http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxKwi341UAs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4BYPrO8aG0

phelps 200 IM WR Undderwater POV http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0cWLZ2bsOc&NR=1

Lochte 200 bk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xETC2p461o8

2004 olympics 100 bk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhPYeVfBfKk

coughlin 100 free http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARxQg4NUn4s

coughlin 100 fl http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3cXB2JpFAE

50 back worlds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrsVG1r6N0E

100 bk scm lockte WR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytawE099E8U

Klim http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_wbOGDdJGo

thorpe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbOb6ApepqU


Here's how you improve your SDK

1) test your SDK and find out where you are
get timed for
+ 15 meters or yards from a dive
+ 25 Y/M from a dive and
+ 50 Y/M from a dive
report your results here

2) Experiment to figure out which SDK feels best for you
back, belly or side

3) Experiment to figure out how many SDK's you should take off your starts and turns in races for free, back, & fly

4) train to perfect your SDK technique
streamline and kicking motion

5) train to perfect your conditioning and mental toughness
do very fast SDKs for speed
do 25's 50, 75, 100, 150, & 200 kicks wher eyou improve conditioning

6) train to increase your strenth and power
legs and core work, weight training pilates exercises

7) train to increase flexiblity
streamline and ankles

8) be consistent and patient, stick with it for at least 3 or 6 months

9) retest and track your improvement

10) do the experiment again
as your SDK improves you can take more SDKs in your races

11) remember to keep up your SDK speed training as you taper and prepare to race


good luck
hope you SDK Faster Faster
report your progress
contribute and encourage

Ande

there some people who SDK doesn't work for
they can't get the technique down or
don't have flexible ankles and feet
be slow to put yourself in this category without making a sincere effort to improve your SDK

kizzi77
February 23rd, 2008, 12:16 PM
I've found mine is fastest on my side. I usually take about 4-5 on free before switching to flutter kick and starting my pull. On back it's about 5-6, and fly it ranges with my amount of fatigue from 7-8 down to 4-5. But if i get too much on my stomach or back i will pop up early. and I HATE that feeling of awkwardly starting strokes early because you are on the surface.

CreamPuff
February 23rd, 2008, 02:07 PM
Thanks Ande. The links are great too. Gotta start somewhere.

Chris Stevenson
February 23rd, 2008, 02:15 PM
Nice collection of tips and links, Ande.

I might add that I believe my own SDK has benefited from core work (I like Pilates) and stretching/flexibility exercises. I also believe those things help swimming (and general health/fitness), so no reason not to try them. A little time spent on them goes a long way, I think.

:2cents:

rtodd
February 23rd, 2008, 02:20 PM
Two more:

Phelps 200 free WR
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4BYPrO8aG0&feature=related

Klim
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_wbOGDdJGo

On a different note....look how fast Klim can get is feet over and to the wall compared to the swimmer next to him. There is definately time to be gained in this.

ande
February 23rd, 2008, 05:36 PM
thanks guys
I added a few more points and links thanks to y'all

ande

geochuck
February 23rd, 2008, 06:08 PM
No comments from me, other than watching Klim's SDK 6, 7 maybe 8 beats then quick change to flutter, in his 50 m free swim.

Donna
February 24th, 2008, 08:28 AM
Yesterday at our teams stroke and turn clinic we worked some on the SDK. I really need to work on this more, but I also have to build up my lung capacity to be able to do this in a race too.

Syd
February 24th, 2008, 07:15 PM
Here's how you improve your SDK

1) test your SDK and find out where you are
get timed for
+ 15 meters or yards from a dive
+ 25 Y/M from a dive and
+ 50 Y/M from a dive
report your results here




Ok, here goes.

25M SDK
Feb 24, 2008 18.89 (regular suit, push off side)

Now I am figuring if I took a dive off the side, I could, maybe, take another second and a half off that time and it would start looking semi respectable.

When I started timing myself for 25M SDK 8 months ago I went 25.84.

How close should your SDK time be to your flat out, above water sprint time before you start usiing it as a race tactic?

Syd

Chris Stevenson
February 24th, 2008, 08:15 PM
How close should your SDK time be to your flat out, above water sprint time before you start usiing it as a race tactic?

I think Richard Abrahams had the good idea of timing yourself to the 15m mark with various numbers of kicks. As your SDK gets faster, you can probably add more kicks. Try it both from a start and a push.

My 25 SDK time on my back is about the same as my above water time in backstroke, maybe faster. The same is true of a 50 SCY. Just remember, though, that it is more tiring than regular swimming (plus no air). So in a 50 back I'll go to 15m on both walls (10 kicks off the start, 12 off the turn); in 100 back I'll take fewer kicks (8-9/wall, 10 on the start) and in the 200 back fewer still (5-7, 10 on the start).

When you push off or dive, you are travelling faster than at any other time in your race. The key is to use underwater SDK to maintain that speed as long as possible. Ideally you break out when your speed slows to regular swimming speed. To use a cycling analogy: you might push a big gear on a downhill and try to stay in that gear as long as possible on the flat (even though it is a little more tiring) to maintain momentum, until you shift down when you slow to regular cruising speed.

So even if your SDK is slower OVER A WHOLE 25 than your regular swim, a few SDKs might be fine because you use them to "stretch out" the push/dive. A good streamline is critical: you need the flexibility and core strength to do SDKs while maintaining a tight streamline.

The optimum number of kicks will probably also depend on the stroke. I take fewer kicks in free and fly than in back because those strokes are faster in the open water (and I am also less comfortable doing SDKs on my front or side).

In a recent masters meet, there was a young stud in a 200 fly who was taking 8-10 kicks off each wall. I would totally blow up if I tried that; my current race strategy is 5 kicks off the walls on the first 100 and 4 kicks on the second. In a 100 fly I'm working on 6-7 kicks off the walls for the moment.

I'm saying all this to give you a feel for the kinds of considerations involved in the choice; I hope it helps!

Chris

Syd
February 25th, 2008, 10:31 AM
I'm saying all this to give you a feel for the kinds of considerations involved in the choice; I hope it helps!

Chris

Thanks Chris! That helps a lot.

About 6 weeks ago I did a set of 8 x 25m ALL OUT for time. On the first I did 8 SDK's, on the second 7, on the third 6, etc, etc until on the last I did none. I found that I was fastest with only one or two SDk's. Anything more and my times started to drop off.

To be honest I am still not happy with my SDK rhythm. I haven't quite found it yet. Somedays it seems to be there and other days...well, I just feel like a sewing machine in the water. Sometimes I up the frequency of the kicks and other times I go for more languid, powerful strokes. I am just playing around trying to find my sweet spot.

Encouragingly, I have improved with practice. I think with stronger abdominal and lower back muscles I can go even faster. I am trying to get to the gym three times a week now.

Syd

ande
February 25th, 2008, 11:19 AM
hey syd,

congratulations you've made some dramatic improvements
it's quite a feat to go from 25 to 18

I suggest you time the SDK from a dive
wearing a racing suit

I agree with what Chris wrote

use your SDK off the start to stretch out your glide

If you're not that fast take a few, take more as you get faster

Do small fast kicks like crocker, that way if your technique or timing is off they won't slow you down as much as SDK's with more amplitude

Tight streamline is critical
(proper head position and body alignment)
(do it like phelps and crocker)

the faster your SDK is
the better
do 15 & 25 sprints in all the strokes you swim

the ideal goal is to train to the point where
your SDK as fast as your freestyle

my 25 SDK is
faster than my backstroke
close to even with my fly and
slower than my free



Ok, here goes.

25M SDK
Feb 24, 2008 18.89 (regular suit, push off side)

Now I am figuring if I took a dive off the side, I could, maybe, take another second and a half off that time and it would start looking semi respectable.

When I started timing myself for 25M SDK 8 months ago I went 25.84.

How close should your SDK time be to your flat out, above water sprint time before you start using it as a race tactic?

Syd

geochuck
February 25th, 2008, 11:47 AM
It does get better. When we made the transition from butterfrog with a regular breaststroke kick. It was I great pull and into the fly. Then when we started with dolphin kick it was I great pull and one fish tail kick right into the fly with a single fish tail kick which the name changed to a dolphin click. We soon started doing two dolphin clicks in our regular fly. Then it was off the dive and turns 1 great pull, the two hands at the side and 2 dolpins. This stayed for about a year or two then someone started doing 3 kicks and into the stroke. The greatest change came came when some one started leaving the arms out front in streamline and dolphin kicking. It was found the body travels very fast using a dolphin kick as you come off a dive or turn. Then some one started using it while doing crawl.

I only do 3 dolphin kicks when I come off a dive or turn. Maybe I will increase this.

ande
February 25th, 2008, 01:21 PM
OK, I'm going to participate in my own program

I'm going to continue training to improve my SDK speed and
start testing and reporting the results here
at least once a week
from now till Nationals

today I did a 25 SCY sdk
roll start
off bulkhead but not blocks
went 10.49

Ande's SDK chart

9 04/28
8 04/21
7 04/14
6 04/07
5 03/31
4 03/24
3 03/17
2 03/10
1 03/03
0 02/25 10.49

START YOUR CHART

ande
March 3rd, 2008, 02:52 PM
any one else working on their SDK
got any results

ande


OK, I'm going to participate in my own program

I'm going to continue training to improve my SDK speed and
start testing and reporting the results here
at least once a week
from now till Nationals

today I did a 25 SCY sdk
roll start
off bulkhead but not blocks
went 10.49

Ande's SDK chart

9 04/28
8 04/21
7 04/14
6 04/07
5 03/31
4 03/24
3 03/17
2 03/10
1 03/03
0 02/25 10.49

START YOUR CHART

rtodd
March 4th, 2008, 09:45 PM
On a Flowcast interview Ricky Berens said that Hill Taylor SDK'd a 50 LCM in 25.2.....all underwater.

Thrashing Slug
March 4th, 2008, 10:49 PM
What is a roll start?

I should do this. I have absolutely no idea what I could SDK without fins. It can't posibly be as bad as my flutter kick, so what the hell. I will try to get someone to time me.

ande
March 5th, 2008, 05:46 AM
he was incorrect
taylor went 24.20, then got DQed because it ws a 50 bk

ande

On a Flowcast interview Ricky Berens said that Hill Taylor SDK'd a 50 LCM in 25.2.....all underwater.

rtodd
March 5th, 2008, 07:14 PM
insane

Big AL
March 5th, 2008, 07:32 PM
Maybe in another life.

My back is soooo bad I can hardly do slow undulating SDK off my turns without throwing out my back. Short bursts really hurt. Usually I am forced to drag my legs because using them causes shooting pains of fire... then they go numb if I keep it up and I can't use them at all.

ande
March 6th, 2008, 11:24 PM
hey al

sorry about your back
be careful with it
I swam the 50 beside you at long beach
you're fast

ande


Maybe in another life.

My back is soooo bad I can hardly do slow undulating SDK off my turns without throwing out my back. Short bursts really hurt. Usually I am forced to drag my legs because using them causes shooting pains of fire... then they go numb if I keep it up and I can't use them at all.

aztimm
March 7th, 2008, 01:23 PM
As part of our, "Freaking Fast Friday," set today, we did sets of 50's SCY fast (just from a push). I experimented and did some my 'usual' with the regular flutter kicks off the side, and some with 2-3 dolphin kicks. It will take some time to get comfortable with this, but I went about 1-2 seconds faster with the dolphin kicks.

I think the hardest thing for me is the transition from the dolphin swaying/undulating to a fairly flat free. Anyone have tips on what works for them?

I'm close to (finally) breaking a minute on a 100 SCY free, and I'll take anything that would make it more doable. I know, I'm nowhere near any records, but it would be a personal milestone for me.

That Guy
March 7th, 2008, 04:52 PM
As part of our, "Freaking Fast Friday," set today, we did sets of 50's SCY fast (just from a push). I experimented and did some my 'usual' with the regular flutter kicks off the side, and some with 2-3 dolphin kicks. It will take some time to get comfortable with this, but I went about 1-2 seconds faster with the dolphin kicks.

I think the hardest thing for me is the transition from the dolphin swaying/undulating to a fairly flat free. Anyone have tips on what works for them?

I'm close to (finally) breaking a minute on a 100 SCY free, and I'll take anything that would make it more doable. I know, I'm nowhere near any records, but it would be a personal milestone for me.

To get comfortable with the breakout, just keep at it. Once 3 dolphin kicks off every wall feels normal, start stretching to 4. Once 4 feels normal, start on 5, etc. In crawlstroke, I'm pretty solid at 6 and in the early stages of 7. It's been about 2 years since I was doing 3 kicks off each wall, to give you an idea of how long this takes. Good luck breaking 1:00!

Syd
March 7th, 2008, 07:37 PM
I think the hardest thing for me is the transition from the dolphin swaying/undulating to a fairly flat free. Anyone have tips on what works for them?



Okay, so you are in the streamline position: head down, neck, spine and legs in alignment, arms stretched out in front, right palm over left. Almost immediately you have taken that last whip of the hips, start to pull with your breakout arm (which, in my case, is my left - and why it is under my right arm in the streamline position). Now bring in a strong flutter kick. And don't breathe until at least the third stroke - longer if possible.

Syd

ande
March 7th, 2008, 07:50 PM
do it like this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym_ks0aHkCE

aztimm
March 7th, 2008, 10:26 PM
deleted

ande
March 18th, 2008, 11:59 PM
here's a slow motion vid of crocker's sdk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cYpDqjpfII

ande
March 21st, 2008, 05:33 PM
Excellent underwater SDK footage from
Alain Bernard's 47.60 WR 100 free
he took 4 SDKs off the turn which allowed him to go deeper and get under the wave
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSXlbiY37XU

rtodd
March 23rd, 2008, 06:54 PM
Also,

Look here at the 50.....but look at the guy who dives the deepest and does the most SDK's. He comes up with a clear lead. Didn't last long, but it shows the speed of a fast SDK.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYLQqkWcdE0

geochuck
March 23rd, 2008, 07:04 PM
Could it be the camera angle???
Also,

Look here at the 50.....but look at the guy who dives the deepest and does the most SDK's. He comes up with a clear lead. Didn't last long, but it shows the speed of a fast SDK.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYLQqkWcdE0

rtodd
March 23rd, 2008, 07:10 PM
maybe, but I don't think so. The majority use about two SDK's and flutter to the surface, but one guy really cranks the SDK's and I'm pretty sure he is the one who surfaces about an elbow length out on everyone.

3strokes
March 24th, 2008, 08:32 AM
Also,

Look here at the 50.....but look at the guy who dives the deepest and does the most SDK's. He comes up with a clear lead. Didn't last long, but it shows the speed of a fast SDK.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYLQqkWcdE0


The synchronization of sound and image on youtube is horrible.
I have watched that Video more than 50 times. Each and every time, they start their dives at "Take your marks". I have a fast cable Internet connection. I have even dowanloaded it on Real Player and playback shows the same time shift.

rtodd
March 24th, 2008, 09:06 PM
Noticed the sound problem, but I still think the guy that went deep with SDK's broke out ahead......of course he did loose so, maybe in practicing SDK's, he neglected something else!!

ande
April 9th, 2008, 03:51 PM
anyone working on their SDK

david.margrave
April 10th, 2008, 12:13 PM
Maybe in my next training cycle starting in a week or two. Currently I don't use it with anything other than fly and back, and can only manage a couple kicks before surfacing. I seem to prefer a couple slow and strong kicks, sort of like the one legal kick on breaststroke, which seems to give more thrust but that probably also creates more drag.

Chris Stevenson
May 6th, 2008, 05:57 PM
I have a pretty decent SDK and, after much deliberation -- it is not in my self-interest to help potential competition, after all -- I have decided to share my secret:

http://ellen.warnerbros.com/2008/01/hawaii_chair.php

ande
May 6th, 2008, 06:03 PM
that's hilarious

pwolf66
May 6th, 2008, 06:26 PM
Wow, I nearly spotted on that one.

Paul

Big AL
May 6th, 2008, 07:15 PM
This is truly a breakthru for crosstraining!

meldyck
May 6th, 2008, 07:33 PM
Um, sorry folks, but that's just a lap-dancing training tool. Recruits must do a certain number of hours on that machine before flying solo.

geochuck
May 6th, 2008, 07:48 PM
This is what I ordered http://www.youtube.com/user/arcademaniacs

funkyfish
May 7th, 2008, 11:37 PM
Um, sorry folks, but that's just a lap-dancing training tool. Recruits must do a certain number of hours on that machine before flying solo.

Ha ha, awesome!

Getting back on topic, today I did the sdk 25yd underwater from a push in 16.5 sec. I think it's getting better.
:bouncing:

Loffe
May 8th, 2008, 04:32 AM
It is important to remember that you do not HAVE to do SDK on freestyle. I remember Mark Foster from UK (one of the fastets guys in the world for 50free). He did not use any SDK, at least not in the early 90's. Just a strong freestyle kick, up and swim. He sometimes did not even bother do go under the big wave during turns!? How he managed that I do not know.

Many time you can see people desperately trying the SDK in competition and losing speed. I believe it will help you when you manage it. Until then maybe you should avoid it during competition.

For the back, fly and IM you will of course have no option but to practice!!

geochuck
May 8th, 2008, 07:57 AM
If I mention my thoughts on kicking somone always dumps on me. Whether it be SDK or just a regular kick. Since I did not start this thread I occassionally glimpse at the kicking threads and hold my nose.


It is important to remember that you do not HAVE to do SDK on freestyle. I remember Mark Foster from UK (one of the fastets guys in the world for 50free). He did not use any SDK, at least not in the early 90's. Just a strong freestyle kick, up and swim. He sometimes did not even bother do go under the big wave during turns!? How he managed that I do not know.

Many time you can see people desperately trying the SDK in competition and losing speed. I believe it will help you when you manage it. Until then maybe you should avoid it during competition.

For the back, fly and IM you will of course have no option but to practice!!

Loffe
May 8th, 2008, 11:40 AM
Being new at the forum, I would be more than glad to hear your thoughts about kicking and SDK!

We all have our own experience and unique bodies/possibilities.. so the important thing is to find what works for us! What works for my friend does not necessarily work for me! And the only way to do this is the get ideas from others..

ande
May 8th, 2008, 12:14 PM
"find what works for us"
Exactly
I suggest swimmers get times from a dive for their 15 & 25 meter :
1) streamline flutter kick,
2) SDK,
3) free,
4) fly,
5) back, and
6) breast

then train to improve their kicking ability and
use the best one in the best way when they race



Being new at the forum, I would be more than glad to hear your thoughts about kicking and SDK!

We all have our own experience and unique bodies/possibilities.. so the important thing is to find what works for us! What works for my friend does not necessarily work for me! And the only way to do this is the get ideas from others..

Loffe
May 8th, 2008, 12:30 PM
Exactly. AND .. do the tests again. Hopefully things change over time. What was best for me yesterday may not be best today.

But looking on todays stars there is no doubt that if you manage SDK very well, it can be effective. Personally I still have a problem doing the switch from SDK to flutter, so sometimes I just skip the SDK (often last turn). But I'll keep practicing...

ande
May 9th, 2008, 12:30 PM
I've decided to modify the testing and training recommendations for


Help! My SDK is Horrible!

Here's the new improved:
SDK Improvement Program for those who scream
Help! My SDK is Horrible!

Testing
wear a fast suit

Test all out SDK's & Swims:
put plenty of rest between each effort
like a very easy swim down, 75, 125, or even 175
easy easy easy
Test kicking and swimming on different days

1) Test Your SDK Speed:
15's & 25's;
if you can SDK a 25 in less than 15 also test a 50 SDK

2) Test Your Swimming using SDK breakouts
15's, 25's & 50's of your best stroke where you use SDK breakouts

on the 15's & 25's experiment with
a) kick counts: to find your sweet spot and
b) body positions: belly, back or side to figure out what works best for you

Report Your Results here


Training

1) do 12 x 25 kick

round 1) 4 x 25
1 easy recovery concentrating on distance per kick
1 15 meters easy speed, concentrating on perfect form
1 easy recovery concentrating on distance per kick
1 15 meters fast as possible for time

round 2) 4 x 25
1 easy recovery concentrating on distance per kick
1 15 meters easy speed, concentrating on perfect form
1 easy recovery concentrating on distance per kick
1 25 fast as possible for time

round 3) 4 x 25
1 easy recovery concentrating on distance per kick
1 15 meters easy speed, concentrating on perfect form
1 easy recovery concentrating on distance per kick
(take a little extra rest)
1 25 meters fast as possible for time right into the turn and kick another 15 meters as fast as possible

2) do 10 x 25 swim
1 easy recovery
1 descend 1 - 5
to as fast as possible for time on #5


3) stretch your feet / ankles to improve your toe point


4) do leg weight lifting exercises to improve your leg strength power and speed
leg press
leg extensions
leg curls


5) watch underwater SDK videos, become familiar with superior technique of the best in the world

SDK Technique tips
a) perfect form,
b) skinny streamline
c) apply force on your upsweep and your downsweep
d) amplitude: crocker does small fast kicks, phelps has more amplitude
what works best for you
e) experiment with SDK kick counts and fast break outs
figure out how to get to 15 meters the fastest


6) Training Cycle

5 weeks
train 2 times a week then
test on Friday or Saturday

week 6
rest skip the training and take it easy
don't do the speed kicking training then
test at the end of the week and of course
Report your results, here

jaegermeister
May 14th, 2008, 08:52 AM
Ande-

THanks for the suggestions and the encouragement.

Did some shooters without fins today to get a benchmark. I haven't been doing much focused on SDK up till now other than some core work on a BOSU.

I did 6X25 shooters without fins, from a push, with a standard practice suit. The first several were in the :16- :17 range. Then I found our coach to have him time my last one and I went a 15.8.

Now the work begins in earnest. I'll try to get some times for 15 yards as well.

CreamPuff
May 14th, 2008, 09:16 AM
My formula for a better SDK was -

1. Do lots of core work on land
2. Get a good flutter and dolphin kick (with and without a board) FIRST - do kick sets
3. Surround yourself with swimmers who have great SDK ALL THE TIME (you will feel silly doing puny or no SDK) - watch and learn

ande
May 14th, 2008, 11:50 AM
Congratulations tom,

15.8 is a great place to start!

was that from a dive or from a push?
were you on your side belly or back?

Now do the training and let's see how much faster your SDK can get

also get and report your 15 meter times

1) SDK from a dive on your belly

2) SDK from a backstroke start on your back and

3) backstroke breakout where you find your
SDK sweet spot / ideal kick counts for the 50 bk & 100 bk
off the start and also off turns

plus do a 25 Streamlined Flutter Kick for time
to see how your SFK compares to your SDK

Good luck and way to go

Ande



Ande-

THanks for the suggestions and the encouragement.

Did some shooters without fins today to get a benchmark. I haven't been doing much focused on SDK up till now other than some core work on a BOSU.

I did 6X25 shooters without fins, from a push, with a standard practice suit. The first several were in the :16- :17 range. Then I found our coach to have him time my last one and I went a 15.8.

Now the work begins in earnest. I'll try to get some times for 15 yards as well.

Syd
May 19th, 2008, 01:31 AM
Went 17.89 for 25m from a push off the wall on Saturday. My previous best was 18.89.

I think this is due, in part, to my 3x a week dryland programme that I have been doing of late. I do lift some weights and also spend quite of a bit of time on exercises to develop core strength. Here (http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=486) is my favourite core set.

Another contributing factor is Ande's advice to concentrate as much on the upsweep as on the downsweep. As obvious as that piece of advice may sound it has been revolutionary for me. The whole feel of my SDK has changed from what seemed to be a powerless downward thrashing of the legs to a more complete up-and-down sweep. It has also resulted in my using more of my whole body rather than just my legs.

ande
May 19th, 2008, 11:52 AM
awesome
congratulations

ande


Went 17.89 for 25m from a push off the wall on Saturday. My previous best was 18.89.

I think this is due, in part, to my 3x a week dryland programme that I have been doing of late. I do lift some weights and also spend quite of a bit of time on exercises to develop core strength. Here (http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=486) is my favourite core set.

Another contributing factor is Ande's advice to concentrate as much on the upsweep as on the downsweep. As obvious as that piece of advice may sound it has been revolutionary for me. The whole feel of my SDK has changed from what seemed to be a powerless downward thrashing of the legs to a more complete up-and-down sweep. It has also resulted in my using more of my whole body rather than just my legs.

The Fortress
May 19th, 2008, 12:29 PM
Went 17.89 for 25m from a push off the wall on Saturday. My previous best was 18.89.

Another contributing factor is Ande's advice to concentrate as much on the upsweep as on the downsweep. As obvious as that piece of advice may sound it has been revolutionary for me. The whole feel of my SDK has changed from what seemed to be a powerless downward thrashing of the legs to a more complete up-and-down sweep. It has also resulted in my using more of my whole body rather than just my legs.

Good job Syd! I think I need to focus on the upsweep part as well.

I'm wondering about SDKs though ... Has anyone noticed masters using them all that much? Or anyone doing more than just a couple off a turn? I don't think I saw more than 5% of swimmers SDK-ing much at Nats recently. If they were, it was very token. Are they too hard to learn? Are they not as efficient for masters? People dislike them?

ande
May 19th, 2008, 12:44 PM
SDK's take training for
1) speed and
2) speed endurance and breath control

people are either good at SDK or not

they worked quite well for michael ross http://www.flocasts.org/floswimming/coverage.php?c=258&id=14193

they helped my 100 IM & 50 bk
http://www.flocasts.org/floswimming/coverage.php?c=258&id=14300

looks like it helped
1 William M Liscinsky 26 int he 100 IM 22.26 48.82 (26.56)
http://www.flocasts.org/floswimming/coverage.php?c=258&id=14318

Chris Stevenson too!




Good job Syd! I think I need to focus on the upsweep part as well.

I'm wondering about SDKs though ... Has anyone noticed masters using them all that much? Or anyone doing more than just a couple off a turn? I don't think I saw more than 5% of swimmers SDK-ing much at Nats recently. If they were, it was very token.
Are they too hard to learn?
Are they not as efficient for masters?
People dislike them?

The Fortress
May 19th, 2008, 01:41 PM
That was the 5% I was talking about. Add Yana Park. What about the other 95%?

SwimStud
May 19th, 2008, 01:54 PM
I've recently added dolphin kick with a board to my workouts...
No I don't think of is at helping my "stroke" per se (before somone chips in with it's not a swimming position), but I can really feel it in the abs.

You might consider cross training some of these type of dolphin kicks into the SDK workout to build some muscle and strength. Focus on the abs to do the reps rather than pushing on the board...go slow and deep with the motions.

The nice thing is you get plenty of air while doing them. Then you can go do SDK as you desire with or without fins and see if you're getting more power.

ande
May 19th, 2008, 02:10 PM
What about the other 95%?

A. 25%
has a good SDK but doesn't train it or use it as well as they could

B. 50%
could have a good SDK if they trained to improve it and practiced using it in races

C. 20%
have a terrible SDK and it's terminal, hopeless, pointless, don't bother, SDK is slower for you and will always be no matter how much you train to improve it because these reasons:
Some:
1. can't do correct SDK technique, or
2. can't get in correct streamline position to SDK
3. doesn't have the right body shape to SDK, or
4. doesn't have proper foot and ankle flexibility to SDK or
5. they believe they can SDK and nothing will change their mind

where do you fall?
If you don't know,
assume you have untapped SDK potential
work hard to improve it.

If your all out 25 SDK time is
faster than to within a second or 2 of your all out
25 time bk, fl or fr times

you should develop and use your SDK
figure out where your cross over points are
where you should break out in bk, fr, & fl
figure out your kick counts
how many kicks you should take before breaking out
off starts and turns

hope this helps?

Ande


That was the 5% I was talking about. Add Yana Park. What about the other 95%?

Chris Stevenson
May 20th, 2008, 06:34 AM
SDK's take training for
1) speed and
2) speed endurance and breath control

people are either good at SDK or not

they worked quite well for michael ross http://www.flocasts.org/floswimming/coverage.php?c=258&id=14193

they helped my 100 IM & 50 bk
http://www.flocasts.org/floswimming/coverage.php?c=258&id=14300

looks like it helped
1 William M Liscinsky 26 int he 100 IM 22.26 48.82 (26.56)
http://www.flocasts.org/floswimming/coverage.php?c=258&id=14318

Chris Stevenson too!

Playing the devil's advocate...

Josh Davis didn't use SDKs at all in his 200 back (fastest masters time ever)

http://www.flocasts.org/floswimming/coverage.php?c=258&id=14194

One of the NOVA age group coaches, Diane Cayce, thinks my 200 back would be faster if I spent less time underwater. She acknowledges that SDKs are the faster method of propulsion but thinks the oxygen demand is too high by the end of the race.

I don't agree with her, but it is an opinion worth mentioning. In any event, to use it at the end of longer races, it is something you have to train in practice: the "speed endurance and breath control" that Ande mentions, as well as "easy speed" with SDKs (for taking out the race).

Syd
May 20th, 2008, 09:50 AM
Good job Syd! I think I need to focus on the upsweep part as well.

I'm wondering about SDKs though ... Has anyone noticed masters using them all that much? Or anyone doing more than just a couple off a turn? I don't think I saw more than 5% of swimmers SDK-ing much at Nats recently. If they were, it was very token. Are they too hard to learn? Are they not as efficient for masters? People dislike them?

Thanks Fortress. Well, I haven't integrated it as a strategy, yet. It's not quick enough to give me any advantage. However, my SDK time's have been improving steadily. When I started with Ande's kicking regime, I think, I went a 23 something for 25m. So that is a 6 second improvement which is heartening in itself. I am hoping I am not part of Ande's 'terminal 20%"! Maybe, soon I will be able to incorporate it into a race. Don't know if I will use it for anything but the start, though. As Chris points out the oxygen demand is so high that even going at an easy pace in practice leaves me gasping for breath. No doubt I could train myself to use it at every turn but, perhaps, the time spent on doing that could be more fruitfully spent elsewhere. Don't know. Will have to see.

Chris Stevenson
June 20th, 2008, 07:14 PM
Article on SDK in today's Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/19/AR2008061903765.html

ande
June 20th, 2008, 08:21 PM
great article
thanks Chris,

here's the link to the whole text and below is the text to archive it, in case the post drops it off their site
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/19/AR2008061903765_pf.html

SDK is a weapon
practice it
master it
use it in races

Ande Rasmussen


A Revolution That Began With a Kick

By Amy Shipley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 20, 2008; E01

Even longtime swimming coaches profess to being baffled by the more than three dozen world records broken in the last 18 months in pools around the world. They wonder how to fully explain such a sudden and widespread explosion of speed in a sport contested since the first Olympics more than a century ago.

The answer, they say, cannot lie solely in the latest high-tech swimsuits introduced amid a swirl of controversy this winter, because the world-record smashing began at last year's world championships -- long before the newest of the newfangled apparel came out.

Swimmers, coaches and scientists say it is impossible to pinpoint one explanation. They cite many contributing factors, ranging from professional training groups that have sprouted across the United States to greater access to underwater cameras and other advanced technology.

But some say the most significant breakthrough has been a revival of a swimming maneuver developed more than 70 years ago by one of the physicists who worked on the atomic bomb.

Though utilized for decades, the underwater dolphin kick had not been fully exploited by the swimming mainstream until Olympic megastar Michael Phelps and a few other stars began polishing it -- and crushing other swimmers with it -- in recent years. Some say the revival has caused a quiet sensation that has been largely drowned out by the reaction to the suits, whose tightness, futuristic fabric and seam-free design make swimmers sleeker and more streamlined.

It is the use of the dolphin kick, coaches point out, that keeps swimmers where they can best take advantage of whatever advantages the suits offer: underwater.

"You cannot succeed without this skill," said Mark Schubert, the head coach and general manager of USA Swimming's national team.

"It's a weapon," said Jonty Skinner, the performance science director for the U.S. national team.

"It's been a quantum-leap difference," said Phelps's longtime coach, Bob Bowman. "Michael's going 13 meters underwater [using the kick] instead of five. That was what he did that Ian Thorpe didn't."

Bowman was referring to Phelps's demolition of Thorpe's world record in the 200-meter freestyle last year, an achievement that stunned fans at the world championships in Melbourne, Australia. The mark set by the now-retired Thorpe, the greatest swimmer of his era, had been considered virtually untouchable before Phelps's swim.

But Bowman said the difference in Phelps's record race (1 minute 43.86 seconds) and Thorpe's 2001 effort (1:44.06) was plain: Phelps stayed underwater longer off the turns, executing the undulating motion with his entire body that is designed to mimic a dolphin's use of its flipper. It wasn't that Thorpe did not use the dolphin kick. All elite freestylers have for years, rather than the old-fashioned flutter kick. But Thorpe came to the surface earlier throughout his race, dolphin-kicking less and relying more on his freestyle stroke.

The problem for Thorpe? When executed properly, experts say, the underwater dolphin kick is faster than any stroke except a full-out freestyle sprint over 50 meters.

Phelps's turns and underwater kicking were the difference, Bowman said. "Free-swimming 200 straight meters, Ian would probably win handily."

Also known as the fly kick because of its connection with the butterfly stroke, the underwater dolphin kick has become so important, some coaches contend, it has earned its own classification.

"There are now five strokes," Schubert said. "The fifth stroke is the underwater dolphin kick."

Origins of the Kick

The underwater dolphin kick attracted the interest of swimming innovators as early as the 1930s. The late Volney C. Wilson explored its possibilities before diving into later work on nuclear fission and the atomic bomb, according to David Schrader, a research professor at Marquette University who is Wilson's biographer.

Schrader said Wilson, an alternate on the 1932 Olympic water polo team who studied fish propulsion at a Chicago aquarium, claimed to have shown the kick to Johnny Weissmuller, a training mate at the Illinois Athletic Club.

"Weissmuller reproduced it perfectly, but was not impressed by it," said Schrader in a phone interview, recalling a conversation with Wilson.

Indeed, the kick did not immediately take off. For years, swimmers relied on the flutter kick in the freestyle. The dolphin kick has always been associated with the butterfly, which was not contested in the Olympics until 1956.

One of the first swimmers to turn heads with the underwater dolphin kick was David Berkoff, a Harvard graduate who became known for the "Berkoff Blastoff." In 1988, Berkoff set several world records in the 100 backstroke by dolphin-kicking for 35 meters underwater at the start of the race. When rivals began doing the same, FINA, the sport's international governing body, acted quickly, banning underwater swimming in the backstroke for more than 10 meters, then later, 15 meters.

Seven years later, Arizona-based swim coach Bob Gillet urged his young butterfly star, Misty Hyman, not only to do the dolphin kick underwater as long as she could, but also to swim on her side to enhance the stroke's effects. By 1997, she was winning butterfly races by swimming 35 meters underwater.

A year later, FINA banned swimming underwater more than 15 meters for the butterfly and freestyle. (In the breaststroke, swimming underwater has been banned since the 1950s; however, since 2005, competitors have been allowed one downward dolphin kick off the turns.)

'We All Studied Him'

Despite the success of Berkoff, Hyman and others, few coaches were tempted to try to maximize the available 15 meters of underwater opportunity. Some looked at the success of Berkoff and Hyman as something of a fluke, figuring that extra time underwater would provide only temporary gains. They thought swimmers would surge ahead but fade at the end of races out of pure exhaustion, particularly in races longer than 100 meters.

They also worried about safety; no one wanted swimmers passing out during practice while trying to hold their breath longer than usual.

And because the kick was executed underwater, coaches added, it was a difficult skill to teach and evaluate. No one really knew the perfect way to do it. No one really knew whether it would be a big plus or not. So for years, many coaches and athletes worked on it only perfunctorily.

"Nobody figures out what's faster until somebody goes faster using it, then all of the coaches sit in the video room saying, 'How are we going to beat this guy?' " Schubert said.

Among the first swimmers to perfect the maneuver within the 15-meter limit, Schubert said, was American Neil Walker, who used to frustrate four-time Olympic gold medal winner Lenny Krayzelburg in backstroke races in 25-meter pools (as opposed to the Olympic 50-meter distance) in the late 1990s and early 2000s. With the extra turns, Walker could routinely defeat the more acclaimed Krayzelburg, surging ahead in the underwater portion of races.

"We all studied him," Schubert said. "He was the first great dolphin kicker. We all studied his underwater technique and copied it."

Then there was Phelps.

In August 2002, Phelps broke the 400 individual medley record in a close race against teammate Erik Vendt at the U.S. championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In that race, Schubert recalled, Phelps -- then a rising teenage star -- passed Vendt in the last 50 meters by catapulting ahead with his dolphin kick. Back then, however, Phelps was just learning to use the kick to his advantage. He has mastered it only recently, coaches say, putting him in an elite group along with Americans Natalie Coughlin, Ryan Lochte and Aaron Peirsol.

A year before the 2004 Olympics in Athens, U.S. swimming coaches got together and agreed they needed to better understand this dolphin kick. Clearly it was important. But there was virtually no body of research on the topic. How much of a difference did it make? How should they teach it? Which was the best approach?

They got in touch with group of scientists at George Washington University who had been studying how fish swim in an effort to aid in the design of small submarines for the Navy. USA Swimming's biomechanics coordinator, Russell Mark, immediately set the GW team -- which included professors Rajat Mittal and James Hahn and student Alfred von Loebbecke -- to the task of studying the underwater dolphin kick. The USA Swimming-sponsored research, which began in 2003, continues to this day.

"The advantages of doing it," Mittal said, "are very apparent to everybody."

The race has since been on to implement the kick.

"I've talked to people about the fly kick being a weapon for your swimming that you must have," said Eddie Reese, a two-time Olympic team coach at the University of Texas. But in years past, "I was always disappointed I wouldn't see [school-age swimmers] doing the fly kick underwater. . . . In the last five years, I've been seeing it more and more.

"Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Aaron Peirsol -- you can't compete with them unless you can fly kick."

ande
July 16th, 2008, 07:12 PM
at the US Olympic trials we saw Michael Phelps use his SDK in all the events he swam
He used it on that last turn of his 400 IM and that is what propelled him a half body length ahead of Lochte

He used it off the last turn in his 200 FR
there's great footage of it about 2:18 into this video
http://youtube.com/watch?v=p3eweBSc3Pw

smontanaro
July 16th, 2008, 07:55 PM
at the US Olympic trials we saw Michael Phelps use his SDK in all the events he swam
He used it on that last turn of his 400 IM and that is what propelled him a half body length ahead of Lochte

If Phelps uses it every place he can during a 400IM, why does it seem the 400 free swimmers use few, if any, SDKs? Where I could see it, it looks like two to four at the start, maybe one (two at the most) off the turns.

Examples from recent US trials:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=D0vZWxUuI6M
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-jRoaOXVYeM

From the Canadian trials:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xmI1kgbxdkU

Santa Clara, 2007:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=oji0gcI7y7o

Skip

Iwannafly
July 16th, 2008, 08:49 PM
If Phelps uses it every place he can during a 400IM, why does it seem the 400 free swimmers use few, if any, SDKs? Where I could see it, it looks like two to four at the start, maybe one (two at the most) off the turns.


Phelps said in his 400 IM post-race interview, that it hurt to stay under for as long as he did, but he knew that was the only way to beat Lochte! I would assume that the 400 free-ers can't afford to go into that much oxygen debt on every turn!

rtodd
July 16th, 2008, 10:32 PM
If Phelps uses it every place he can during a 400IM, why does it seem the 400 free swimmers use few, if any, SDKs?

Maybe because Phelps hasn't decided to take down the 400 free record.....yet.

Chris Stevenson
July 17th, 2008, 07:31 AM
If Phelps uses it every place he can during a 400IM, why does it seem the 400 free swimmers use few, if any, SDKs? Where I could see it, it looks like two to four at the start, maybe one (two at the most) off the turns.

Using SDKs is not a free lunch...you can gain some time at the expense of more oxygen debt and the effects are somewhat cumulative. Even Phelps seems to save a little for that last turn (where he seems to say under for an extra kick or two).

smontanaro
July 17th, 2008, 10:07 AM
Using SDKs is not a free lunch...you can gain some time at the expense of more oxygen debt and the effects are somewhat cumulative. Even Phelps seems to save a little for that last turn (where he seems to say under for an extra kick or two).

Are you implying that somehow the 400IM is easier than the 400 free? SDKs are used in 3/4s of the 400IM. Why wouldn't some number of them be useful in the 400 free? I realize that it adds some to your oxygen debt, but it probably also means you can take one or two strokes less per length.

Skip

Chris Stevenson
July 17th, 2008, 10:45 AM
Are you implying that somehow the 400IM is easier than the 400 free? SDKs are used in 3/4s of the 400IM. Why wouldn't some number of them be useful in the 400 free? I realize that it adds some to your oxygen debt, but it probably also means you can take one or two strokes less per length.

I'm simply saying that it may make sense to take fewer SDKs in a 400 than a 200. And freestylers tend to take fewer because the "break even" point occurs earlier.

3strokes
July 17th, 2008, 04:00 PM
If Phelps uses it every place he can during a 400IM, why does it seem the 400 free swimmers use few, if any, SDKs?


Maybe because Phelps hasn't decided to take down the 400 free record.....yet.

We're all forgetting that Phelps isn't actually "human"; he must have some amphibian genes. Joking apart, he is physiologically "superior" in several aspects (among them flexibility). I remember reading years ago that "elite" athletes usually have some characteristics that differentiate them from us mortals. Bjorn Borg, for instance, had a resting heart rate of somewhere below 40 or around there; way below average. (My memory is not as good as I'd want it be but 40-ish sounds just about right.) Good thing that I didn't trust my memory and Googled it.


.....tennis player Bjorn Borg owned a resting heart rate of 35 BPM. ...
http://www.universalnutrition.com/features/breathingheartrate.html

and, to make a liar out of me, the same article (same paragraph) states
........... But Olympic marathon superstar Frank Shorter’s resting heart rate was 175 BPM. Your genes account for about 50% of what your maximum heart rate will turn out to be.

Go figure.

That Guy
July 17th, 2008, 05:19 PM
We're all forgetting that Phelps isn't actually "human"; he must have some amphibian genes. Joking apart, he is physiologically "superior" in several aspects (among them flexibility). I remember reading years ago that "elite" athletes usually have some characteristics that differentiate them from us mortals. Bjorn Borg, for instance, had a resting heart rate of somewhere below 40 or around there; way below average. (My memory is not as good as I'd want it be but 40-ish sounds just about right.) Good thing that I didn't trust my memory and Googled it.


.....tennis player Bjorn Borg owned a resting heart rate of 35 BPM. ...
http://www.universalnutrition.com/features/breathingheartrate.html

and, to make a liar out of me, the same article (same paragraph) states
........... But Olympic marathon superstar Frank Shorter’s resting heart rate was 175 BPM. Your genes account for about 50% of what your maximum heart rate will turn out to be.

Go figure.



http://outside.away.com/outside/bodywork/200801/wellness-michael-phelps.html

This article describes how Phelps' lactate levels after an event are about 2x lower than anybody else. Superhuman recovery rate.

tjrpatt
July 17th, 2008, 07:52 PM
Phelps must have gils or something. I have been using SDK since I saw Berkoff do it in 1992. First, I used in after my backstroke start. Plus, I used it here and there in my 200 fly pull offs. When it was legal to use in freestyle pull offs, it was a pretty easy transition. But, when Phelps does it, it is just super human. How does he keep from getting oxygen debt. I get out of breathe when I do it for every pull off. But, I guess that it takes getting used to. But, the SDK is really beneficial to my swimming.

geochuck
July 17th, 2008, 07:57 PM
I have heard of swimmers using Oxygen pills in the past, do you think it is possible they have started using them again. http://www.alternative-doctor.com/cancer/oxygen.htm

When we went fishing we used to drop oxygen pills in the water to keep our bait fish alive.

smontanaro
July 17th, 2008, 08:40 PM
This article describes how Phelps' lactate levels after an event are about 2x lower than anybody else. Superhuman recovery rate.

He must be juiced. :)

Skip

ande
August 13th, 2008, 06:39 PM
NPR Story on SDK
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93575235

tjrpatt
August 13th, 2008, 07:09 PM
It is amazing how Phelps can have a strong SDK going into the 4th lap of his 200 fly. I guess that I have to start doing pilates exercises to strengthen my SDK. Coughlin said that she does pilates and look how amazing her SDK. It seems to work well for her in 100 free too.

Chris Stevenson
August 13th, 2008, 07:20 PM
It is amazing how Phelps can have a strong SDK going into the 4th lap of his 200 fly. I guess that I have to start doing pilates exercises to strengthen my SDK. Coughlin said that she does pilates and look how amazing her SDK. It seems to work well for her in 100 free too.

Pilates helps some but that alone won't do it. Most people just don't have the conditioning and lung power to stay under very long on the last turn of a 200 fly or back.

ande
August 27th, 2008, 11:21 AM
Are you improving your SDK?

Ande

ande
September 10th, 2008, 09:45 PM
another great SDK video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4ZwLZNEtR0

The Fortress
September 10th, 2008, 09:52 PM
It is amazing how Phelps can have a strong SDK going into the 4th lap of his 200 fly. I guess that I have to start doing pilates exercises to strengthen my SDK. Coughlin said that she does pilates and look how amazing her SDK. It seems to work well for her in 100 free too.

You have to distinguish between mat pilates and the pilates machines. I think the latter would help, but where I live you can only use those with a trainer or take very expensive group classes. I doubt mat pilates would help much, except possibly with flexibility.

ande
September 15th, 2008, 04:29 PM
To SDK faster swimmers need to:

1) Improve their SDK technique,
2) Improve their SDK speed by kicking fast 15's, 25's & 50's for time,
3) improve their SDK speed endurance and mental toughness by SDKing and using their SDK on fast 50's 75's, 100's 150's & 200's
3) Lift leg weights: leg press, leg curl, and leg extension,
4) Do exercises to improve jumping,
5) Stretching to improve their streamline, body alignment, and toe point, &
6) Get in the habit of SDKing when it hurts in practice.
7) practice starts and pushoffs to improve streamline and explosiveness off the blocks and wall
initial speed is a critical factor

to get faster you need to directly attack the problem



You have to distinguish between mat pilates and the pilates machines. I think the latter would help, but where I live you can only use those with a trainer or take very expensive group classes. I doubt mat pilates would help much, except possibly with flexibility.

ande
January 5th, 2009, 10:45 AM
anyone working on improving their SDK?

saw this article today
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/05/16/olympic-swimming-sharks.html

david.margrave
February 17th, 2009, 01:22 AM
Yes, I'm working on it.

A couple weeks ago our normal coaches were out and they had one of the college seniors coach our group. I had him watch my underwater dolphin kick and he said I have the leg movement down pretty good but should try to initiate the movement at the chest, so that you start pushing water with the chest, then the rest of your torso, then your legs.

Another thing he said was stretching my feet and ankles before swimming would make a noticeable difference.

ViveBene
February 17th, 2009, 05:55 AM
Yes, I am working on it. I start with the chest press and everything seems to end with the chest press, too, so I bob up and down in the same spot, making very little progress down the lane. Same thing with or without fins.


Yes, I'm working on it.

A couple weeks ago our normal coaches were out and they had one of the college seniors coach our group. I had him watch my underwater dolphin kick and he said I have the leg movement down pretty good but should try to initiate the movement at the chest, so that you start pushing water with the chest, then the rest of your torso, then your legs.

Another thing he said was stretching my feet and ankles before swimming would make a noticeable difference.

orca1946
February 17th, 2009, 11:39 AM
I try it on my back, this seems to help with the up kick to the surface.

ViveBene
February 17th, 2009, 12:36 PM
Back is fine, sides are fine (these positions are not chest-press-first SDKs). Even face down if I turn my head to one side - ear down - is faster.
I'm not recruiting whatever I need to recruit.
:confused:

ande
February 17th, 2009, 12:37 PM
If you're not moving, your technique isn't right.
I think "press from your chest" tip is confusing and wrong
PUSH OFF HARD
STREAMLINE SKINNY
KICK FROM YOUR LEGS (small & fast)

here's the keys to SDK
1) breathe a big breath,
2) push off the wall hard and deep
3) streamline skinny & stay streamlined (keep your head neutral)
4) glide a body length before beginning your kick
5) begin your SDK
6) upper body stays still like a missle
7) dolphin kick with fluidity and power
your quads and hams (legs) move your shins, calves, & feet
8) apply force to the water on your UP beat & DOWN beat
9) practice the technique and timing

still upper body the thighs do the work

PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE

do fast 10, 15, & 25 SDK sprints with plenty of rest

try different kick counts
1, 2, 3, . . .

learn to dolphin kick with a board

Improve your feel for the water with your feet, shins, & calves

get one on one instruction, have someone watch you underwater

attempt to copy the best

watch the you videos from the original post in this thread
U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Help! My SDK is Horrible!



Yes, I am working on it. I start with the chest press and everything seems to end with the chest press, too, so I bob up and down in the same spot, making very little progress down the lane. Same thing with or without fins.

ViveBene
February 17th, 2009, 01:03 PM
Thanks, Ande. I'll try the approach you suggest.

I have M. Phelps's fly DVD, and the more I do, the more I can understand what he is doing.

ande
April 9th, 2009, 03:51 PM
here's an interview with Austin Staab he went 44.18 in the 100 SCY fly at NCAAs, it has great above footage of his outstanding SDK (http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/20883.asp?q=Relive%20April%208%20Live%20Edition%20 of%20<i>The%20Morning%20Swim%20Show</i>:%20Austin%20Staab%20and%20Jimmy%20Feigen%20Discus s%20NCAAs;%20Ohio%20State%20Synchro%20Swimmers%20o n%20Winning%2028th%20National%20Title)
footage begins around 4 minutes 30 sec
he did not breathe on his last length,
says when I breathe my hips sink & it slows me down.

Q: How much underwater kicking & training do you do
A:"I take 7 kicks off every wall on every set."

When asked what exercises do you do dryland that helps your dolphin kick?
A: "The thing that helped me the most is Back Extensions. Strengthening my lower back helps me with the recovery of my dolphin kick. I can get to the down stroke faster."

"My stroke is very limited to when I take a breath, when I take a breath my hips sink."

ande
May 5th, 2009, 12:19 PM
anyone want to SDK FASTER FASTER?

Swimming Technique Section Provides Tips For Underwater Training -- May 4, 2009 (http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/21046.asp?q=<i>Swimming%20Technique</i>%20Section%20Provides%20Tips%20For%20Underwater%20 Training)

ande
October 20th, 2009, 02:54 PM
Ariana Kukors on streamline dolphin kicking

On the 10/07/2009 Morning Swim Show (http://tr.im/mornswim100709) Peter interviewed UT’s Kathleen Hersey & Ariana Kukors, the 200 IM world record holder 2:06.15, here's what Ariana said around 6 minutes into the show:

P: "For someone who has asthma you can kick pretty darn well at the end of a 200 IM."

A: "Lot's of training, lot's of training. During sets I work on kicking underwater all day long. I have a kick count that I do and we do a lot of underwater kick at practice. Just from the training I've taught myself how to be comfortable under there."

P: A kick count, what do you mean by that?

A: "I try to take at least 6 kicks, when I'm swimming warm up, when I'm swimming main sets, 6 kicks off every wall."

A: "Underwater sets, it's all in your head, whether or not you can make it."

ande
October 20th, 2009, 03:06 PM
other Great SDK vids

Hill Taylor 23.10 (http://tr.im/hill2310)
Men 50 Meters Backstroke (final A)
Texas Circuit #3, Austin
Lee and Joe Jamail Swim Center
Austin, TX, US
Jun, 11 2009 - Jun 14 2009


Hill SDKs 100 y in 47.2 (http://tr.im/hill472)
Friday Afternoon @ Texas
Dec 7 2008


YouTube - Michael Phelps freestyle multi angle camera (http://tr.im/phelpsfree)


YouTube Phelps Turn (http://tr.im/phelpsturn)
.
.

ande
November 2nd, 2009, 10:50 AM
anyone working on improving their SDK technique & speed?


here's a video of Cavic & Phelps epic 100 fly race at 2009 Worlds in Rome
with great SDK footage off the start & turn
YouTube - 100 LCM Butterfly - World Record



Test your 15 M SDK speed 5 ways:
1) From Blocks, Racing start, SDK on belly
2) With Blocks, Back racing start SDK on back
3) in water, freestyle turn SDK on side to Belly
4) in water, backstroke turn SDK on back
5) in water, Butterfly turn SDK on side to Belly



Sunday Nov 1st 2009, I tested my 15 M SDK speed

Wore B70 legs

15 SDK fast for time
from a roll start dive off the side (no blocks)
forward dive
rolled over & SDKed on my back
todd timed
went 5.91

75 easy

15 SDK fast for time
from a flip turn start (watch starts when feet hit)
SDKed on my back
todd timed
went 7.17

ande
January 25th, 2010, 10:51 AM
Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 http://www.usaswimming.org national team staffer, George Heidinger was on deck at the UT Mens practice.
Kris Kubik said "He knows a lot about swimming, you'll be a lot better off listening to what he knows."

During warm up we talked about what swimmers needed to do to swim faster. Our conversation turned to SDK

He said streamline dolphin kicking is so important and many coaches don't dedicate the training time or focus to help swimmers improve.

something as simple as taking 15 minutes of a practice to focus on underwater kicking, doing something like

8 x 25 SDK on 1:30 all out
could really help swimmers improve their underwater dolphin kick. SDK

I thought "Amen, you're preaching to the choir."


We also talked about proper head position and balance, he said if a swimmer turns his too much, he'll throw his leg out to the side to counter balance out the motion.

I stayed for the whole practice to help time as UT men did a lactate set.

pwolf66
January 25th, 2010, 12:19 PM
Yes, yes, yes, yes!!!!!

I'm struggling to put more SDKs in each of my practice swims but I know I need to and am focusing on it.

Also, I'm putting a LOT more focus on SDKs during practices sessions withe my kids and involved in very lively discussions with the other coaches about it.

The resistance I'm getting is that they feel that until a certain physical maturity (usually around 12-13 for girls nd 14-15 for boys) is acheived, SDKs are in most cases a waste of focus as there is neither the strength nor the proper technique to make it a worth while endeavor from a Return on Investment perspective.

I'm trying to counter with the points that if we don't start early in having the kids work on SDKs, then the technique and strength necessary to effectively perform them will take even longer to develop.

From what I'm seeing, kids are doing this more and more. Saw a 12yo boy SDK at least 8-9 yards off each turn in a 200yd Fly this weekend. Hmm, and he went 2:15, maybe there's a link???

So about once per week, for 10 minutes I have out 7-11 yo development kids doing SDKs. Guess I'll have to wait and see how it turns out.

funkyfish
January 25th, 2010, 01:59 PM
Yes, yes, yes, yes!!!!!

I'm struggling to put more SDKs in each of my practice swims but I know I need to and am focusing on it.

Also, I'm putting a LOT more focus on SDKs during practices sessions withe my kids and involved in very lively discussions with the other coaches about it.

The resistance I'm getting is that they feel that until a certain physical maturity (usually around 12-13 for girls nd 14-15 for boys) is acheived, SDKs are in most cases a waste of focus as there is neither the strength nor the proper technique to make it a worth while endeavor from a Return on Investment perspective.

I'm trying to counter with the points that if we don't start early in having the kids work on SDKs, then the technique and strength necessary to effectively perform them will take even longer to develop.

From what I'm seeing, kids are doing this more and more. Saw a 12yo boy SDK at least 8-9 yards off each turn in a 200yd Fly this weekend. Hmm, and he went 2:15, maybe there's a link???

So about once per week, for 10 minutes I have out 7-11 yo development kids doing SDKs. Guess I'll have to wait and see how it turns out.
Seems to me that kids would like the opportunity to practice this. My 10yr old wanted to learn it two years ago and she thinks its fun. She doesn't compete, rather she just does swim lessons in the summer and play swims the rest of the time. She's challenged herself to see how far she can go (about 12yds) and just has fun "swimming like a mermaid."

ande
January 26th, 2010, 07:51 PM
YouTube- Underwater Backstroke Kick with David Marsh and Nick Thoman

Karen Duggan
January 27th, 2010, 12:35 PM
Someone mentioned not "pushing the chest". The heck you shouldn't. If you look at Natalie Coughlin her whole body is undulating, not just her legs and feet doing short fast kicks. Using your whole body is key.
Dolphins don't just use their tails.

:2cents:

__steve__
January 27th, 2010, 08:51 PM
I'm still a novice dolphin kicker, but I often do free drills using a dophin kick anywhere from 5 to 10 X 25, on some I keep the head up. Very exhausting.

For me this is helps my catch, but would this also help my SDK too?

Stevepowell
January 28th, 2010, 10:18 AM
Natalie Coughlin Dolphin Kick analysis.
The CGI showing vortexes (vortici???) are interesting.

YouTube- Natalie Coughlin Dolphin Kick analysis

ande
January 28th, 2010, 11:26 AM
Will keeping your head up help your SDK?

Keeping your head up definitely won't help you SDK faster.
it increases drag, lifting your head acts as an AQUA BRAKE

Proper SDK position is: tight streamline, head neutral,
make your body long and skinny

there may be times in practice where you want to increase drag & SDK against the added resistance, you can do this by
+ pointing your palms in the direction you're kicking or
+ hold a kick board vertical in the water, or
+ kicking against a wall or
+ vertical kicking

it's best to kick with perfect technique and maximize speed.
Kick for speed with rest.
know what your times are
Try to beat them

It might help you to wear fins.



I'm still a novice dolphin kicker, but I often do free drills using a dophin kick anywhere from 5 to 10 X 25, on some I keep the head up. Very exhausting.

For me this is helps my catch, but would this also help my SDK too?

shane
January 28th, 2010, 01:16 PM
cool video, thanks for posting that Steve.

Atlantic
February 4th, 2010, 12:30 PM
I had the goal of doing SDK's during freestyle today in practice and it just about killed me. I can kick 6-9 SDK's during backstroke and be fine. But on freestyle, I tanked. I guess I just need to work on it more, but man - did it wear me out!!! I've got a lot of work to do!

Chris Stevenson
February 4th, 2010, 01:31 PM
I had the goal of doing SDK's during freestyle today in practice and it just about killed me. I can kick 6-9 SDK's during backstroke and be fine. But on freestyle, I tanked. I guess I just need to work on it more, but man - did it wear me out!!! I've got a lot of work to do!

It is interesting that you mention this, because I've had the same type of experience. I don't know if it is psychological or "real" (physiological).

I am also definitely a little faster doing SDKs on my back than on my front.

Maybe it might help to kick on your back for most of your SDKs in freestyle? Then rotate over just before the breakout. I believe Mike Ross does this in his freestyle races. It takes some getting used to; and you do 1-2 kicks during the rotation part, so you need to start to rotate a bit before you really need to surface. (I haven't been doing this routinely but have thought about starting.)

ande
February 4th, 2010, 03:15 PM
I SDK faster on my back than I do on my belly by around a half to 3/4ths of a second per 25

SolarEnergy
February 4th, 2010, 03:30 PM
I SDK faster on my back than I do on my belly by about half to 3/4ths of a seccond Any explanation as to why?

- I got few other questions too if you don't mind. Why calling dolphin kicking SDK, which I thought stand for standing dolphin kick?
- How does your pace over a fast 25m under water dolphin kick compares to say your pace over 50m fly?

What I am trying to figure out with the last question really is: how fast do we need to bring the 25m udk (underwater dolphin kick) in order to make it relevant to our 50m butterfly?

ande
February 4th, 2010, 04:43 PM
hey solar,

SDK is Streamline Dolphin Kick, some people call them underwaters.
I coined the acronym in my blog & in Swim Faster Faster because I didn't want to write out, "Streamline Dolphin Kick" every time I mentioned it. SDK is part of every practice I do.

like today's (http://www.usms.org/forums/blog.php?b=7813)

Sometimes my coach assigns a SDK kick count in sets, but usually I assign one for myself.
When the going gets tough I usually bail, to 0 SDKs.

my belly SDKs are getting better, I've been 10.7 - 10.9 for 25's in practice, but I've been 10.0 - 10.5 for 25's back SDK

In the summer of 2008 I went 26.03 in the 50 LCM FL,
last summer I SDKed 50 LCM in 27.2

That's why I tell swimmers to test their SDK vs swimming and figure out what their kick counts should be.

What is your sweet spot?

Swimmers should do what ever gets them across the pool the fastest.

as for your 50 fly,
do fast 15's, experiment with your kick counts.
do one with 2 kicks, rest up then do 4, 6, 8, 10, & 12
What kick count gets you to 15 meters the fastest?
What kick count allows your to finish your 50 the fastest?

Swimmers need to practice SDK often
find out how fast they are and
figure out a strategy for each of their races.

Longer races, 100's & 200's need to balance speed with air.
Conditioning and mental toughening help.

Chris Stevenson (http://www.usms.org/forums/blog.php?u=6428) has an excellent SDK & does some crazy hard training sets




Any explanation as to why?
- I got few other questions too if you don't mind. Why calling dolphin kicking SDK, which I thought stand for standing dolphin kick?

- How does your pace over a fast 25m under water dolphin kick compares to say your pace over 50m fly?

What I am trying to figure out with the last question really is: how fast do we need to bring the 25m udk (underwater dolphin kick) in order to make it relevant to our 50m butterfly?

SolarEnergy
February 4th, 2010, 04:57 PM
Thanks Ande, btw I find the counseling you're giving on this forum to be extremely accurate, practical and useful. You favor an approach to most issues that relies on testing and common sense, rather than on old clichés and pre-formatted thoughts.

I am 10 weeks away from our state championship, where I should participate to 50/100/200 fly. I planned in booking a full kilo of kicking per workout from now until then, since my SDK velocity at the moment is far from my swim velocity. Kicking for me is like sweet ice cream anyway, so not a pain at all.

Besides, I am accumulating a good number of reasons to believe that for my Power Fly stroke to get anywhere, I'll have to seriously rely on kick. My goal is just to go under 30sec over 50m this year, although my main focus is the 200.

I'd like to see you performing a 50m butterfly in some race to see how your fast fly looks like, I tried two links you provided (I remember one of them being some 50m final E), none of the two worked.

Thanks again!

Atlantic
February 4th, 2010, 05:58 PM
Maybe it might help to kick on your back for most of your SDKs in freestyle? Then rotate over just before the breakout. I believe Mike Ross does this in his freestyle races. It takes some getting used to; and you do 1-2 kicks during the rotation part, so you need to start to rotate a bit before you really need to surface. (I haven't been doing this routinely but have thought about starting.)

Sounds good to me! I feel more streamlined coming off the wall during back turns (maybe it's just my comfort level with the stroke).... so maybe what you mentioned to do will help. Freestyle and I haven't been good friends since I began Masters swimming... maybe this will help bring the spark back!
Thanks!

ande
February 5th, 2010, 10:51 AM
here's a discussion I had with Mike Ross about SDK. In case you don't know Mike Ross is a super fast USMS swimmer. He has an awesome SDK that he uses in back, fly, & free. He definitely has the fastest SDK out of all the swimmers over age 40.

Our discussion centered around SFF Tip 239 The Suit Surge from
Swim Faster Faster Ande's Swimming Tips



Mike: Hey Ande,

I knew about your suit surge theory. In fact, I completely agree with it. I once wrote a lengthy document for a former coach of mine, Chris Martin, on the importance of creating an arc in the kickout for the backstroke. In that document, I noted the importance of not letting your air out while kicking on your back.

Just like your suit surge theory, I reasoned that the air helped buoy a backstroker through the "uphill" portion of the kickout.

~ ~ ~ ~


Mike: I hear what Eddie is saying and I mention that perspective anytime I discuss the need to arc. My perspective, however, is that this principle is similar to throwing a ball.

When you think about throwing a ball, you think "I want to throw this in a straight line to make it get from point A to point B". But that thinking doesn't consider gravity. Likewise, thinking of swimming in a straight line underwater doesn't take into account buoyancy, nor does it take into account how the body thrusts itself most effectively.

Thinking just about the DOB (Dolphin On Back) for a moment. If you were to swim in a straight line underwater. Swimming in a "true" straight line, meaning your body parallel to the surface of the water, you would find yourself floating on the surface a few feet off the push off. Then you think, "well I am not stupid, I will alter my body position to keep myself underwater". Okay, you do that. Now what is your position? Hands and head low, feet high. You look like you are kicking downhill but you are trying to stay at a constant depth. So you are really moving horizontally but with your body pitched, creating extra drag. Your profile to the oncoming water is much larger than a body width.

Instead, if you would pitch the body downward from the start and travel downward, thrusting at an angle up AND toward the wall, allowing yourself to move in a trajectory downhill, you would have a lower profile to the oncoming water. Turning that trajectory into an arc, you would find the same effect coming uphill, reduced drag and increased velocity. Add in your suit surge idea and you become much faster, I believe.

Anyway, I realize that I am probably preaching to the choir.

I can't say that I do anything specific to train for SDK other than simply doing it. Sometimes, I do long SDKs like 800 SDK in tight streamline on my back. I think that type of swim "teaches" the body how to work more efficiently while also strengthening my core.

Often I find my mind wondering, "why are my hands out of the water?" and I will try to stiffen that part of me. Or, I will find that my stomach is burning from the kick, so I will allow myself to break streamline for a 25 and then force myself to get back into position.

Perhaps the most useful thing that I do is simply commit to kicking X kicks off walls. By that, I mean, if I simply leave it up to feel, I would likely only do 6 kicks off the last wall in the 100 back instead of 10 because I might be tired. From experience I know that a fast 100 back will only happen if I kick 10 kicks off each wall and the last 10 kicks must not be a struggle. This often means resting parts of my race to ensure that I am not too tired to kick 10 kicks on that last wall.

Does that make sense?

Mike

~ ~ ~ ~



Originally Posted by ande
I think there's an advantage to having full lungs vs partially full. Not sure how much it is.
Maybe I'll experiment with the extremes
1) exhale then swim a fast 25 for time vs
2) deeply inhale then swim a fast 25 for time

Mike: Good idea. I want to hear how that test comes out.


Originally Posted by ande
do you SDK faster on your back stomach or side?

Mike: Well, I have often felt that it was faster on my back, but I have no good evidence. I came up with a theory about why, which related to the buoyancy and the vectors of thrust that the kick generates when on your back.


Originally Posted by ande
I need to do more longer surface SDK on my back, staying streamlined, on longer stuff when I surface I drop my arms by my side & kick left arm down

Mike: I do believe that if done in streamline, this should make your stomach burn and is probably good at serving as an ab workout.


Originally Posted by ande
I tend to have a kick count plan in workout which goes out the window when the going gets tough, mainly longer sets with little rest

Mike: Yes, this happens to me too. So it is okay to "renegotiate" the terms of the kickouts when faced with the reality of the workout. Sometimes I will go in with the goal of kicking out every other wall and settle on kicking out once per hundred.


Originally Posted by ande
to get faster my plan is to
SDK daily
do some very fask short kicks with rest
occaisionally do a fast 25, 50, 75 or 100
the tricky thing is to stay under on 75's & 100's

Mike: Try this sometime: do a set of 75's backstroke and make the goal to have 10-12 kicks off each wall. Make the swimming as slow as you need to in order to accomplish the goal number of kicks. If that still doesn't work, then ease up on the kickouts to ensure that you do the right number. This "philosophy", for the lack of a better word, is actually the secret to how I go sub 50 in the 100 back, btw. Meaning, I relax enough so that I can benefit from my underwater kick. If you don't believe that, review my 200 back from last year spring at Austin. In that swim, you can watch me slow down on the swimming part (perhaps a little too much).



Originally Posted by ande
to stay under you have to have a downward bias,
bowman suggests getting deep with the pushoff rather than using kick energy

Mike: Oh! I completely agree with bowman on that. In fact, I slow down my turn slightly to ensure that my feet are high and my hands are low so that I get a deep push off. I then pause briefly before I start to kick.

SolarEnergy
February 5th, 2010, 01:49 PM
Ande, I know I may be sliding little off topic but here.

If you happen to think about it. Would you be kind enough, in a 25m pool, to tell me about few metrics when performing a fast 50m butterfly. Ideally, if you could touch the wall stopping the watch at 29.9 that would be perfect.

So, assuming an SDK count of 3 off the dive, and 3 off the wall. Could you give me your stroke count per 25m? For my 50m butterfly this year, if I don't have time to improve SDK enough, I'll go with an SDK count of 3/3. I was thinking of a stroke count of 9 to go then 10 to come back. However, if you can't even hold this DPS yourself, then I may put a big question mark to this metrics strategy.

If you can't perform it with a dive, then it's fine. In this case, I'd aim for perfect symmetry (SDK 3/3, DPS 10/10).

Thanks
Charles

ande
February 5th, 2010, 03:35 PM
Hi Charles,

Could you give me your stroke count per 25m?
OK, but I don't have access to a 25 M pool, sometimes the swim center is LCM & 25M is well marked so I could do it then.

3 SDKs isn't very many, your stroke count is going to be what it is.

just do your race strategy and let your stroke count be what it is
your training strategy should focus on
racing, plus improving your technique, conditioning, and speed.

Ande

SolarEnergy
February 5th, 2010, 05:30 PM
3 SDKs isn't very many, your stroke count is going to be what it is. Interesting point here. In your opinion, what would be a minimal SDK count for someone who's 12.5M fast SDK doesn't match the 12.5M full stroke? I thought that 3 would be a bare minimum. Do you think this minimum should be increased to 4? 5 for me is kind of longish. Maybe it could work following the dive, but certainly not after the turn (unless maybe I have a great turn with a very explosive push off).


just do your race strategy and let your stroke count be what it is Last time I did this, I missed my turn. I ended up too far from the wall to glide, but too close to add an extra stroke.

I like to know in advance how much strokes I got to aim for. I'm a computer guy, a programmer. Stroke count, kicking and breathing are part of my racing strategy for both Free Style and Butterfly (which are the two only strokes I commit to in races this year).

fritznh
February 6th, 2010, 10:58 AM
I have watched Mike Ross in the 50 free, and I can tell you he does the SDK on his back as he comes off the wall. From his exchange with Ande, he has trained on this a lot (not to mention really put some thought into what he is doing) and found that back SDK is faster than any other position, so that is what he uses. And he *is* fast :agree:.

Dave Berkoff used to do the same thing in his 50 free and I really thought it was strange back then, but it really worked well for him. It doesn't work that well for me in backstroke -- my SDK is faster on my front and it is not faster than swimming freestyle. I have found that about eight SDK's on the dive in the 50 free (or fly) brings me to nearly 15 meters, and that is the fastest way for me to get to that point. Off the turn, three or four kicks seems about optimum in the 50 free, then it is faster for me (right now, anyway) just to use SDK on the second half to carry the speed off the turn and get up into the stroke.

Some of the sets that Mike, Ande and Chris proposed sound very, very helpful. Many thanks for them, gentlemen. I'll post up some 25 SDKs when I get timed (though I don't suppose it will help anyone but me :)).

Happy laps!

Atlantic
February 6th, 2010, 01:22 PM
During a fly set today, I made it a point to push off the wall and go deep - and I can honestly say that it was a little easier to SDK.

The kickboard/buoyancy example (from one of Ande's links) really hit home for me.

:bliss:

Chris Stevenson
February 6th, 2010, 02:13 PM
Over the last few years, I've found myself going deeper and deeper off my turns for SDKs. I did this without consciously thinking about it much, just trying to go faster/longer. The only caveats are:

-- sometimes my thoughts are drifting and I realize that it is time to surface (or go past the 15m mark) and I'm still too deep. That results either in a poor breakout or a DQ. Both have happened to me (though the whiny part of me still disputes that my Indy DQ was correct).

-- sometimes you are forced to compete in a pool that is shallow at one or both ends. In that case, kicking on your *side* is often your best bet for shallow turns. You don't get as much of a "suit surge" effect but you are pushing against much bigger columns of water.

Whenever someone is kicking underwater and you see surface turbulence due to the kick, it means energy is being wasted to make those waves rather than to propel you forward. So another big reason to go deep as fast as you can is to avoid wasting energy in that way.

If you go too close to the bottom, though, you are also wasting energy to create (invisible) turbulence. This too slows you down, and it happens before your heels hit the bottom of the pool (which obviously also slows you down).

SolarEnergy
February 6th, 2010, 07:03 PM
Chris, in your opinion, why is it that some of us end up being faster SDKing on our back compare to on our belly? Easier to stabilize upper body I guess? But why?

Or could it be because it's easier to stabilize the position relative to the surface maybe? What I mean is that it's the downbeat of the kick that is the most propulsive. While being our our back, this downbeat (which really pushes the water upward) has the effect of insuring propulsion as well as keeping us at the same distance relative to the surface? Whereas with belly SDK, since we're beating the water down, it tends to the body up toward the surface which makes it more difficult to stabilize our position relative to the surface?

Chris Stevenson
February 6th, 2010, 08:21 PM
Chris, in your opinion, why is it that some of us end up being faster SDKing on our back compare to on our belly? Easier to stabilize upper body I guess? But why?

Or could it be because it's easier to stabilize the position relative to the surface maybe? What I mean is that it's the downbeat of the kick that is the most propulsive. While being our our back, this downbeat (which really pushes the water upward) has the effect of insuring propulsion as well as keeping us at the same distance relative to the surface? Whereas with belly SDK, since we're beating the water down, it tends to the body up toward the surface which makes it more difficult to stabilize our position relative to the surface?

Your explanation puts into words what I've sort of intuitively felt (and was better articulated than anything I would have put together). I think that part that I bolded above may well be the heart of the matter, but I'm not sure.

When I'm on my back, I feel more comfortable and feel that I can "cut loose" better than on my front.

Sometimes I've wondered also if it is easier to hold a tight streamline on your back. Or if one can have higher frequency (or even amplitude) on the back than on the front.

I do wish that someone with one of those expensive video/computer analysis setups would use it to compare front/back SDKs.

There is roughly a 0.5 sec diff for me for a 25. So that's about 0.3 sec for 15m, if it scales linearly...which I'm not sure it does. Sometimes it feels like I can "hold" my speed a little better on my back than on my front. I also routinely take one more kick per 25 on my front compared to on my back.

fritznh
February 7th, 2010, 08:59 AM
That is an interesting point Solar (and Chris!), I've never thought of dolphin kick in terms of stability. Another item is that because you can see the surface, you can change the amplitude of the kick as you get closer so you don't pop your feet out by mistake. I'm sure that would slow you down. But on your back you can gauge this more easily, on your front you're supposed to keep your head down ;). But it is easier to keep yourself stable with respect to the surface if you can see how close you are.

I still kick mostly with my legs, not with my core so much, and my quads are a lot stronger than my hamstrings. In other words, I get a lot more out of the forward kick than the back kick, making backstroke harder to generate speed once on the surface. Once you're deep enough and sufficiently far from a boundary, it shouldn't matter.

I imagine that it is the interaction with a boundary, either the free surface or the walls, that reduces the propulsive force from the SDK. With interaction from the wall, you'll reflect waves back into your body so you're no longer going through "clean" water. With interaction with the free surface, you're making a wake of surface waves instead of forward propulsion. If you're sufficiently deep and far away from a boundary, your orientation should not matter from a propulsion/drag standpoint.

Ack ... I need to get some times for SDKs to see what works. I have no idea which is actually faster for me. Theory is nice, but I've got to try it for myself!

SolarEnergy
February 7th, 2010, 11:22 AM
Thanks Chris and Fritz, sound explanations.

Chris, there's indeed scientific data available on this topic, I'll spend the next week reading what's available.

Here's a short example where they found out what we already knew: downward beat is far more propulsive than upward beat.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19391495?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed _ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=1

Chris Stevenson
February 7th, 2010, 05:58 PM
Thanks Chris and Fritz, sound explanations.

Chris, there's indeed scientific data available on this topic, I'll spend the next week reading what's available.

Here's a short example where they found out what we already knew: downward beat is far more propulsive than upward beat.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19391495?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed _ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=1

Thanks for the reference. Here is another I found:

http://www.me.jhu.edu/fsag/Publications/Papers/Afred-JBME.pdf

(Hopefully it works for you; on my work network I have access to a number of journals through institutional subscription and since I'm at work right now, I can't tell right now if that link works for everyone.) I particularly like fig 2. I also found it interesting that efficiency for the SDK was stated to be significantly better than freestyle.

I think there are two main reasons the downbeat is more effective: you engage the powerful quadriceps, and the flex in the ankles means more of the force goes to forward movement. That's why ankle flexibility is SO crucial: I think just a little increase in flexibility can dramatically increase your forward propulsion. If you look at underwater video of Phelps doing SDK, his feet are like a pair of flippers. (Sigh...maybe even more than height, I've always wished to have bigger feet than my puny little 9 1/2s.)

I injured my knee recently (slipped on ice) and for a couple days it hurt to hyperextend. What that emphasized to me was how much I depend on that in my SDK. When I was just cruising it was not a big deal, but when I really tried to kick fast, my knee hurt a lot during the less powerful "upbeat" portion (which is actually a downbeat on backstroke, but whatever).

It made me think about the role of the upbeat in my SDK. Maybe it is important not so much for its propulsion but for kick frequency: I was emphasizing it just to get my legs/feet back for the powerful downbeat part of the kick.

Fritz, I think you are absolutely right about the advantage of being able to see the water on backstroke SDK. It really allows you to time your breakouts better (I switch to flutter kick just before the breakout, for instance). I also think I make subconscious alterations in hands/body to keep in deeper (faster) water based on visual feedback.

One other issue that I think is really important is head position. Ande mentioned this elsewhere, about a "head break." A lot of coaches teach to have your hands in a tight streamline BEHIND the head, but I think that is incorrect. I was playing around in a 50m pool with fins, trying different head positions: the advantage of doing this with fins is that you are going so fast you can really feel the difference when your head is acting as a brake. The most efficient position for me was having your head between the arms, which were maybe JUST behind the ears.

I also think it is important to hold the arms very rigid in the streamline, not just for hydrodynamics but because it gives your kick more leverage.

What all of this brings home to me is the importance of practicing SDK for technique, speed and endurance. And having a race plan -- how many kicks off each wall -- that you train toward. It really is a 5th stroke. (Or, in my case with my lousy breastsroke, a 4th stroke.)

SolarEnergy
February 7th, 2010, 07:59 PM
Thanks for the reference. Here is another I found:

http://www.me.jhu.edu/fsag/Publications/Papers/Afred-JBME.pdf Thanks Chris, it works beautifully. I will need little time to read and digest all that but at first glance, they seem very serious in their approach. They could measure(?) as opposed to estimate power generated by using special fluids(?).


I think there are two main reasons the downbeat is more effective: you engage the powerful quadriceps, and the flex in the ankles means more of the force goes to forward movement. That's why ankle flexibility is SO crucial: I think just a little increase in flexibility can dramatically increase your forward propulsion. In total agreement here.

This raises an interesting point though. I'm tired of hearing some coaches asking me to keep my legs together during the whole dolphin kick action. My ankles/feet are built in a way that at the peak of hyper extension, my feet both point toward the inside. There's nothing I can do about it. Therefore, instinctively, to get more extension my legs are not *tied* together on the downbeat.


It made me think about the role of the upbeat in my SDK. Maybe it is important not so much for its propulsion but for kick frequency: I was emphasizing it just to get my legs/feet back for the powerful downbeat part of the kick. Here I really can't help.

Maglischo clearly says that in his opinion, the upbeat isn't propuslive. That, as of 2003, had not been demonstrated by science yet.

Me? I'm confuse. I feel some propulsion resulting from the upbeat. That is, if I go hard on the upbeat, it seems that it's getting me to move faster. But like you say, it could be a momentum issue. Energy is accumulating during the upbeat and the drastic shift from up to down may create a wip effect.... I really don't know I'm confused.


I was playing around in a 50m pool with fins, trying different head positions: the advantage of doing this with fins is that you are going so fast you can really feel the difference when your head is acting as a brake. The most efficient position for me was having your head between the arms, which were maybe JUST behind the ears. +1


What all of this brings home to me is the importance of practicing SDK for technique, speed and endurance. And having a race plan -- how many kicks off each wall -- that you train toward. It really is a 5th stroke. (Or, in my case with my lousy breastsroke, a 4th stroke.) I agree there as well. That's why I'm so unhappy with my 200 at the moment. I have no SDK strategy. I give 1 kick and pull out immediately. I often ask my friends (I do most of my 200s outside squad training) to establish a pace at freestyle for me. Like I ask them to book 200 repeats in 3min then follow in their draft. If I get dropped (which is what happens 80% of the time), it is always after a turn. I just don't have the lungs to SDK hard and long enough to stay in their footsteps.

In other words, my turns suck, and with only 1 SDK * 7 turns, no wonder why my 200 is so bad.

sjstuart
February 8th, 2010, 08:56 AM
Interesting article, Chris, thanks.


I also found it interesting that efficiency for the SDK was stated to be significantly better than freestyle.

Careful, that's apples & oranges. They claimed the "propulsive" efficiency of underwater dolphin kick is significantly better than the "total" efficiency of freestyle. The only number they gave for propulsive efficiency of freestyle is 58% for "quasifreestyle".

What impressed me is how low the efficiency is. The inefficient "male 1", who is nonetheless an Olympic-level swimmer, has to generate 640 W of power to generate 72 W of useful power. I know from playing around with powermeters on a bike that 640 W is working pretty hard -- especially when you're not allowed to breathe!

It would be interesting to know who their models were, so we could compare videos of the SDKs with 11% vs 29% efficiency.

ande
February 8th, 2010, 11:16 AM
"I'm tired of hearing some coaches asking me to keep my legs together during the whole dolphin kick action. My ankles/feet are built in a way that at the peak of hyper extension, my feet both point toward the inside."
Phelps' feet point inward, I think it improves the angle of the foot and increases surface area, think it's a mistake to rigidly point your feet straight


"Maglischo clearly says that in his opinion, the upbeat isn't propuslive."
I think Maglischo is WRONG, I'll stand barefoot on his coffee table and tell him that FAST SDKers get propulsion from the backsweep part of their SDK. I can feel it in mine. I'm sure it's not as much as the down beat, but it helps, it contributes something."

Develop an SDK strategy for all your races, but it can't be a surprise day of the meet decision, you have to know your numbers and do them in training.

You CAN IMPROVE your 200, a faster SDK may be part of your solution, better conditioning definitely is.

Ande

SolarEnergy
February 8th, 2010, 12:23 PM
Ande, I like your last post (as usual). The fear of running out of air during a 200 BF isn't particularly fun, but I am going to have to do something about this.

Yesterday night, same story. That time I tried to get better squats off the wall to see but that wasn't enough. I'm stuck.

As for ankle/feet angles that point inward, it is very true.

Maglischo is the number 1 authority in stroke analysis. However, he has often been wrong over the last 3 decades, correcting himself at every new edition of the book. On the aspect of propulsion generated (or not) during the upbeat of the flutter kick/dolphin kick (he places these two in the same category), he mentions that they are probably not propulsive.

1. I don't think we should confuse dolphin kick with flutter kick. These are two different animals (sharing some common elements)
2. I have a hard time explaining how one could be faster SDKing than swimming full stroke just by relying on the downbeat of the kick as only propulsion

Note that it would be fairly easy to throw his arguments on the floor because of point#1. All he'd (or any other scientist) have to do would be to take a Butterfly/Free Style specialist and ask them to perform a full blown 25y SDK, whilst comparing this with a full blown 25y underwater flutter kick.

Stevepowell
February 8th, 2010, 01:25 PM
[QUOTE=Chris Stevenson;205601]Thanks for the reference. Here is another I found:

http://www.me.jhu.edu/fsag/Publications/Papers/Afred-JBME.pdf

(Hopefully it works for you; on my work network I have access to a number of journals through institutional subscription and since I'm at work right now, I can't tell right now if that link works for everyone.) I particularly like fig 2. I also found it interesting that efficiency for the SDK was stated to be significantly better than freestyle.

Chris, thanks it works for me. Are all the results simulations?

shane
February 8th, 2010, 01:33 PM
if anybody knows about propulsion from the SDK upbeat it should be these guys http://www.swimetrics.com/swimproto.html since they measure this stuff.

maybe somebody here that has been tested could comment.

Stevepowell
February 8th, 2010, 01:48 PM
How do you get the full text for this:?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...m&ordinalpos=1

Chris Stevenson
February 8th, 2010, 02:34 PM
How do you get the full text for this:?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...m&ordinalpos=1

Here are direct links to the original articles:

PDF: http://pdfserve.informaworld.com/436041__908689178.pdf

HTML: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a908689178&fulltext=713240928

Again, I may have institutional access thru my university. Hopefully the links also work for you.

Steve, the results from BOTH papers are simulations.

Stevepowell
February 8th, 2010, 03:23 PM
Thanks Chris, Hopefully, now that they have a somewhat accurate model, some trial and error experiments will predict the fastest way to kick. (insert 17 caveats here).

This conclusion was interesting:

"By computing the forces produced by the various segments of the body, we find that most of the active drag during the dolphin kick is produced by the chest, abdomen, and hips, whereas most of the propulsive force is produced by a small portion of the legs extending from just above the ankle to the toes. Thus, a focus on foot motion and ankle flexibility could have a large impact on dolphin kick performance."

SolarEnergy
February 8th, 2010, 03:29 PM
if anybody knows about propulsion from the SDK upbeat it should be these guys http://www.swimetrics.com/swimproto.html since they measure this stuff.
Not sure though that their device could detect velocity changes (if any) that occur during the SDK execution though, otherwise, folks like Maglischo would probably be in a better position to issue a solid statement about this topic.

shane
February 8th, 2010, 05:48 PM
the website claims a sample rate of 60hz for both velocity and force. the stroke rate for SDK is maybe 2 or 3hz, so that should be enough to answer the question.

i am curious about this issue because although i feel my feet pushing water on the upbeat, i can't really say that i feel myself accelerating forward during that phase. of course i could be doing it wrong. i can say that i definitely feel the propulsion from upbeat when using fins. maybe for me without fins there is force created during upbeat but not enough to overcome the opposing drag force.

a while back i was experimenting with this and got the idea to try doing just one upbeat without the downbeat first. like a breaststroke pulldown except use an upbeat instead of downbeat. it was funny and i went absolutely nowhere. on the other hand i can do one downbeat from a dead stop in the water and get a pretty good forward movement. not saying this was an answer but it did give me the feeling that if there is propulsion it must be pretty small compared to downbeat.

Atlantic
February 9th, 2010, 09:20 AM
Maybe it might help to kick on your back for most of your SDKs in freestyle? Then rotate over just before the breakout. I believe Mike Ross does this in his freestyle races. It takes some getting used to; and you do 1-2 kicks during the rotation part, so you need to start to rotate a bit before you really need to surface.

Did this in practice this morning - and I loved it. Taking baby steps here, only did 4 (sometimes 5) SDK's... but my turns felt pretty fierce. I felt quicker and definitely more streamlined off the walls. Thanks so much for your advice!!!

:D

ande
February 9th, 2010, 10:14 AM
let's get back on track, I created this thread to help swimmers focus on their SDK & improve it.


+ Test your SDK speed
+ TRAIN
+ See how much you can improve
+ Report your results in this thread


Anyone game?
Get started.

here's the original post to this thread

SDK stands for Streamlined Dolphin Kick
some people call them "underwaters"

Swimmers use SDK in sprints, 50's, 100's & 200's
free, fly, back and IMs

for several years we've had the

"Help my flutter kick is horrible" thread

It's time for a thread to help people improve their SDK


This is the thread for people who want to improve their SDKs

here's what excellent SDK technique looks like

crocker 100 fl YouTube- Phelps Rallies Past Crocker in 100-fly

phelps 200 fl YouTube- Phelps Shatters 200-meter Butterfly World Record

phelps 200 fr YouTube- Broadcast Yourself.
YouTube- Phelps 26-28-30-29 strokes per length

phelps 200 IM WR Underwater POV YouTube- Broadcast Yourself.

Lochte 200 bk YouTube- Broadcast Yourself.

2004 olympics 100 bk YouTube- Broadcast Yourself.

coughlin 100 free YouTube- Coughlin finishes strongly in 100-meter freestyle

coughlin 100 fl YouTube- Coughlin wins another gold in the 100-meter butterfly

50 back worlds YouTube- Vaziri Breaks Women's Backstroke Record

100 bk scm lockte WR YouTube- Lochte's 100back at short course world championship

Klim YouTube- Free - Klim

thorpe YouTube- Free - Thorpe4


Here's how you improve your SDK

1) test your SDK and find out where you are
get timed for
+ 15 meters or yards from a dive
+ 25 Y/M from a dive and
+ 50 Y/M from a dive
report your results here

2) Experiment to figure out which SDK feels best for you
back, belly or side

3) Experiment to figure out how many SDK's you should take off your starts and turns in races for free, back, & fly

4) train to perfect your SDK technique
streamline and kicking motion

5) train to perfect your conditioning and mental toughness
do very fast SDKs for speed
do 25's 50, 75, 100, 150, & 200 kicks wher eyou improve conditioning

6) train to increase your strenth and power
legs and core work, weight training pilates exercises

7) train to increase flexiblity
streamline and ankles

8) be consistent and patient, stick with it for at least 3 or 6 months

9) retest and track your improvement,
REPORT YOUR RESULTS IN THIS THREAD

10) do the experiment again
as your SDK improves you can take more SDKs in your races

11) remember to keep up your SDK speed training as you taper and prepare to race


good luck
hope you SDK Faster Faster
Please report your progress
contribute and encourage

Ande

letsrace
February 9th, 2010, 11:26 AM
To Chris' point about shallow pools, there is no doubt shallow pools make doing SDK more complicated and I would argue less effective. I no longer even expect to have fast times in shallow pools because it messes with my trajectory. Could this be improved by kicking on one's side? Yes, but I still don't think it is as fast as on back.

Chris makes the point about putting the head back in the arms in the underwater kick. I wholeheartedly agree. Drag is the main reason, the other reason relates to flexibility. When I watch swimmers who kick under water by pulling their head out of their arms, meaning arms squeezed tight behind their head, I think they look less comfortable kicking. To me, "less comfortable" equates to less power.

Regarding the effectiveness of an upbeat (or downbeat from my perspective). This is simply anecdotal, but I was taught 20 years ago that it is not important and I have seldom considered it in my kicking since then. I recognize that this is a very small sample size. Perhaps, the effectiveness of the upbeat kick is based on the structure of one's legs. I will say that I have room in my "philosophies" to believe that I could improve by focusing on the upbeat.

On toes pointing in and hyper-extension of the knees. I maintain that if I was going to pick out fast kickers walking along the street, I would choose pigeon-toed individuals who could lock out their legs with their knees hyper-extended. I have witnessed a lot of fast kickers who were structured this way.

SolarEnergy brings up two points:


1. I don't think we should confuse dolphin kick with flutter kick. These are two different animals (sharing some common elements)

Absolutely. Flutter kick is not two legs doing dolphin kick independently. Each leg is limited by the counter movement of the other so that the body can't get involved at the same level as in dolphin kicking.



2. I have a hard time explaining how one could be faster SDKing than swimming full stroke just by relying on the downbeat of the kick as only propulsion

On the second point, I am not as mystified. Just because the SDK might be missing a downbeat does not necessarily mean that it should be slower than a full stroke. As someone else pointed out to make another argument, it is "apples to oranges". The SDK can generate more power because of greater resistance and can be more efficient than swimming on the surface. Missing the downbeat only means that the SDK could, in theory, have more power.

SolarEnergy
February 9th, 2010, 11:54 AM
9) retest and track your improvement,
REPORT YOUR RESULTS IN THIS THREAD
All right coach. I will do.

Sorry for the distraction, I always talk too much. Blame it on passion.

I'll start assessing the 25m fast SDK as early as tonight.

SolarEnergy
February 9th, 2010, 12:01 PM
On the second point, I am not as mystified. I'll quickly tell you why I am still wondering about all this.

Take fins. Perform SDK. You get this feeling that every beat is helping forward propulsion right? You clearly experiment the feeling and it's not only a feeling. It's a fact.

I get the same feeling even without fins. That's why I'm still confuse...

The opponents (those who state that upbeat isn't propulsive) as the same explain that the efficiency of the downbeat is caused by the angle of attack the feet have (thanks to ankle flexibility). To me, it's much easier to get a very sharp angle of attack on the upbeat since the feet naturally flex this way. So I plan to remain confuse until I read solid scientific evidence on the matter.

fritznh
February 10th, 2010, 07:57 PM
I'll quickly tell you why I am still wondering about all this.

Take fins. Perform SDK. You get this feeling that every beat is helping forward propulsion right? You clearly experiment the feeling and it's not only a feeling. It's a fact.

I get the same feeling even without fins. That's why I'm still confuse...

The opponents (those who state that upbeat isn't propulsive) as the same explain that the efficiency of the downbeat is caused by the angle of attack the feet have (thanks to ankle flexibility). To me, it's much easier to get a very sharp angle of attack on the upbeat since the feet naturally flex this way. So I plan to remain confuse until I read solid scientific evidence on the matter.

When I use fins and do SDK, I find that the thrust is more even on the up and down beat. I still get something on the downbeat without fins, however it is not as much as the upbeat. You can engage a lot of big muscles during SDK (core, quads) and the more streamlined you are, the more you can take advantage of the thrust. I'd think that is the main reason that underwater SDK can be faster than swimming on the surface.

One reason for improved thrust from the up kick is that when you begin the kick your knees are bent so that the feet can be nearly perpendicular to the direction of motion, producing much improved thrust, like a fan or propeller blade. On the down sweep, you don't get the same leverage. But I'd maintain that you get something.

The paper from von Loebbecke was interesting, though the analysis was done such that the boundaries would have no effect. Still, to me it shows that there is a lot of improvement to be had with technique. Interaction with boundaries is not covered, mostly because it is far more difficult than lift and drag around a moving body. Free surface modeling in a CFD sense is extremely difficult to do accurately, because you don't know where the surface will be apriori and it is part of the solution. That would tell you how deep you need to be to minimize drag, but nobody's done it yet.

SolarEnergy
February 10th, 2010, 09:27 PM
When I use fins and do SDK, I find that the thrust is more even on the up and down beat. I still get something on the downbeat without fins, however it is not as much as the upbeat. You can engage a lot of big muscles during SDK (core, quads) and the more streamlined you are, the more you can take advantage of the thrust. I'd think that is the main reason that underwater SDK can be faster than swimming on the surface. My favorite kick at butterfly is this one here
YouTube- Fly DrillSide

Tonight, having Ande's thread in mind, I tried few hundreds. First one, usual energy, did 1:55. Wasn't pleased at all.

Then one with 4 to 5 counts of hard sdk on my side (shallow pool) and more power (especially downbeat as usual) did 1:47. Quite better I thought.

Then I did one hard sdk on my side (4 to 5) and I went all out on upbeat as well as on downbeat (of course) did 1:33. That is what I used to do before.

That said though. Chris may be dead right on the fact that going hard on upbeat may simply give your downbeat more power. And it certainly helps getting the rate going too. Logically, if you go hard on upbeat it gives your SDK more amplitude at equal rate or faster rate same amplitude.

So we all may be right, no matter the point of view. It may not be propulsive but it gets you to move faster.

ande
April 6th, 2010, 10:59 AM
Are you working to improve your SDK?
What are you doing?

How's it going?

Just taking 12 minutes out of each practice to do

8 x 25 SDK ALL OUT for time on 1:30
can help you improve

Here's something that might inspire you

The Morning Swim Show, April 6, 2010:
Tom Shields Analyzes Debut at NCAA Championships (http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/23946.asp?q=<i>The%20Morning%20Swim%20Show</i>,%20April%206,%202010:%20Tom%20Shields%20Analyzes% 20Debut%20at%20NCAA%20Championships)
Tom Shields has an outstanding SDK. He won the 100 fl at Mens NCAAs

1 Shields, Thomas CAL
44.91P
r:+0.81 9.57
20.83 (11.26)
32.45 (11.62)
44.91 (12.46)

As a high school freshman tom Shields saw Michael Phelps SDK at a Grand Prix meet at Long Beach and thought to himself:

"I want to be really good at that."

Then he practiced and became great.

ande
October 22nd, 2010, 11:11 AM
justthought I'd bump this


other Great SDK vids

Hill Taylor 23.10 (http://tr.im/hill2310)
Men 50 Meters Backstroke (final A)
Texas Circuit #3, Austin
Lee and Joe Jamail Swim Center
Austin, TX, US
Jun, 11 2009 - Jun 14 2009


Hill SDKs 100 y in 47.2 (http://tr.im/hill472)
Friday Afternoon @ Texas
Dec 7 2008


YouTube - Michael Phelps freestyle multi angle camera (http://tr.im/phelpsfree)


YouTube Phelps Turn (http://tr.im/phelpsturn)
.
.

KEWebb18
December 23rd, 2010, 08:47 PM
Hey Ande! I finally did your suggetions to improve SDK. I am a sprint freestyler who wants to be better at SDK's. Surprisingly, I was faster doing SDK on my stomach than on my back. I would take about 14 underwater on each before having to come up for air. I know that core strength can always be improved on so I am working on that outside of the pool.
One thing that I noticed, and I can't figure out why, is that I tend to sink when I SDK on my back. Once I come up from being underwater can do 2-3 on the surface and then I feel like my head starts dropping under water. Any tips? The only thing that I can think of is that my quads/hip flexors are stronger than my hamstrings. Thanks and I look forward to improving my SDK :)

ande
December 26th, 2010, 06:56 PM
congrats
what are your 15 and 25 times
sinking when you SDK on your back might have to do with how your angle yourself
would help to see an underwater video

ande


Hey Ande! I finally did your suggetions to improve SDK. I am a sprint freestyler who wants to be better at SDK's. Surprisingly, I was faster doing SDK on my stomach than on my back. I would take about 14 underwater on each before having to come up for air. I know that core strength can always be improved on so I am working on that outside of the pool.
One thing that I noticed, and I can't figure out why, is that I tend to sink when I SDK on my back. Once I come up from being underwater can do 2-3 on the surface and then I feel like my head starts dropping under water. Any tips? The only thing that I can think of is that my quads/hip flexors are stronger than my hamstrings. Thanks and I look forward to improving my SDK :)

KEWebb18
January 23rd, 2011, 02:56 PM
Hey Ande! I worked on my SDK's today. Did some AFAP on 1:00 as part of my kick set. I was able to go 25 SCM on my back in 24 seconds. I made it about halfway down the pool before I surfaced and kicked the rest on my back. This was anywhere from 11-14 SDK UW. I know that it's not that great, but I am working on it and I hope to see some improvement.

waterboy91
May 6th, 2012, 12:51 AM
I found this forum by searching up ways on google on how to improve your dolphin kick. Pretty cool site. I have been working on my kick a lot the past 3 weeks since I hurt my elbow/shoulder. I can go 11 HIGH in my 25 yard SDK on my back from a backstroke start. My goal is to break 10 seconds from a backstroke start with SDK by the end of this year.

nhc
August 21st, 2012, 11:43 PM
When the professionals do SDK (either on stomach or on back), their shoulders and upper arms are almost behind their head; in other words, their head is not sandwiched between the two arms, but the upper arms are almost like pillow in the back of the head. How do they do this? Is this a natural flexibility or achieved by a lot of training (what kind of training?)?

__steve__
August 22nd, 2012, 06:27 AM
Youth, flexibility, practice, and healthy shoulder connective tissue. I can get one of my arms locked behind but that's it

ande
August 22nd, 2012, 11:38 AM
When the professionals do SDK (either on stomach or on back), their shoulders and upper arms are almost behind their head; in other words, their head is not sandwiched between the two arms, but the upper arms are almost like pillow in the back of the head.
How do they do this? Is this a natural flexibility or achieved by a lot of training (what kind of training?)?

How do they do this?
when you're pushing off the wall
+ you put one hand on top of the other,
+ put your thumb on your top hand beside and under the base of the pinky on your bottom hand, then
+ stretch your arms over your head

Some people are more flexible than others, but when you attempt to streamline the best you can each time you dive in or push off over weeks months and years you're likely to improve

Michael Phelps is very flexible, he has flexible feet & ankles, hyperextended knees & elbows & loose shoulders. His streamline is remarkable
you can see in this vid
freestyle multi angle camera - YouTube
Michael Phelps freestyle multi angle camera - YouTube

ande
August 22nd, 2012, 11:42 AM
I found this forum by searching up ways on google on how to improve your dolphin kick. Pretty cool site. I have been working on my kick a lot the past 3 weeks since I hurt my elbow/shoulder. I can go 11 HIGH in my 25 yard SDK on my back from a backstroke start. My goal is to break 10 seconds from a backstroke start with SDK by the end of this year.

Great! sorry I didn't respond earlier.
Keep doing fast SDKs for time with rest,
strengthen your legs with jumps, leg press, leg extension, leg curl, & dead lifts.
Stretch your feet and ankles to improve your foot flexibility.
It would be pretty remarkable to SDK 25 from a back start under 10 sec, hope you do.

Syd
December 11th, 2012, 10:52 AM
SDK

"Contrary to expectations that the largest leg muscles would be the source of the kick's power, it turns out that 90 percent of the thrust in a dolphin kick comes from the ankles and feet. "The more you can make the lower part of your leg floppy like a dolphin fluke, the better your thrust," Mittal said."

This has to be the best advice I have ever heard regards SDK. (Thanks to Ande for posting. I found it this morning while reading this post). Putting it into action this afternoon I managed to smash my best time for 25 SDK by almost three seconds. Previously, I was never able to go under 20 seconds and today I went 17.85 (25 SCM from a push off the wall). I know this isn't a very good time but I really am a terrible kicker and for me this is a remarkable improvement. I knew I had done a good time before I even looked at the stopwatch. The increase in speed was quite obvious. Ironically, it felt less tiring than it usually does. I think concentrating on making my ankles and feet floppy allowed me to increase the frequency of my SDK. Even better news is that I did it at the end of my training session when I was already tired from sprinting and didn't really rest adequately. I got the feeling that if I rested up and did some deep breathing and a dive, I could cut quite a bit more time off. I might even consider doing it in race now. Previously I would flutter kick off the dive as I was surfacing and try to surface as soon as possible.

Chaiale
December 12th, 2012, 05:13 PM
You know, I'm really glad to here that about the floppiness, because I'm a para-swimmer, so my SDK recruits abs and glutes, but not the rest of my core/legs. I can feel myself losing efficiency because my legs drift apart unless I can get enough momentum to keep them streamlined, and my SDK takes huge effort to keep the undulation coordinated and strong; in kick drills, I'm the one grunting like a Williams sister to push on.

I'm doing kick drills every day, because dolphin is my only kick, but it's frustrating to get lapped by a breaststroker while SDKing, and my SDK 25s come in at :45 (my freestyle 50 SCM is just a little sub-40 for reference, using 2-3 SDKs off the blocks and almost immediate breakout off the wall).

Any suggestions about creative ways to improve my SDK? I'd really like to incorporate 4-5 SDKs off the wall on every turn and 7-8 off the block, which I can do once or twice in practice, but between my flipturn exhalation and the effort of the SDKs, I can't keep it up enough to do for the whole practice.

Halp!

fmracing
December 14th, 2012, 11:59 AM
Should SDK on the back be faster than SDK on the front? Logic seems to imply to me that there should be no difference with other factors kept constant (person, ability, fatigue), but I seem to kick just a tiny bit faster on my back than on my front even though I feel i have better ability and technique on my front than on my back (sprint SDK no surfacing 25m on back 15s, on front 16s with ample rest between).

I guess I should've probably searched for this first...

Chris Stevenson
December 14th, 2012, 12:32 PM
Should SDK on the back be faster than SDK on the front? Logic seems to imply to me that there should be no difference with other factors kept constant (person, ability, fatigue), but I seem to kick just a tiny bit faster on my back than on my front even though I feel i have better ability and technique on my front than on my back (sprint SDK no surfacing 25m on back 15s, on front 16s with ample rest between).

Even taking out the effects of the turns (flips for back, open turns for front) I am consistently faster on my back than my front, perhaps 0.5 sec per 25. I'm sure there is a logical reason for it though I don't know what it is.

habu987
December 14th, 2012, 01:05 PM
A good example of SDK done right!

Ryan Murphy 200 yards Back 1:38.15 - 17-18 National Age Group Record - YouTube

He came in second to Ryan Murphy, with both of them going 1:38s. Murphy had a better stroke than Vyatchanin, but the Russian killed him on the underwaters, especially that last turn.

...Now, if only I could get my underwaters to that level...

Karl_S
December 14th, 2012, 01:25 PM
Even taking out the effects of the turns (flips for back, open turns for front) I am consistently faster on my back than my front, perhaps 0.5 sec per 25. I'm sure there is a logical reason for it though I don't know what it is.
Chris, does this depend on distance? Also, how are you timing it?

I ask because I believed the same thing for a long time, then I had the coach time me to 10yds from a push. (Watch starts when the head goes under the water.) I was consistently 0.5 faster on my front than on my back. I did about 4 of each with consistent results and several such tests over more than a year have always produced the same result, although the overall times got a bit faster. I'm certainly faster on my front to 25yds, because I have yet to complete a full 25 SDK on my back.

Chris Stevenson
December 14th, 2012, 02:51 PM
Chris, does this depend on distance? Also, how are you timing it?

I have compared using stopwatch times for 25s and 50s. I really don't do front SDKs for longer distances than that. The 25s are, as I say, about 0.5 sec difference and it is pretty consistent; for example if I alternate between the two, the front SDK is never faster than the back SDK done just before or just after (in other words, fatigue isn't the reason for the difference).

For 50s there is a 1.5-2.0 sec persistent difference, but that is complicated by the fact that I flip when I do backstroke kicking but do open turns when I do front SDKs. I think those results are roughly consistent with the results for 25s.

Sportygeek
December 15th, 2012, 03:33 AM
I'm a para-swimmer...

Any suggestions about creative ways to improve my SDK? I'd really like to incorporate 4-5 SDKs off the wall on every turn and 7-8 off the block

I'm another para-swimmer, one of 3 in my club.

When your body doesn't work in a standard way, standard swimming advice for able-bods doesn't always apply. We need to work out the fastest way to swim with our bodies. That may mean doing more SDKs, or it may not. Jacqui Freney, who won 8 gold medals at the London Paralympics, SDKs very little - she gets more speed by making use of her upper body strength. My club-mate Ahmed, also a Paralympian, swims double-arm back and a freestyle that's closer to butterfly - very unconventional, but it's what works best for him.

Have you ever been classified? I've made a guess based on what you've said - if I'm right, your 50 free is National-level fast.

ande
December 17th, 2012, 11:49 AM
You know, I'm really glad to here that about the floppiness, because I'm a para-swimmer, so my SDK recruits abs and glutes, but not the rest of my core/legs. I can feel myself losing efficiency because my legs drift apart unless I can get enough momentum to keep them streamlined, and my SDK takes huge effort to keep the undulation coordinated and strong; in kick drills, I'm the one grunting like a Williams sister to push on.

I'm doing kick drills every day, because dolphin is my only kick, but it's frustrating to get lapped by a breaststroker while SDKing, and my SDK 25s come in at :45 (my freestyle 50 SCM is just a little sub-40 for reference, using 2-3 SDKs off the blocks and almost immediate breakout off the wall).

Any suggestions about creative ways to improve my SDK? I'd really like to incorporate 4-5 SDKs off the wall on every turn and 7-8 off the block, which I can do once or twice in practice, but between my flipturn exhalation and the effort of the SDKs, I can't keep it up enough to do for the whole practice.

Halp!

Welcome Samantha,

Any suggestions about creative ways to improve my SDK?

you'd like to incorporate 4-5 SDKs off the wall on every turn and
7-8 off the block.
BUT only do it if it's fastest for you
I suggest every swimmer work to improve their SDK then work with your coach to come up with a kick count strategy for each race
ie I do more SDKs in 50 bk than I do in 50 FL & 50 FR

Get one on one in person SDK lessons

get someone to video you SDKing, then put it on youtube and post the link & ask for suggestions

have someone time you SDKing as fast as possible for
5, 10, 15, & 25 meters
you gotta get to where you can go much faster than 45 for 25

without seeing you SDK, I'm not sure what your opportunities are

General principles:

+ GET PSYCHED & BREATHE IN A BIG BREATH & HOLD IT

+ PUSH OFF HARD

+ STREAMLINE SKINNY

+ GLIDE A LITTLE

+ Start kicking, press water both ways on your kick

Also keep training and get in better shape.
I looked up your times and you went
38.97 for a 50 FR & 3:18.95 in the
2 fr split
43.07
48.55 1:31.62
53.64 2:25.26
53.69 3:18.95

SCAQ is a great team, just keep training with them.
Please tell us more about you and we might be able to better guide you
Lastly Swim Faster Faster provides many ideas on how to improve.

ande

habu987
December 17th, 2012, 03:12 PM
Veering a bit off topic into the heretical zone of flutter kicking here, I hurt my left knee last week in practice. Of all things, I hurt it swimming freestyle. How, I don't know.

Anyways, I am an avid SDKer off the walls. In practice, I normally get 4-7 off the walls on free, 6-12 on back, and 4-6 on fly. With my left knee acting as the red headed step child it is, dolphin kick is rather painful. I've been refraining from swimming fly and have also stopped doing SDK off the walls, just trying to flutter kick the same distance, instead.

To my surprise, there has been almost no discernible difference between my SDK and flutter kick speed. We did some hard free 100s on Saturday and I was only about a second, second and a half off my normal SDK utilizing hard pace time. I can't say how much of the pace difference was due to the general wonkiness of my knee and how much was due to not doing SDK, but I actually felt pretty good off the walls.

I've been working on my kick in general (SDK and free/back kick), so I'm sure that has something to do with the newfound strength of my flutter kick off the walls. Back when I first started doing SDK about 12 years ago, it was night and day difference off the walls, and I hadn't done flutter kick off the walls in practice or at meets since, until last week.

Makes me think that I need to redouble my SDK training once my knee heals up! :bolt:

ande
February 3rd, 2013, 08:10 AM
Habu,
Be careful with your knee, rest rest rest
Then lightly test

RockSwimmer
July 26th, 2013, 08:39 PM
Hey People


A couple of days ago I couldn't make an easy 12x50 SDK (not underwater) on 1:30, all of the other swimmers that I swim with could make the interval so...
I'll get a baseline in the next week.

Rock

flystorms
July 29th, 2013, 09:13 PM
After reading most of this thread yesterday, I was inspired and intrigued since my turns have lots of room for improvement. Had long sets at practice this morning so thought it'd be a good time to really think about the SDK and some of the advice given here. The streamline makes a huge difference and will become second nature soon, I hope. But wow, 2-3 kicks and I had to surface for air. Yep, lots of room for improvement, but at least there will be a baseline set so 4 kicks will feel like a huge accomplishment when they become steady, right?