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mikeh
August 24th, 2008, 06:14 PM
As a sprint butterflyer, until recently I never questioned the sort of underwater dolphin kicks I should do: as fast as physically possible, then pop up and go at it hammer and tongs.

At my LC Zone Championships I tried something different. I was still dealing with the effects of a virus that severely inhibited my taper period. All my times were quite slow, so with nothing to lose I decided to try an experiment. In my 50 meter butterfly, instead of my usual frantic underwater dolphin, I made the kicks slower and more deliberate, stayed underwater longer, and then kept my stroke fast but under control.

The result was a time that, while slow, was significantly better than my other times this meet. It was about 2% off my normal times, but my other races were 4-6% slower. It is clear, as a knowledgable butterflyer suggested, that I was probably "slipping" and failing to grab water with my superfast kicks and stroke. By slowing my kicks and my stroke slightly, I "grabbed" more water and moved faster.

I wonder if anyone else can offer an opinion on dolphin kicks and sprinting? It is clear that everyone must find what is best for them - it may be that a slightly slower, more deliberate underwater dolphin coupled with a controlled stoke is best for me. This may not be the best for you. Any thoughts?

LindsayNB
August 24th, 2008, 06:32 PM
Have you checked your time to 15m and your stroke count for the two approaches?

geochuck
August 24th, 2008, 06:43 PM
I am afraid the kick must combine with the arm stroke. If your arm stroke is slipping because the kick is too fast then coordinate them. Kick to work with the arms.

mikeh
August 24th, 2008, 07:00 PM
Have you checked your time to 15m and your stroke count for the two approaches?

That is good advice. No, I have not done that yet. I will try to do so at workouts in the next few weeks.

mikeh
August 24th, 2008, 07:00 PM
I am afraid the kick must combine with the arm stroke. If your arm stroke is slipping because the kick is too fast then coordinate them. Kick to work with the arms.

I agree - the arms can only match the legs. In an odd way, I find that my arms "slip" less when I think more about my hips and less about my arms.

geochuck
August 24th, 2008, 07:37 PM
I never think of the hips I think of head and shoulders. The hips and legs have to follow suit.

LindsayNB
August 24th, 2008, 08:33 PM
An interesting article from NPR on the science behind dolphin kicking, apparently Phelps dolphin is better than others because of his size 14 feet combined with an ability to hyperextend his ankles. The article says that computer modeling shows that 90% of the power in the dolphin kick comes from the feet.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93575235

I once read an article about Australian research that looked specifically at smaller faster versus bigger slower using computer models and came to a conclusion, but I can't seem to find it at the moment...

Oh, there it is:

The results of the CFD study demonstrated that, for this swimmer, the larger kick was more efficient across the velocity range at which the swimmer would ideally be performing an underwater kick.
http://cis.squirming.net/category/swimming/355/

Chris Stevenson
August 24th, 2008, 09:57 PM
I never think of the hips I think of head and shoulders. The hips and legs have to follow suit.

? For underwater kicks, the head and shoulders need to stay pretty still. All the undulation is below the chest.

Linsday, I saw that NPR article too...it verifies what I feel when I try to kick with shoes on. Flexible ankles are absolutely critical. (You can't change the size of your feet but you can increase flexibility.) So is a flexible lower back and a strong core.

My on :2cents:, for what its worth: I never really understood or followed the advice for shallow and fast kicks. I don't think you should sacrifice "hip amplitude" on the kicks for turnover.

But on sprints your hips should be moving pretty fast -- I would never say they should be "slow and deliberate" (maybe they feel that way by comparison to your old kick).

The same number of dolphin kicks gets me out to 15 meters whether I am going fast or moderate...I just get there quicker on sprints, which must mean the turnover is faster.

geochuck
August 24th, 2008, 10:23 PM
Not many have the equipment that Phelps has so why would any begginer try to emulate what he does if they cannot do it.

Great advice if a race is 15 yards in a 25 yard pool. The underwater portion is up to 15 yards. Then what are you going to do to breathe??? in a fifty meter pool in a 100 or 200. I think some explanations here are not what most need. { too like the slow deliberate undulations that is for the 15 meters underwater the chang to think of shoulders and head is after you pop out to actually recover on the surface.

Chris Stevenson
August 24th, 2008, 10:30 PM
Great advice if a race is 15 yards in a 25 yard pool. The underwater portion is up to 15 yards. Then what are you going to do to breathe??? in a fifty meter pool in a 100 or 200. I think some explanations here are not what most need.

I read the original question as specifically about kicking during the underwater portion of the race, not during the strokes, and that is what my advice (and that of most others, I believe) was intended to address. My apologies if Mikeh intended a different question.

geochuck
August 24th, 2008, 10:43 PM
Chris

The question he asked had 2 parts I was replying to the second part. He talked about possible arm slippage with a fast short kick and that was the part I was trying to answer.

ande
August 25th, 2008, 11:20 AM
don't know if your SDKs were slower or if they just had more amplitude
Ian Crocker uses a rapid small amplitude SDK
Michael Phelps uses a fluid medium amplitude SDK
Amplitude is determined by body motion degree of knee bend

NO DOUBT
"making your kicks slower and more deliberate, staying underwater longer, and then keeping your stroke fast but under control"
allowed you to split your race better and finish stronger
giving you a better time


if I don't hammer it on fly, my fear is I won't get out fast enough and still won't be able to finish well.

I am planning to dive and push off deeper to take more SDKs off starts and turns in free & fly

Experiment and figure out what works best for you
get timed on 15 meter sprints

I used to have a big amplitude SDK
lately I've been concentrating on smaller faster like IAN
but It's probably still pretty big
I need underwater video of my all out SDK

ande


As a sprint butterflyer, until recently I never questioned the sort of underwater dolphin kicks I should do: as fast as physically possible, then pop up and go at it hammer and tongs.

At my LC Zone Championships I tried something different. I was still dealing with the effects of a virus that severely inhibited my taper period. All my times were quite slow, so with nothing to lose I decided to try an experiment. In my 50 meter butterfly, instead of my usual frantic underwater dolphin, I made the kicks slower and more deliberate, stayed underwater longer, and then kept my stroke fast but under control.

The result was a time that, while slow, was significantly better than my other times this meet. It was about 2% off my normal times, but my other races were 4 - 6% slower. It is clear, as a knowledgable butterflyer suggested, that I was probably "slipping" and failing to grab water with my superfast kicks and stroke. By slowing my kicks and my stroke slightly, I "grabbed" more water and moved faster.

I wonder if anyone else can offer an opinion on dolphin kicks and sprinting? It is clear that everyone must find what is best for them - it may be that a slightly slower, more deliberate underwater dolphin coupled with a controlled stoke is best for me. This may not be the best for you. Any thoughts?

mikeh
August 25th, 2008, 03:28 PM
Ande - thank you! When I am well (swimming Zones while sick may have been a mistake) I am going to time myself in 25 yard butterflies with different kick tempos. Hopefully with enough information I can determine what race paradigm suits me best.

mikeh
August 25th, 2008, 03:32 PM
Chris - sorry for the confusion. Yes, in my message I was noting both underwater dolphin and full stroke butterfly. I seemed to have success at this meet in widening my underwater dolphin, making it a bit slower (though not slow mind you), and then making my stroke a bit more controlled.

But this requires more study and each person is a little different. As Ande pointed out, Ian Crocker's underwater quicks are short and fast, and he probably has the best underwater dolphin in the world.

mikeh
August 25th, 2008, 03:33 PM
Thank you very much for that article Lindsay!

ande
August 25th, 2008, 04:07 PM
try my suggestions in

Help my SDK is horrible (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=10130)

Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible (http://www.usms.org/forums/showpost.php?p=133395&postcount=245)



Ande - thank you! When I am well (swimming Zones while sick may have been a mistake) I am going to time myself in 25 yard butterflies with different kick tempos. Hopefully with enough information I can determine what race paradigm suits me best.

mikeh
August 25th, 2008, 07:20 PM
try my suggestions in

Help my SDK is horrible (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=10130)

Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible (http://www.usms.org/forums/showpost.php?p=133395&postcount=245)

Thank you Ande!