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SwimStud
October 28th, 2008, 04:26 PM
OK gang.

The "kicking" bullies have rounded on me even though I had a fantastic swim this weekend. They are telling me I need to kick, my coach said don't over do it b/c it disrupts the stroke...

I can kick, I maybe didn't intergrate it in my 100FR to their approval but I am not convinced that kicking alone is the way to go.

I think working 100's with kick focus is a better way rather than yards and yards at "meh" pace.

What % of your yards do you kick per week, and how much of that is with fins?

USMSarah
October 28th, 2008, 04:35 PM
Hey Stud,

We do probably around 10% kicking - usually with fins.

SwimStud
October 28th, 2008, 04:37 PM
Hey Stud,

We do probably around 10% kicking - usually with fins.

Could ya not wait for the poll? ;)

The Fortress
October 28th, 2008, 05:06 PM
Is the last option just for George?

poolraat
October 28th, 2008, 05:37 PM
I do a bit more than 10% but rarely 20%. Very little with fins except when doing SDK shooters. These I do both with regular fins and my monofin. I will also do a monofin workout on ocassion where I do up to 1000 or so of different types of kicking with the MF.

I don't use a board much except for breaststroke kicking. Most of my flutter and dolphin kicking is on my back in a streamline.

Chris Stevenson
October 28th, 2008, 07:16 PM
I put 30%. It is probably about 25%, but 30% is about right if you subtract the warmup (there is no 25% option or I would have chosen that).

I am not going to try to convince anybody. But I will point out some interesting observations/quotes from the new "Complete Conditioning for Swimming" by Dave Salo and Scott Riewald:

-- "strive to have kicking make up at least 25% of the distance you swim during practice"

-- "we view kicking as a form of strength training and do a lot of kicking sets to build lower-body strength. In recent years, more and more coaches are placing greater emphasis on kicking."

-- "the majority of the kicking sets in our program are designed to be performed at a very high intensity, and many of the kicking sets are done with snorkels as well as fins."

-- "kicking with fins is just like doing weight training for the legs."

Take from this what you will.

Oh, and to any of my competitors out there who don't like kicking in workouts: you're absolutely right, it is a waste of time, don't do it. :)

The Fortress
October 28th, 2008, 07:39 PM
I put 30%. It is probably about 25%, but 30% is about right if you subtract the warmup (there is no 25% option or I would have chosen that).

I am not going to try to convince anybody. But I will point out some interesting observations/quotes from the new "Complete Conditioning for Swimming" by Dave Salo and Scott Riewald:

-- "strive to have kicking make up at least 25% of the distance you swim during practice"

-- "we view kicking as a form of strength training and do a lot of kicking sets to build lower-body strength. In recent years, more and more coaches are placing greater emphasis on kicking."

-- "the majority of the kicking sets in our program are designed to be performed at a very high intensity, and many of the kicking sets are done with snorkels as well as fins."

-- "kicking with fins is just like doing weight training for the legs."

Take from this what you will.

Oh, and to any of my competitors out there who don't like kicking in workouts: you're absolutely right, it is a waste of time, don't do it. :)

Ya baby!

I selected 30%. Don't know exactly how much I do with fins. It could be 50% as I do shooters and high intensity kicking with a monofin or fins at times.

Sometimes, a la Tall Paul, I will do more kicking, particularly in the beginning of a season (which for me is effectively now, as I have no meet on the horizon). Today, I did about 70% kicking.

2fish&1whale
October 28th, 2008, 09:50 PM
None of the above
50% -90% fins

SwimStud
October 28th, 2008, 09:50 PM
Hmm maybe I should try to relocate to VA and get some kicking sessions in...EZ Pass knows I'm down there often enough.

Typhoons Coach
October 28th, 2008, 10:17 PM
I am somewhat a hypocrit (spelling error on that one); my master's swimmers kick about 10% with no fins....but me personally....I am horrible with following through with kick sets.

USMSarah
October 28th, 2008, 10:44 PM
Could ya not wait for the poll? ;)

Had no idea that it was going to be a poll... hee hee! After I posted my answer - shizham - there it was!

:wine:

mjgold
October 28th, 2008, 10:52 PM
I put 10% no fins because while we do use fins on occasion, it isn't anywhere near 1/4. I wish we did more kicking sets actually.

Michelina
October 30th, 2008, 03:53 PM
I have to say that I never kick enough... which is very apparent during my shorter races.

RobbieD
October 30th, 2008, 03:57 PM
I'm only at 10% right now but I've been wanting to ramp that up quite a bit. In all fairness every trip to the gym requires 10 miles on my bike so I think that makes up for some of the kicking I'm not doing just yet.

mjgold
October 30th, 2008, 03:59 PM
I don't kick nearly enough either. We hardly do any kicking sets, so I'm pretty much left to do them on my own, but I haven't been able to swim on my own recently due to my gym's pool being closed for renovation. When we do EZs, I try to take as few strokes as possible and kick as much as I can, but it isn't the same.

meldyck
October 30th, 2008, 04:17 PM
I NEVER kick except to warm up the little froggy legs for real swimming (this done only to prevent any pulled muscles in especially sensitive areas). Otherwise I rate it right down there with watching re-runs of political ads from the 2000 election.

Guess it's a good thing I don't compete against Chris Stevenson and I never cared to follow along with what the majority of the 'great' coaches think I should be doing. Hmmm, does that make me a maverick?

Since Rich doesn't have a 0% I didn't select one, although the George Park option would have worked.

daveindc
October 30th, 2008, 04:24 PM
I put 30%. It is probably about 25%, but 30% is about right if you subtract the warmup (there is no 25% option or I would have chosen that).

I am not going to try to convince anybody. But I will point out some interesting observations/quotes from the new "Complete Conditioning for Swimming" by Dave Salo and Scott Riewald:

-- "strive to have kicking make up at least 25% of the distance you swim during practice"

-- "we view kicking as a form of strength training and do a lot of kicking sets to build lower-body strength. In recent years, more and more coaches are placing greater emphasis on kicking."

-- "the majority of the kicking sets in our program are designed to be performed at a very high intensity, and many of the kicking sets are done with snorkels as well as fins."

-- "kicking with fins is just like doing weight training for the legs."

Take from this what you will.

Oh, and to any of my competitors out there who don't like kicking in workouts: you're absolutely right, it is a waste of time, don't do it. :)

So if I am a lifter who does squats and leg press, do I need to kick? I don't like kicking.

pwolf66
October 30th, 2008, 04:30 PM
I have to say that I never kick enough... which is very apparent during my shorter races.


As opposed to your longer races???????

notsofast
October 30th, 2008, 04:30 PM
> 30% with < 50% fins, at least while waiting for my shoulder to heal.

pwolf66
October 30th, 2008, 04:32 PM
So if I am a lifter who does squats and leg press, do I need to kick? I don't like kicking.


Yes, yes, yes.


Not many folks actually LIKE kicking but if you want to maximize your results. You gotta kick. PERIOD.

aquageek
October 30th, 2008, 04:38 PM
Kicking is the necessary evil of swimming. At least you can choose to not swim breast. I envy those that can kick all the live long day.

The Fortress
October 30th, 2008, 04:43 PM
Guess it's a good thing I don't compete against Chris Stevenson and I never cared to follow along with what the majority of the 'great' coaches think I should be doing. Hmmm, does that make me a maverick?

Judging from your alcohol intake, Mel, I'm thinking you're Joe Six Pack. :chug: Or is this a personal attack?

SwimStud
October 30th, 2008, 04:52 PM
Judging from your alcohol intake, Mel, I'm thinking you're Joe Six Pack. :chug: Or is this a personal attack?

And if he bends down in his Speedo to pick up his googles does he look like Joe the Plumber? :mooning:

SwimStud
October 30th, 2008, 04:57 PM
Well here is my day yesterday:
9:00 until 2:00 guarding. 2:00 to 2:30 get in the pool & teach a small class of boys to swim.
2:30 until 4:00 guard.
4:00-4:30 hover at the Y with nothing to do.
4:30 get in the water again and coach for an hour!
5:30 go home
Eat, drink tea.
7:40 head back to Y (20 mins)
8:30 swim (until 9:50.)

Where I got to do this:
500 8:45
5x100 1:45, 100 EZ
10x 50 :50 (meant to be :45 but only got 2), 100 EZ
20 x 25 odd :20 even :30 (made 4 then had to go :25/:30) 100EZ
3 x 100 FR K with fins no board (L/F/R/B by 25) 2:00
3 x 100 FR K 75 cruise 25 hard no fins prob went on 3:00 (talking at wall)
3 x 100 FR K with fins & board hard n fast on 2:00
1 x 100 FLY K with fins & board easy focus on pelvic undulation.
4 x 50 EZ swim... counted strokes got down to 11 and then 9 (push glide and 2 SDK's).

It was tough to go back to the pool!

meldyck
October 30th, 2008, 05:17 PM
Judging from your alcohol intake, Mel, I'm thinking you're Joe Six Pack. :chug: Or is this a personal attack?

It's not personal. If it were I would have asked if it made me The Maverick, not a maverick. I wonder how far I have to go to push someone's trigger?

meldyck
October 30th, 2008, 05:20 PM
And if he bends down in his Speedo to pick up his googles does he look like Joe the Plumber? :mooning:


It's no use, Rich. All I ever wear on deck is one of the long fancy suits (you know, the kind that disgusts all swimmers who yearn for the feel of the water) with a drag suit underneath. Not much to see in any position.

The Fortress
October 30th, 2008, 05:25 PM
It's not personal. If it were I would have asked if it made me The Maverick, not a maverick. I wonder how far I have to go to push someone's trigger?

I was just joshing. But, wait a minute here, froggy legs, no gun control on the forum? :hijack:

Very nice, Rich! :applaud: Workouts don't happen by clicking your heels and wishing to get to the pool. 1:00 is going down!

knelson
October 30th, 2008, 05:34 PM
Given Mel's platform of "no kicking" I'm tempted to write him in for President next Tuesday. If kicking is outlawed, only outlaws will kick, after all.

Tim L
October 30th, 2008, 05:37 PM
I answered 30% with no fins. Definitely no fins. I enjoy kicking and will often take the assigned set and kick instead of the assigned pull or swim set. When I feel like my stroke is not feeling strong for a couple practices in a row, I will do even more kicking than usual and it almost always brings me out of my stroke funk.

Tim

ddunbar
October 30th, 2008, 05:38 PM
We get some kick sets, usually no more than a 200 in warm up and a set that has both kick and drill by 50s or sprint kicks. Never had much more than a 2 beat free kick unless it was the 50 sprint. I would prefer some longer kick set where we could kick stroke.

meldyck
October 30th, 2008, 05:44 PM
OK, right about hijacking the thread. Back on topic.

In the past I have done massive kick sets, as much as 2K breaststroke kick in a single workout. But I have found, even for breaststroke where the kick makes up the largest part of the total propulsion, that I benefit far more from working on the front half of the stroke. Making the arm pull strong and mostly directed backwards (i.e., NOT sculling) and the recovery rocket fast has had the greatest benefit to my stroke. My best ever 100 BR was about a year ago and was, at age 65, 2 1/2 seconds faster than my best college time in the stroke when I was age 18.

So, I don't work the kick at all, beyond warmup, anymore in practice. My personal experience is that I cannot mimic what I do with the arms in any cross-training effort but that I can engage the right combination of leg muscles with a variety of other exercises than swimming.

ensignada
October 30th, 2008, 06:33 PM
Well here is my day yesterday:
9:00 until 2:00 guarding. 2:00 to 2:30 get in the pool & teach a small class of boys to swim.
2:30 until 4:00 guard.
4:00-4:30 hover at the Y with nothing to do.
4:30 get in the water again and coach for an hour!
5:30 go home
Eat, drink tea.
7:40 head back to Y (20 mins)
8:30 swim (until 9:50.)

Where I got to do this:
500 8:45
5x100 1:45, 100 EZ
10x 50 :50 (meant to be :45 but only got 2), 100 EZ
20 x 25 odd :20 even :30 (made 4 then had to go :25/:30) 100EZ
3 x 100 FR K with fins no board (L/F/R/B by 25) 2:00
3 x 100 FR K 75 cruise 25 hard no fins prob went on 3:00 (talking at wall)
3 x 100 FR K with fins & board hard n fast on 2:00
1 x 100 FLY K with fins & board easy focus on pelvic undulation.
4 x 50 EZ swim... counted strokes got down to 11 and then 9 (push glide and 2 SDK's).

It was tough to go back to the pool!

Slacker. :thhbbb:

Paul Smith
October 30th, 2008, 06:54 PM
100% agree with Chris!

I will however say this...kicking just for kicking's sake is a waste. As was noted in one of the quotes kicking should be done at an extremally high level of intensity and also done in ways that help integrate it to the desired stroke.

Some of us here have done the shoulder surgery gig (some of us more than once) and can tell you without hesitation that going 100% kick only training for 3-4 months...although mentally challenging...put us in the best shape we've ever been in.

Fins to me are like paddles..good for small doses of additonal resistance work, good at helping with speed swimming sets but mostly screw people up because they use them improperly (to move into a lane and swim with them on fatser intervals for example).

Chris Stevenson
October 30th, 2008, 09:09 PM
So if I am a lifter who does squats and leg press, do I need to kick? I don't like kicking.

Building leg strength is good; core strength is better. (Actually, my own view is that "core" is "knees through chest" so quads/hams count too.)

But nothing makes you kick faster than kicking fast. And, yes, I think a fast kick is pretty necessary to be as fast as you can be. (Cue the soundtrack.)

That said...I don't think masters swimming should be a complete chore. Is the reason you don't like kicking, that you aren't good at it? Then maybe you should work with your coach to get a plan to kick faster; the (hopefully) resulting improvement might light your fire.

But if you just out-and-out don't like it and don't think that will change, don't do it. There are definitely some fast people out there who are (comparatively) weak kickers. Could they be better if their kick was stronger? Sure.

But if you don't like workouts, you might not come as much (or at all). All the kicking in the world won't help you then.

SwimStud
October 30th, 2008, 10:38 PM
See this is my dilemma.

Paul's saying kick at high intesity (which for me means no more than 25 at a go and probably not much more than 300 a workout without fins).

Chris says yes kick and yes with fins.

What am I to do?

What did you guys (Paul, Chris) think of the posted workout above from a kick POV.

I must say though, I've been doing Ande's (3x100 )75 cruise 25 afap without fins 3-4 times aweek now. My cruise feels faster. If I keep that going maybe I'll be able to do more "engaged" cruise kicking.

Chris Stevenson
October 30th, 2008, 11:16 PM
Chris says yes kick and yes with fins.

What did you guys (Paul, Chris) think of the posted workout above from a kick POV.

I personally hardly ever use fins. The book I quoted talked about fins, saying it is like doing strength training. But I do other kinds of strength training.

Fort loves fins, so do some others. I think they are fine to use as long as you don't learn to depend on them. I would suggest not using them all the time. Don't depend on them to make intervals.

Fins are generally hard on my knees and ankles, which are very loose; that's one reason I don't use them a lot.

Your kick set looks good to me, except that you use fins throughout.

Here are what I would consider to be two common mistakes:

-- too much of the kick set is social/recovery kick. The kick set is not a goal in and of itself, it is just a set stuck between two (harder) swim sets.

-- people only kick hard on 25s.

"High intensity" could just mean take a good bit of rest between repeats and try to hold the fastest possible average. Get your HR up, feel the burn in your legs. Care about your time and try to improve it. You don't want your legs to die after the first 25 of a race, so you need to kick hard for longer distances.

Syd
October 31st, 2008, 12:13 AM
...kicking just for kicking's sake is a waste of time ... [kicking should be] done in ways that help integrate it to the desired stroke.

PLEASE tell me HOW. My kicking with a board has improved but I am still not integrating it properly into my full stroke. It still feels as if my legs and upper body are working independently of one another.

SwimStud
October 31st, 2008, 07:43 AM
Your kick set looks good to me, except that you use fins throughout.


I did 1/3 without fins :D
Yeah I'm going to try to do more without but it's too time consuming for me without fins. I may be able to start hopping into the water for a kick set while I am on break at work.

Blackbeard's Peg
October 31st, 2008, 08:42 AM
depends on the week, but we usually will have at least one really good kick workout every couple of weeks that will make us think twice about taking the stairs out of the building. This week was officially 20.6%, and we had a 1500y kick set last night.
In the last month, there have been several nights without much straight "kick" where we really worked our legs, doing things like:
24x100, 4 on 1:35, 4 on 1:30... down to 1:10 (you can imagine those last 4 were heavy on the kick)
10x50 1:30, all out, pick two strokes and do 5 of each (sprints = kick a lot)
100s and 200s swim going 3/4/5/6 lines underwater off every wall (our pool is lined both ways, so that is roughly 10,12,14,16y underwater)
vertical kick w/ medball, free kick only

imspoiled
October 31st, 2008, 10:08 AM
As opposed to your longer races???????

Paul, if you ever swam anything longer than the occasional 200 free, you'd realize that kicking is highly overrated.

Besides, if Michelle ever learned to kick, I wouldn't be able to flip the counter fast enough to keep up with her.:notworthy:

pwolf66
October 31st, 2008, 10:24 AM
Paul, if you ever swam anything longer than the occasional 200 free, you'd realize that kicking is highly overrated.

Besides, if Michelle ever learned to kick, I wouldn't be able to flip the counter fast enough to keep up with her.:notworthy:

Hey, I did the 400 LC this summer. :argue:

As for Michelle's legs? I think there's something biochemically that as soon as her head goes under water, her legs stop working :afraid:

Ripple
October 31st, 2008, 10:26 AM
PLEASE tell me HOW. My kicking with a board has improved but I am still not integrating it properly into my full stroke. It still feels as if my legs and upper body are working independently of one another.

Here are a few things you could try:

1) Lose the kickboard. Yeah, it's sacrilege, but it forces a rigid-body style of kicking that is disconnected from the stroke. It probably works for people who already know how to integrate their kick, but not for those of us who were never taught how.
2) Put on a pair of fins and, with your body loose and relaxed, kick slowly face-down from the hip. Feel how each kick rotates your body slightly. Use a snorkel or just pop your head up now and then to breath. You can also do this on your back. Or vertically, in the deep end.
3) If you want to be a six-beat kicker, add two smaller kicks in between each body-rolling kick. (LEFT right left RIGHT left right...) If you are a two-beat kicker, just continue. Push down slightly on your chest if your legs start to sink.
4) Slide one hand out in front of you for a streamlined position. As the rotational kick on the same-side leg starts, begin to "catch" the water and anchor your arm. Repeat with other arm. Still go slowly to get the feel of things, don't worry about speed yet.
5) After you've gotten the hang of timing the catch with the same-side rotational leg kick, add in the recovering arm entering the water at the same time. Think of kicking your hand forward into streamline with the opposite leg.

Hope this helps. I know where you're coming from. For years i just flapped my legs up and down and hoped for the best. Then I learned the simple two-beat kick, now I'm starting to add in a six-beat kick for shorter faster intervals.

thewookiee
October 31st, 2008, 10:43 AM
[QUOTE=pwolf66;158895]Hey, I did the 400 LC this summer. :argue:

QUOTE]

How long after the 1st 50 did you realize this was a mistake?

pwolf66
October 31st, 2008, 11:02 AM
How long after the 1st 50 did you realize this was a mistake?

When I almost missed the wall at the 150 turn.

thewookiee
October 31st, 2008, 11:43 AM
After the 1st 200 I would have been ready to stop.

Paul Smith
October 31st, 2008, 11:45 AM
PLEASE tell me HOW. My kicking with a board has improved but I am still not integrating it properly into my full stroke. It still feels as if my legs and upper body are working independently of one another.

Syd...all I can tell you is that the answer is not to kick more...but rather to swim more sets at race pace practicing "over-kicking".

Stud...saying you can't do a hard kick set over a 25 is the same as saying you can't do a swim set over a 25. Bottom line is it hurts and you have to push thru on hard kick sets to improve..and just like quality speed work in general it needs to be done at the start of workout not at the end when so many coaches/swimmers "plug-in" kicking.

Try doing broken 100 & 200 "power kick" sets. Just like a normal broken swim with 10-15 seconds rest a the 25 or 50 but instead of swimming push off deep and kick as hard/far/fast as you can nderwater and when you need to breathe surface and swim easy free to the wall. Try this 1-2x a week (2-3 days rest between) for 4 weeks and come back and tell me about your kick!

pwb
October 31st, 2008, 12:56 PM
Here are a few things you could try:

1) Lose the kickboard. Yeah, it's sacrilege, but it forces a rigid-body style of kicking that is disconnected from the stroke. It probably works for people who already know how to integrate their kick, but not for those of us who were never taught how.

While much of this discussion included comments on fins, very few talked about kickboards. I abhore them for the reason Ripple gives above -- it's a different kind of kicking than when you swim. For my kicking, I'm without a board and generally do:
* single side or rotating side to side for free and back kicking ... try to simulate the rotation and different angles you kick at during your swim
* dolphin kick almost always on my back or side ... as much of it underwater as possible
* breaststroke kick on my back, arms down at my sides. I'm a really crappy breaststroker and I find that this position helps me best focus on getting my legs up and out in the best position possible.

I never use fins, but I also never use paddles or buoys. I guess I need to get on board with the toys, but I've found going old school with just my suit and goggles (I don't like caps either) allows me to focus as much as possible on swimming in a body position and with the "equipment" that I will have when competing.

Ripple
October 31st, 2008, 03:39 PM
...I never use fins, but I also never use paddles or buoys. I guess I need to get on board with the toys, but I've found going old school with just my suit and goggles (I don't like caps either) allows me to focus as much as possible on swimming in a body position and with the "equipment" that I will have when competing.
I'm not wild about fins either, they hurt my knees so I use them sparingly. But for exxagerating and demonstrating what kicking does, I think they work well as a starting point. As I discovered on a snorkeling trip when I noticed how my whole body rocked from side to side as I slowly kicked along a reef.

knelson
October 31st, 2008, 05:42 PM
I like to kick with a board, but I think a snorkel would be a good investment for people who don't like to use a board and don't want to kick on their back all the time.

Syd
October 31st, 2008, 07:21 PM
Here are a few things you could try:

1) Lose the kickboard. Yeah, it's sacrilege, but it forces a rigid-body style of kicking that is disconnected from the stroke. It probably works for people who already know how to integrate their kick, but not for those of us who were never taught how.
2) Put on a pair of fins and, with your body loose and relaxed, kick slowly face-down from the hip. Feel how each kick rotates your body slightly. Use a snorkel or just pop your head up now and then to breath. You can also do this on your back. Or vertically, in the deep end.
3) If you want to be a six-beat kicker, add two smaller kicks in between each body-rolling kick. (LEFT right left RIGHT left right...) If you are a two-beat kicker, just continue. Push down slightly on your chest if your legs start to sink.
4) Slide one hand out in front of you for a streamlined position. As the rotational kick on the same-side leg starts, begin to "catch" the water and anchor your arm. Repeat with other arm. Still go slowly to get the feel of things, don't worry about speed yet.
5) After you've gotten the hang of timing the catch with the same-side rotational leg kick, add in the recovering arm entering the water at the same time. Think of kicking your hand forward into streamline with the opposite leg.

Hope this helps. I know where you're coming from. For years i just flapped my legs up and down and hoped for the best. Then I learned the simple two-beat kick, now I'm starting to add in a six-beat kick for shorter faster intervals.


Thanks, it actually does help. Your advice to "kick slowly face-down from the hip. Feel how each kick rotates the body slightly" is particularly helpful.

I don't like kick boards either but I don't have a snorkel and lifting my head messes with my rhythm. Generally, I just place my fingers ever so lightly on the kick board and use it as the tiniest of props to maintain balance. Then I kick face down in the water and breathe to the side. If I lose the kick board entirely I tend to lift my head to the front.

I am slowly learning to kick at slower speeds. A year ago my kick was practically non existent. I had a two-beat cross over kick. Now when I am swimming slower sets I can maintain a 4 beat kick (I think - you see I am not sure about this as I have no underwater footage of myself) and sometimes a 6 beat kick. At the very least, I am not crossing over anymore. I have managed to eliminate the crossover thing almost entirely when I am swimming at slower speeds. This has taken tremendous concentration over the past year. Recently I been able to even maintain it at three quarter pace.

The problem is, when I speed up to race pace, it all flies out the window. I think it has to do with my rate of arm turnover. My legs just can't keep up so they do their own thing and go back to lashing out a thump every now and then to fit in with the arm rhythm (when they can) and probably go back to crossing over. I say probably because I am not entirely sure either. When I race a 50 I am not really aware of much that is going on. It is all reduced 'feeling good' in the water or 'feeling bad' in the water. It is all over so quickly there is no time to be aware of anything except a general feeling of connection or disconnection.

But I think I am getting there. The things that have helped thus far are:



increasing ankle flexibility I have been working on this the past year and it really has paid off. I can now feel my foot pushing the water backwards ever so slightly rather than towards the bottom of the pool.
advice to kick from the hip Simple as this sounds, it was a revelation to me.
focusing on my kick the entire workout (from the warm up to the warm down)



pressing down with the chest and maintaining a face-down position This helps to keep the hips up
keeping the body long and extending my reach This helps to keep the legs long and toes pointed straight and keeps the hips up

So now I need to work up to Paul's advice of putting this all together at race pace. I think I am getting there. It is happening slowly, though. It feels like I am relearning how to swim.

knelson
November 1st, 2008, 12:31 AM
Here's a nice video showing what a great kick can do for you. Specifically check out Nathan Adrian's anchor leg.
http://www.floswimming.org/videos/coverage/view_video/234228/77121

As my wife said, it doesn't even look like he's in the water, more like surfing on top of it.

mjgold
November 2nd, 2008, 06:00 PM
Here are a few things you could try:

1) Lose the kickboard. Yeah, it's sacrilege, but it forces a rigid-body style of kicking that is disconnected from the stroke. It probably works for people who already know how to integrate their kick, but not for those of us who were never taught how.
2) Put on a pair of fins and, with your body loose and relaxed, kick slowly face-down from the hip. Feel how each kick rotates your body slightly. Use a snorkel or just pop your head up now and then to breath. You can also do this on your back. Or vertically, in the deep end.
3) If you want to be a six-beat kicker, add two smaller kicks in between each body-rolling kick. (LEFT right left RIGHT left right...) If you are a two-beat kicker, just continue. Push down slightly on your chest if your legs start to sink.
4) Slide one hand out in front of you for a streamlined position. As the rotational kick on the same-side leg starts, begin to "catch" the water and anchor your arm. Repeat with other arm. Still go slowly to get the feel of things, don't worry about speed yet.
5) After you've gotten the hang of timing the catch with the same-side rotational leg kick, add in the recovering arm entering the water at the same time. Think of kicking your hand forward into streamline with the opposite leg.

Hope this helps. I know where you're coming from. For years i just flapped my legs up and down and hoped for the best. Then I learned the simple two-beat kick, now I'm starting to add in a six-beat kick for shorter faster intervals.

I do the six-beat kick, and I do that "LEFT-right-left-RIGHT-left-right" thing you were describing. I find it helps draw more power from your hips and torso rather than just relying on your arms.