PDA

View Full Version : Distance per Kick (DPK)



Paul Smith
February 26th, 2009, 03:50 PM
I've been playing around with my kick (again) after recently getting a chance to train with Misty Hyman as well as talking with one of our coaches from Japan who trains Kohei Kawamoto (who works out with us on occasion as well)...Coach Tako has been pushing me to work on the "up-kick" (on fly, downward on back SDK) and in turn I've been having some swimmers I coach do the same.

As obvious as it may sound it seems many people (myself included) focus so much on how fast they are trying to SDK that it may in fact be working against them as it requires such a massive amount of effort. My latest "tinkering" is try and actually gauge my distance per kick underwater (using the lane lines and/or cross lines on the pool bottom as a referance).

What I'm finding is that there is a definite and measurable difference by how fast I move thru the water when I "tempo-play" with my kicks and incorporate more of the power in the opposite direction. For me I actually start with several slower/bigger SDK's and then move into fast/smaller kicks...focusing from not just kicking from my core but also using more snap from the knee's.

It's had fro me to articulate...and its something that I've only been playing with a couple of weeks but just the awarenes of how far I'm going/how fast vs. simply kicking as hard as possible with the same tempo seems to have made a big difference.

thewookiee
February 26th, 2009, 04:12 PM
So, is the kick less about how fast you really kicking and more about how much water you move with each kick, while not letting the kick get too big or too little...or more simply put...while staying with the in the "cyclinder" of the body?

Chris Stevenson
February 26th, 2009, 06:48 PM
We talked a little bit about this on Fortress' blog and she found the following video interview of Misty Hyman's old coach, Bob Gillett:

http://www.floswimming.org/videos/speaker/1004-gillett-bob

After talking a lot about the evolution of Hyman's kick, and about frequency vs amplitude, he makes a comment that strikes me as very sensible (I'm paraphrasing here): you need both, in optimum amounts.

He draws an analogy to the trade-off between stroke rate & DPS. You don't want to just spin your wheels (high turnover, low DPS) and you don't want to have great DPS but swim in slow motion (low turnover, high DPS), you want the best of both worlds. It strikes me that it is worth exploring, as Paul has been doing, where the sweet spot is.

Of course, that sweet spot may be distance dependent...just as turnover & DPS will be different for a 500 compared to a 50.

patrick
February 27th, 2009, 10:29 AM
Paul--do your engage you hips and thighs when you SDK or do you keep your core tight and kick from your knees to your toes?

ande
February 27th, 2009, 02:07 PM
paul

next time we race, please take
many really BIG really slow SDKs &
gimme a chance

It's important to work on SDK to improve & figure out:
+ efficiency, DPK,
+ speed vs effort, Splitting / effort allocation during races,
+ amplitude, small fast like crocker or big slow like phelps,
+ back, belly or side,
+ speed endurance / splitting / mental toughness / breath control (training to take 10 SDKs on the last turn of the 100 bk ) &
+ kick count strategy for each race

bergsteiger
February 27th, 2009, 02:54 PM
Thanks for the post, Paul. I was a water polo player who primarily swam 50free and 100back every year because it was expected we swim on the swim team and these were the shortest/easiest for me. Now I am swimming things like the 200IM and 1650 and it is of immense interest to me to read about the finer points of technique. Per some earlier posts I have added 10x25 dolphin kick to my workouts as well as focusing on the upbeat of my kick per some advice from a fellow swimmer who was watching my stroke one day. I think the focus on "tempo-play" will be my next area to work on. Thanks again for the post.

The Fortress
February 27th, 2009, 04:15 PM
As obvious as it may sound it seems many people (myself included) focus so much on how fast they are trying to SDK that it may in fact be working against them as it requires such a massive amount of effort. My latest "tinkering" is try and actually gauge my distance per kick underwater ...

focusing from not just kicking from my core but also using more snap from the knee's.


I've been playing around with this in the last week or so as well. I think I get more DPK with a bit more amplitude and use of the hands/arms. Wouldn't do this in a 50. Perhaps more in a 100 off the walls. I wonder what distance it's most useful for? Finding the "sweet spot" is no easy matter.

The knee thing ... Ah, that has creept into my mind lately as well. I feel I haven't been using my knees much at all these days and wondering if that was a good thing or not ...

Ahelee Sue Osborn
February 27th, 2009, 04:56 PM
I just got in from swim practice where I spent the final few minutes discussing this exact topic with one of our good ol' butterflyers!

He trained and reworked his fly technique with a great masters coach (now at the Olympic Club) and 100 flyer, Paul Carter.

The conversation started by him asking me my inseam size!
37 inches.

My problem has always been keeping my hips and legs up in the water - especially on anything past a 50 fly.

Now as a newer backstroker, I have been playing around with all the subtleties of the SDK. It definitely influences my weaker butterfly.

The "ol flyer" told me that in watching my butterfly and it's kick, I need to focus on the up kick.
That this was the secret he observed in Paul Carter's (WR and NR) butterfly and instruction he received in forging through the training to improve his own butterfly...

Heck as a coach, I tell swimmers that all the time!
And I LOVE vertical kicking to work both sides of the kick.

I'm hoping it is not impossible for long legged swimmers to swim faster butterfly. I have not given up hope.

In my own mind... off the start and walls, my dolphin kick is strictly waist down with a rock solid straight upper body, arms and hands.
Swimming fly, that beautiful dolphin kick starts instead when I press my chest and it ripples straight down my body to the tip of my red painted toes!

I'm sure I can improve since the "ol flyer" says I'm definitely not kicking up very well!

Love the "Ol Guys" who care enough to keep working on improving their technique!

Sam Perry
February 27th, 2009, 04:58 PM
I have the best donkey kick in the pool. As far as dolphin kicking, I do a great job of watching Misty do it in workouts. Wish I could get better by osmosis. She is very smooth in the water, I am learning to start my kick with my hands and use my whole body,like a sine wave (as Misty describes it, but realize she went to Stanford and I went to Arkansas so a sine wave was not something I studied too much in Hogland) and it seems to make me better among the asses errr donkeys. Maybe someday I will be better among the dolphins.

Paul Smith
February 27th, 2009, 06:56 PM
Patrick...I engage my core/abs and try and kick from my chest down...much more of a full body action movement than as you describe. I have howevr been playing within that movement to exagerate more of a "snap" on both the up and down kicks coming from the knees.

Ande...as you know...anything I can do to help! :)

Ahelee...great minds think alike! Carter's a machine and I always enjoy swimming against him.

Fort...interesting that you brought up the use of hands/arms as this is what Misty does and has been preaching. It does however take a lot more overall flexibility..here's the video of her again...look at the leverage she generates thru that area: YouTube - Dolphin Kicking - Misty Hyman
Note however that Phelps keeps almost perfectly still so once again you have to find what works best for your body type.

Berg...great to have a fellow Polo player around her to raise the bar a bit! You can tell everyone here a bit about leg training!

Sam, I love ya man but you are the stubornest person I've ever met. Old school mindset about "more is better" which then leads to the whiny "I can't hold my breath" crap when I try and get you to do 15m drills!

Sam Perry
February 27th, 2009, 11:55 PM
Sam, I love ya man but you are the stubornest person I've ever met. Old school mindset about "more is better" which then leads to the whiny "I can't hold my breath" crap when I try and get you to do 15m drills!

Paul,
Haven't seen you in the pool lately. I am starting to FORCE myself to kick more off the wall. It is helping, so show up in the AM sometime and I'll let you see my improvement. We did 12 X 25's underwater dolphin no breathers which I made but I needed the recovery to do it as they were on :45.

bergsteiger
March 1st, 2009, 10:42 AM
Thanks for the video, Paul. We did plenty of leg training (eggbeater with two full gallon water jugs was my favorite--that and animal drill!) but no dolphin kick that I can remember ;)

Ahelee, so vertical dolphin kicking in place is a drill to help the up kick? Do you keep hands at your sides? Do you just do intervals--something like 10x30 seconds kick, 15 seconds rest?

The Fortress
March 1st, 2009, 02:26 PM
Fort...interesting that you brought up the use of hands/arms as this is what Misty does and has been preaching. It does however take a lot more overall flexibility..

Ex gymnast-diver, Clydesdale. :)

Ahelee Sue Osborn
March 1st, 2009, 02:38 PM
Ahelee, so vertical dolphin kicking in place is a drill to help the up kick? Do you keep hands at your sides? Do you just do intervals--something like 10x30 seconds kick, 15 seconds rest?

My take on beginning vertical kicking is to do it with your arms folded (Jeannie style) in front (easiest) OR arms lifted above the head in a streamline (harder).

Yesterday at the Nova kidz practice, I watched them doing a combo pool/dryland circuit practice. In one lane the rotation was a swimmer holding a bright orange traffic cone over head while vertical kicking which added weight.

A simple way to check if kicks are evenly powerful, is to lineup swimmers under the backstroke flags facing the lane end.
Set off a timed vertical kick where they keep their eyes straight ahead -15 or 30 seconds.
At the finish, check the location of the swimmer relative to the flags.
Moving forward or backward from the flags shows the uneven direction of kicking power.
The obvious goal is to kick powerfully staying in one spot under the flags without looking at the flags to adjust.

We have done swim sets starting out from the wall, vertical kicking and then transitioning straight into swimming.
Two turn 50s or 25s.

These vertical kick sets can be done in a 1,000 different ways. They are hard - but can really be fun for a group of swimmers as well.

Paul Smith
March 1st, 2009, 08:05 PM
Thanks for the video, Paul. We did plenty of leg training (eggbeater with two full gallon water jugs was my favorite--that and animal drill!) but no dolphin kick that I can remember ;)

Ahelee, so vertical dolphin kicking in place is a drill to help the up kick? Do you keep hands at your sides? Do you just do intervals--something like 10x30 seconds kick, 15 seconds rest?

Jacob...I will soon be inflicting some old UCSB water polo leg training at workouts I coach...ie gladiator drills

two swimmers in the middle of the pool kick as hard as they can until one swimmer pushes the other to the side. Winners move to one lane losers to the other, repeat until a overall winner is determined. Coaches discretion as to what type of kick or eggbeater to be used each round.

Jazz Hands
March 1st, 2009, 08:18 PM
Cool, a new acronym. Now I can say things like, "I was working my SDK DPK with MF at the WKSRC when my ACL went AWOL. Now instead of SCY PNA at KCAC I'll be at home watching ANTM."

Paul Smith
March 1st, 2009, 08:54 PM
Cool, a new acronym. Now I can say things like, "I was working my SDK DPK with MF at the WKSRC when my ACL went AWOL. Now instead of SCY PNA at KCAC I'll be at home watching ANTM."

Jazz...I'm still waiting for that letter bomb to arrive...did you put enough postage on it?

bergsteiger
March 3rd, 2009, 01:47 PM
Thank you for the info, Ahelee.

Good drill, Paul--don't remember doing that one, or perhaps I've blocked it from my memory :) I do like to swim but I sorely miss playing water polo. Haven't been able to find any clubs in Georgia outside of Atlanta (4 hour drive). Oh well.

Swimalison
March 3rd, 2009, 06:19 PM
I've been playing around with my kick (again) after recently getting a chance to train with Misty Hyman as well as talking with one of our coaches from Japan who trains Kohei Kawamoto (who works out with us on occasion as well)...Coach Tako has been pushing me to work on the "up-kick" (on fly, downward on back SDK) and in turn I've been having some swimmers I coach do the same.

As obvious as it may sound it seems many people (myself included) focus so much on how fast they are trying to SDK that it may in fact be working against them as it requires such a massive amount of effort. My latest "tinkering" is try and actually gauge my distance per kick underwater (using the lane lines and/or cross lines on the pool bottom as a referance).

What I'm finding is that there is a definite and measurable difference by how fast I move thru the water when I "tempo-play" with my kicks and incorporate more of the power in the opposite direction. For me I actually start with several slower/bigger SDK's and then move into fast/smaller kicks...focusing from not just kicking from my core but also using more snap from the knee's.

It's had fro me to articulate...and its something that I've only been playing with a couple of weeks but just the awarenes of how far I'm going/how fast vs. simply kicking as hard as possible with the same tempo seems to have made a big difference.


I've noticed many fast swimmers kick doing this tempo method trick. I think I will start toying around with this. Wish I could find a special BR kick!

ourswimmer
March 3rd, 2009, 11:38 PM
What do you think accounts for the difference in effectiveness between dolphin kicking on the back v. on the front? For me, face up is way stronger, but my new curiosity about the 200 fly has me wishing I had a stronger dolphin kick when I am face down.