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Lui
November 2nd, 2009, 03:21 PM
What would you consider as the most important reason to include kicking in your workouts?
Also, what do you see as the main difference and purpose between the exercises kicking with a board and kicking without a board?

qbrain
November 2nd, 2009, 03:28 PM
Do you compete in the pool? Kicking is important for going fast.

I don't think kicking with a board and kicking without a board serve different purposes. A board allows you to breath the entire set while face down does not.

Kicking different speeds on the other hand, does. Be sure and include a fair amount of hard kicking. For sprinters especially, I think a couple all out 25s are more valuable than a 200 at moderate pace.

My kick was slow and useless until I added sprint kicking to my workouts. All out 25s with lots of rest finally got me over the hump were I can kick 100s and 200s at a respectable pace. I was always dropped in under a 50 during kick sets when I was a kid.

swimmj
November 2nd, 2009, 03:55 PM
Do you compete in the pool? Kicking is important for going fast.

I don't think kicking with a board and kicking without a board serve different purposes. A board allows you to breath the entire set while face down does not.

Kicking different speeds on the other hand, does. Be sure and include a fair amount of hard kicking. For sprinters especially, I think a couple all out 25s are more valuable than a 200 at moderate pace.

My kick was slow and useless until I added sprint kicking to my workouts. All out 25s with lots of rest finally got me over the hump were I can kick 100s and 200s at a respectable pace. I was always dropped in under a 50 during kick sets when I was a kid.

I think it's a good idea to do some kicking both with and without a board. Without a board you have to work on proper body position, and that in and of itself is valuable. Some folks I know have a hard time kicking on a board - stresses either the shoulders or back. I would also add that I think it's useful to kick on your tummy, on your back and on both sides. Try sprint kicking free on your side - it's a great core workout as well as a kicking workout.

I agree with Qbrain - if you race in a pool at a distance of 500 or under, you should work on your kick and if you are a triathelete and need to speed up to pass folks - work on your kick.

--mj

thewookiee
November 2nd, 2009, 04:20 PM
I have done both, kicking with a board and without one. I have come to like kicking without a board better than with one.

1) Doesn't stress my shoulders(yes, I am a member of the shoulder surgery club)

2) As gbrain said(when he isn't verbally slapping wolf) it does allow one to work on body position

3) Kicking without a board lets me to work on fast flip turns, like one wants when racing

4) Kicking w/o a board also lets me work on my underwater dolphin kicks for freestyle,fly, backstroke. Ok, mainly for backstroke. You can do work them with a board off of the turns but I find that it is better without one.

5) I can work more angles of my kick without a board than I can with a board.

rtodd
November 2nd, 2009, 07:02 PM
The most important reason for kicking is to develop the proper flat body position for fast swimming. Also it is important to be able to maintain this position by "kicking" your way home in races, so there needs to be a strong kick endurance component.

There are tons of kicking methods for strokes and drills.

qbrain
November 2nd, 2009, 07:02 PM
I left out the most important thing I learned about kicking this year.

Kick while you are swimming. If you two beat kick during most of practice, 4 beat kick. If you four beat kick most of practice, six beat kick. It will do wonders for your kick endurance and it is really important that you kick works with your stroke.

Open water kicking info stolen from Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen's brain: You have to kick for balance without a wetsuit. With a wetsuit, you can get away without kicking, UNTIL THE END. Towards the end, if you have not been kicking, turn it up, so your legs are pumped full of blood and ready to go up the ramp.

I don't know **** about most things, but I am an excellent and discerning parrot.

nkfrench
November 2nd, 2009, 09:32 PM
The favorite "social kick" set is pretty difficult without a board ... it's too hard to chat it up with your head in the water.

I am a member of the "shoulder surgery" club, but I find kicking without a board puts undue stress on my lower back and I have trouble breathing.

I would like to recommend, if kicking on a board hurts a shoulder: change your arm position on the board so one arm is straight and grips the front end of the board; the other arm is bent 90 degrees at the elbow and rests across the width of the board. I only do this once in a while but it seems to help.

SolarEnergy
November 3rd, 2009, 11:56 AM
I left out the most important thing I learned about kicking this year.

Kick while you are swimming. If you two beat kick during most of practice, 4 beat kick. If you four beat kick most of practice, six beat kick. It will do wonders for your kick endurance and it is really important that you kick works with your stroke.
Not sure I get it right here. If what you mean is that we should aim at overkicking in order to better develop fitness, then I definitely agree with this statement.

And as you say, it is a very subtle but important component of one's preparation.

Personally, I'd go as far as suggesting 6beat for all, even for 2beat kickers but that's me.

qbrain
November 3rd, 2009, 12:00 PM
Not sure I get it right here. If what you mean is that we should aim at overkicking in order to better develop fitness, then I definitely agree with this statement.

And as you say, it is a very subtle but important component of one's preparation.

Personally, I'd go as far as suggesting 6beat for all, even for 2beat kickers but that's me.

I am saying people should work harder on their kick while they swim instead of being lazy about their kick except during sprints.

Lui
November 3rd, 2009, 01:03 PM
Actually I'm a 2 beat kicker except if I do sprints. I'm still pretty fast with a 2 beat kick.
I include kicking in most of my workouts and get good exercise from that but I'm not sure if it's necessary to always have a 6 beat kick while swimming although it does probably give you an additional exercise but you get tired sooner too.

okoban
November 3rd, 2009, 01:30 PM
Depends on the distance and the style. If you are a freestyle sprinter, you have to have a strong kick. If you are a backstroker, hell yes!
In the sprint excersises I like kick-pull-swim sets. You can focus on your performance in parts, then integrate both and compare if both create any synergy or not.

qbrain
November 3rd, 2009, 01:58 PM
Actually I'm a 2 beat kicker except if I do sprints. I'm still pretty fast with a 2 beat kick.
I include kicking in most of my workouts and get good exercise from that but I'm not sure if it's necessary to always have a 6 beat kick while swimming although it does probably give you an additional exercise but you get tired sooner too.

I agree with Oguz, it makes sense to practice what you race. If you are a D person, then your 2 beat kick makes sense if that is what you are going to race with. If you are a sprinter, it is worth it to kill yourself a little earlier with a six beat kick.

Sometimes you have to fail to succeed :) Over the summer, there were several practices where I had to move from the lead to the back of the lane because I ran out of gas. I am training to swim a 200 fast, not a one hour practice at best average pace.

Of course, if you are training for a 2.4 mile swim... :)

joshua
November 3rd, 2009, 02:26 PM
I am under the impression that kicking is making a comeback. For a long time alot of coaches (particularly TI) de-emphasized kicking as a major factor in swim speed. I always disagreed with this approach. Kicking is important for speed, depending of course on the distance.

I personally do not use a board because I feel that it distorts my body position and it is useless in the back kick position.

I do however, feel that kicking with fins (both long and short) are helpful, particularly in order to loosen up the ankles.

Thrashing Slug
November 3rd, 2009, 03:13 PM
I am training to swim a 200 fast, not a one hour practice at best average pace.

AMEN, brotha' :applaud:

Lui
November 3rd, 2009, 04:08 PM
Nice input.
I actually focus more on sprint workouts. I nearly never swim long distances(400 is usually max). I use my 2 beat kick on anything that goes above 50 yards unless I swim really hard.
I'll start increasing my kicks while I swim, like you suggested. Sounds like a good idea.

The Fortress
November 3rd, 2009, 04:13 PM
Nice input.
I actually focus more on sprint workouts. I nearly never swim long distances(400 is usually max). I use my 2 beat kick on anything that goes above 50 yards unless I swim really hard.
I'll start increasing my kicks while I swim, like you suggested. Sounds like a good idea.

I kick probably 1/2 or more of my workouts. Since I am a fly-backer sprinter and spend a lot of time underwater, it's probably actually much more than that. I rarely use a board -- only occasionally for flutter kick. You can't streamline with a board.

I advise:

fast kicking in the 25, 50, 75, 100, & 125s distances
lactate sets with a lot of rest
no social kicking whatsoever
underwater kicking
kicking with fins 1/3-1/2 the time (I probably do more)
building leg strength either at the gym or with fins or both
focusing on overkicking when you swim
an occasional kick endurance set
work on ankle flexibility (fins help with this)
think long term -- you can't become a great kicker overnight

Chris Stevenson
November 3rd, 2009, 05:19 PM
In the board vs no-board debate...assuming there are no shoulder issues that might mean one cannot or should not use a board...

I probably do roughly half my kicking without a board. When I do that, I also work on hypoxic training (staying under as long as I can) and streamlining. Holding a tight streamline, especially on one's stomach while doing dolphin kick, takes some effort (and even coordination) and you have to condition those (non-leg) muscles a little.

I will kick with a board when I don't want to have to worry about the breathing aspect. Sometimes this is because the distances are longer, or because I'm tired from a previous set, or I just don't feel up to a hypoxic set.

(By the way, I really dislike doing dolphin kick on my back while on the surface. For some reason this is a popular type of kick with age-groupers around here. It is slower because so much energy is lost to make surface waves, and doesn't correspond to anything that is ever done in a race.)

Not so much in this thread, but a lot of people comment that they think boards should never be used b/c it alters body position too much. I've never bought that argument. When I was younger, I was a significantly faster kicker than now and I ALWAYS used a board back then. It was good enough to develop me as a pretty good kicker back then...how is it so evil now?

But while I think that kicking with a board is perfectly fine for conditioning the legs for kicking, ultimately you have to do the races without the board. So you need to do a significant amount of training without it too. And learn to integrate it into the stroke.

Calvin S
November 4th, 2009, 03:16 PM
I am also a fan of kicking without a board. I have always done br kick without a board (works on my timing) and I only do fly kick on my back in s-line with fins. However I am a huge huge fan on kicking on the stomach hands at side using a snorklw to breathe. I think my legs get the best workout especially on aerobic and sprint kick. Don't knock it until you try it.

joshua
November 4th, 2009, 11:25 PM
I advise:

fast kicking in the 25, 50, 75, 100, & 125s distances
lactate sets with a lot of rest
no social kicking whatsoever
underwater kicking
kicking with fins 1/3-1/2 the time (I probably do more)
building leg strength either at the gym or with fins or both
focusing on overkicking when you swim
an occasional kick endurance set
work on ankle flexibility (fins help with this)
think long term -- you can't become a great kicker overnight

I feel that fast intense kicking sets are very effective as well as a great cardio w/o.
I do both short and long fin kicking. The short fins simulate swimming better and the long fins are best for ankle flexibility.
As to building leg strength in the gym - this addresses the question of carry over effect of strength training on land to water. I love strength training but have found that there is very little relation between my squat or deadlift numbers and my swimming. I also don't really buy the swim specific stretch cord type training. The movement patterns in swimming are so unique that they can't be duplicated on dry land. The goal of land based strength training, IMHO, should be GPP. Simply strengthening your muscles in general to allow them to be effectively recruited in swimming (like flexibility training). Or as many have said before, if you want to get good at swimming - swim.

The Fortress
November 4th, 2009, 11:33 PM
I love strength training but have found that there is very little relation between my squat or deadlift numbers and my swimming. I also don't really buy the swim specific stretch cord type training. The movement patterns in swimming are so unique that they can't be duplicated on dry land. The goal of land based strength training, IMHO, should be GPP.

My sprint times have dropped dramatically with strength training. I can leg press 400 pounds and deadlift and squat fairly nicely. And the latter two exercises are great for strengthening the core. I have compared my times with half assed weight lifting and more serious strength lifting and they are quite different. YMMV. That said, I don't do swim specific weight training or any stretch cord type training. I do a mix of things.

I never kick with zoomers. I think they are a waste. Doings swimming sprints with them is fine, I guess; the Finis 2 fins are nice. When I kick with fins, though, I use long blade fins for streamlining or a MF. I've had good results with increasing my kicking -- both yardage and intensity. And it saves the shoulders.

Michael Heather
November 4th, 2009, 11:47 PM
I only kick with zoomers and a board except during my taper. Then I lose the zoomers. I see a particular benefit to using the board because it isolates the kicking exercise and allows me to rest much of the rest of the body while I am working the legs. I do my streamlining all during the rest of workout, no big deal to ignore it during a kick set.

I know this is contrary to much of the rest of the posters, but it works for me and I'm really old. Fashioned.

The Fortress
November 5th, 2009, 12:05 AM
I'm really old. Fashioned.

:)

I'm really old. And new fashioned. And a hard core kicker.

Kicking is somewhat stroke dependent. As a fly-backer, I find it (and streamlining) indispensable. But, as always, YMMV.

Allen Stark
November 5th, 2009, 12:24 AM
I do a fair amount of kicking,generally with long fins and center mount snorkel,not with a board(twitchy shoulders.)Another good kick for breaststrokers is eggbeater 25 sprints.Those are really good for foot speed and are really exhausting(at least for me:cane:).

joshua
November 5th, 2009, 09:29 AM
My sprint times have dropped dramatically with strength training. I can leg press 400 pounds and deadlift and squat fairly nicely. And the latter two exercises are great for strengthening the core. I have compared my times with half assed weight lifting and more serious strength lifting and they are quite different. YMMV. That said, I don't do swim specific weight training or any stretch cord type training. I do a mix of things.



It's difficult commenting on loads in machines since different machines are well, different. Especially a device like the leg press which comes in various shapes and angles. Also the weight is not exact due to the rods, pulleys etc.

A better indicator would be a squat (breaking parallel) or a conventional, Sumo or trap bar deadlift measured as a % of your bw. I am close to 200% (double my bw) on the Sumo DL. I have not noticed any effect on my swimming. With that said, if weight training would have an effect then it definitely would be on the very short 50m. sprints.
However, perhaps your times have improved because your technique has improved.
Right now I have moved from heavy low rep lifting to experimenting with circuit training emphasizing little rest between exercises. I feel that this has helped my conditioning greatly - both muscular and c/v.

qbrain
November 5th, 2009, 09:47 AM
Now that this thread has turned into a general kicking thread. I got this advice, written for my weak intellectual capacity (when it comes to kicking especially).


You must kick a lot while you are swimming. You must kick at the same pace throughout the breath and not pause or slow down the kick at all. You must not slow down the turnover to kick at a good fast pace. The kick should help drive the turnover and rotation (sorry, big words there). In short, it must be "integrated."

One good way to do this (I'm told, I don't practice this art nearly enough) is do to kick-swim sets. They're harder than you think.

I just changed my stroke fairly significantly. During the process, I stopped paying attention to my kick, and thus stopped kicking. Trying to follow that braindead simple advice now it difficult.

The Fortress
November 5th, 2009, 09:52 AM
I have not noticed any effect on my swimming. With that said, if weight training would have an effect then it definitely would be on the very short 50m. sprints.
However, perhaps your times have improved because your technique has improved.
Right now I have moved from heavy low rep lifting to experimenting with circuit training emphasizing little rest between exercises. I feel that this has helped my conditioning greatly - both muscular and c/v.

My times drops are no doubt completely and utterly due to my magic-cheating-dirty-ruined the sport tech suit. :angel:

I haven't changed my technique, except for more emphasis on SDKs. I have been focusing on 50s and that's where my greatest time drops have occurred. Though my 100s have similarly benefited.

The problem with weights is that there has been no long term study on swimmers. That 6 week Costill study that Jim Thornton always cites is a joke. It's a very small sample over a very short time period. You can't measure the benefits of lifting in 6 weeks.

Interestingly, I've grown a bit weary of the heavy low rep lifting myself. (And, really, I am not very strong except possibly for my age). After my taper meet in December, I'm going to shift more into circuit training/plyo training/bodyweight exercises. I've added plyos lately, and really enjoy them.

But, as to kicking, I'm sold on its benefits. Perhaps my improvements are due more to kicking than weights.

qbrain
November 5th, 2009, 10:12 AM
A better indicator would be a squat (breaking parallel) or a conventional, Sumo or trap bar deadlift measured as a % of your bw. I am close to 200% (double my bw) on the Sumo DL.

I have not noticed any effect on my swimming. With that said, if weight training would have an effect then it definitely would be on the very short 50m. sprints.


I added spacing to your original post, because I want to address two separate points you made.

I don't think your raw strength measurements translate to a performance measurement. I don't think comparing your raw strength metric with Fort's will be meaningful. There is no formula that tells you if you bench 2.5x your body weight, you will drop .25s on your 50 free.

I do think that strength gains translate into performance gains. The most direct relationship between lifting and swimming happens to benefit non-sprinters more than sprinters. Every flip turn includes the power component of a squat. If you are working hard and getting stronger with your squat (or any variant), and you are not getting further from the wall faster, you aren't applying your new strength in the pool.

What does this have to do with kicking? Ande says to kick faster PUSH HARDER OFF THE WALL :) Along with probably a billion other people who know what they are talking about.

Otherwise, I got nothin'.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
November 5th, 2009, 10:12 AM
I started presenting sneaky sets into my workouts to get swimmers working on SDK off of fast legal turns... FINz optional.
*some masters do not turn well with w/FINz and should not wear them
*some masters need to use FINz to build confidence in their SDK


3 Turn 50s

Start near middle of the 25 yard pool

Accelerate into each turn
SDK for XX amount of kicks off each of the 3 walls
Moderate swim in the middle (ha ha ha!!)

Finish is in the middle where started

Usually do 6 repeats - as a group - go when the last lane swimmer is back in the middle - approximately :15-:30 rest - often stop group for instruction

Georgio
November 5th, 2009, 11:05 AM
I want to introduce fins to my kick work. Fort doesn't care for Zommers. Should I break out my Hurricane snorkel fins? I guess I could use the mask and snorkel too for that matter, if it will stengthen my kick? :applaud:

BillS
November 5th, 2009, 11:35 AM
I started presenting sneaky sets into my workouts to get swimmers working on SDK off of fast legal turns... FINz optional.
*some masters do not turn well with w/FINz and should not wear them
*some masters need to use FINz to build confidence in their SDK


3 Turn 50s

Start near middle of the 25 yard pool

Accelerate into each turn
SDK for XX amount of kicks off each of the 3 walls
Moderate swim in the middle (ha ha ha!!)

Finish is in the middle where started

Usually do 6 repeats - as a group - go when the last lane swimmer is back in the middle - approximately :15-:30 rest - often stop group for instruction

How do you get three walls out of a 50 in this set? If you start in the middle, it's 12.5 to the first wall, 25 to the second, and 12.5 back to the middle. That's only 2 walls in 50 yards. Are they 75s?

swimmj
November 5th, 2009, 12:10 PM
I feel that fast intense kicking sets are very effective as well as a great cardio w/o.
I do both short and long fin kicking. The short fins simulate swimming better and the long fins are best for ankle flexibility.
As to building leg strength in the gym - this addresses the question of carry over effect of strength training on land to water. I love strength training but have found that there is very little relation between my squat or deadlift numbers and my swimming. I also don't really buy the swim specific stretch cord type training. The movement patterns in swimming are so unique that they can't be duplicated on dry land. The goal of land based strength training, IMHO, should be GPP. Simply strengthening your muscles in general to allow them to be effectively recruited in swimming (like flexibility training). Or as many have said before, if you want to get good at swimming - swim.

Many women find strength training more important than men - I think we tend to carry less muscle in general and so find it helpful to get stronger. However, I am a huge proponent of training in a manner that most suits you. Weight training seems to be helping Fort and although I've not seen huge time drops of late, it I feel it definitely helps me. And I have to kick in practice....

--mj

funkyfish
November 5th, 2009, 02:13 PM
I do think that strength gains translate into performance gains. The most direct relationship between lifting and swimming happens to benefit non-sprinters more than sprinters. Every flip turn includes the power component of a squat. If you are working hard and getting stronger with your squat (or any variant), and you are not getting further from the wall faster, you aren't applying your new strength in the pool.
For myself, I believe there's a good correlation between squatting and the use of the legs for starts and turns. I feel that the correlation becomes stronger when you include more explosive types of squatting (vertical jumping and lifting with lighter weight and bands or chains on the barbell). Also don't feel it's necessary to squat down to parallel to get benefit from this type of lifting. You have better leverage when you don't squat so far down (squatting parallel is primarily of use if you are competing in powerlifting, or working on a good weighted stretch of the lower back, glutes and hams). Better leverage for me equates to more power/explosiveness, which I can apply to starts and turns.

As an aside, has anyone found any type of correlation between endurance built through kicking and endurance for cycling? Probably psychological, but it seems when I train my kick more in the pool, I have an easier time on the stationary bike (no help with running however).
:banana:

Ahelee Sue Osborn
November 5th, 2009, 02:34 PM
How do you get three walls out of a 50 in this set? If you start in the middle, it's 12.5 to the first wall, 25 to the second, and 12.5 back to the middle. That's only 2 walls in 50 yards. Are they 75s?

I did call it a "sneaky set" Bill.

Start near the middle since the start line always floats around and ends up closer to the 1st wall than intended.

The first turn is at the normal start wall. By starting beyond the flags, there is time to accelerate into the 1st turn.
Second turn is at the regular turn wall.
Third turn is at the finish wall with a SDK, lands the swimmer back in the middle of the pool.

The goal is more SDKing - less swimming.

BR KnuckleDragger
November 5th, 2009, 06:10 PM
I like doing these sneaky sets...

BillS
November 5th, 2009, 06:15 PM
I did call it a "sneaky set" Bill.

Start near the middle since the start line always floats around and ends up closer to the 1st wall than intended.

The first turn is at the normal start wall. By starting beyond the flags, there is time to accelerate into the 1st turn.
Second turn is at the regular turn wall.
Third turn is at the finish wall with a SDK, lands the swimmer back in the middle of the pool.

The goal is more SDKing - less swimming.

Ahh, I see...but the pedant in me would feel obligated to point out to my coach that they aren't really 50s at all; more like 65s or 75s. I guess that's the sneaky part.

rtodd
November 5th, 2009, 07:12 PM
qbrain

I agree with Oguz, it makes sense to practice what you race. If you are a D person, then your 2 beat kick makes sense if that is what you are going to race with. If you are a sprinter, it is worth it to kill yourself a little earlier with a six beat kick.


If you look at alot of the distance swimmers in short course, they are 6 beat kicking off the wall for about 12.5 and then two beating into the wall. Seems to be something new? not sure.

Allen Stark
November 5th, 2009, 08:36 PM
. With that said, if weight training would have an effect then it definitely would be on the very short 50m. sprints.


When I first started weight training in earnest my first significant time drop was in the 200 BR.

Flurpo
November 6th, 2009, 12:25 AM
I was a big Kicker in my youth but came to believe that kicking too much could actually slow you down if it is not integrated correctly in your stroke. Without the proper balance I believe that poorly integrated kicking could actually slow you down. Any thoughts? I've never found anything outside of TI that integrated kicking. Would love to find a good drill for that. The TI stuff just seems to make me swim slow with a good stroke.....

joshua
November 6th, 2009, 10:29 AM
The problem with weights is that there has been no long term study on swimmers. That 6 week Costill study that Jim Thornton always cites is a joke. It's a very small sample over a very short time period. You can't measure the benefits of lifting in 6 weeks.



True on both points.



Interestingly, I've grown a bit weary of the heavy low rep lifting myself. (And, really, I am not very strong except possibly for my age). After my taper meet in December, I'm going to shift more into circuit training/plyo training/bodyweight exercises. I've added plyos lately, and really enjoy them.



Most lifters and strength coaches feel that a strength program must be changed periodically (periodization) due to the body adjusting to the stimulus. This is a very complicated subject.



But, as to kicking, I'm sold on its benefits. Perhaps my improvements are due more to kicking than weights.

In order to know you would have to isolate one method do weights but stop kicking or vice versa.

joshua
November 6th, 2009, 10:39 AM
I do think that strength gains translate into performance gains. The most direct relationship between lifting and swimming happens to benefit non-sprinters more than sprinters. Every flip turn includes the power component of a squat. If you are working hard and getting stronger with your squat (or any variant), and you are not getting further from the wall faster, you aren't applying your new strength in the pool.



Although I know of no study on the subject, I would conjecture that after a certain point of reasonable squat strength it would be more beneficial to simply practice the flip turn technique. I am convinced that more practice will result in a much greater improvement than, say, adding 10 more kgs. to you're 5RM in the squat.

joshua
November 6th, 2009, 10:49 AM
For myself, I believe there's a good correlation between squatting and the use of the legs for starts and turns. I feel that the correlation becomes stronger when you include more explosive types of squatting (vertical jumping and lifting with lighter weight and bands or chains on the barbell). Also don't feel it's necessary to squat down to parallel to get benefit from this type of lifting. You have better leverage when you don't squat so far down (squatting parallel is primarily of use if you are competing in powerlifting, or working on a good weighted stretch of the lower back, glutes and hams). Better leverage for me equates to more power/explosiveness, which I can apply to starts and turns.



OK, this maybe my lifting background but I can't stand seeing these guys in the gym loading up a bb with big weight, barely descending and then calling that a squat. I feel that the benefit is negligible unless this is partial training (a powerlifting training technique). You will get more benefit by losing less weight and going parallel or lower.

joshua
November 6th, 2009, 10:55 AM
Many women find strength training more important than men - I think we tend to carry less muscle in general and so find it helpful to get stronger.

--mj

Excellent point.

The Fortress
November 6th, 2009, 12:10 PM
Most lifters and strength coaches feel that a strength program must be changed periodically (periodization) due to the body adjusting to the stimulus. This is a very complicated subject.

In order to know you would have to isolate one method do weights but stop kicking or vice versa.

I don't really periodize all that much. But as an ADD diva, :), I change things up all the time at the gym.

I'm not willing to stop kicking, not a remote chance, so that experiment is a non-starter.

I am willing to shift from heavy weights/low reps to a different kind of strength training though. My only hesitation in doing that is that it will cause havoc in comparing my times from 2009 (in B70) and 2010 (likely no B70 :bitching:). If I change the strength training regimen, then the comparison gets complicated and there are too many confounding variables. Oh well.

knelson
November 6th, 2009, 12:53 PM
It seems to me that, as a general rule, masters swimmers don't like kick sets and if they do them it's easy "social" kicking. I think this is a poor strategy if you want to swim fast. As far as kicking with or without a board, I say do whichever one you feel comfortable with. If you hate kicking without a board, then kick with one. The important thing is to do kick sets, so whatever gets you to do them is fine.

There have been numerous occasions in the past where I've trained with college swimmers and one thing I've noticed is that I'm as fast or faster than many of them (I'm talking women here) swimming, but they blow my doors off kicking. Now, I'm not a strong kicker, but even in comparison with everyone else in the pool this is consistent. The kids are better kickers than the masters swimmers.

Now why is this important? I think for sprinters it's obvious you need to have a strong kick to be fast. But even for middle distance and distance it's important. For example, in a 200 free I always try to bring my kick in hard on the last 50. If my legs aren't in good shape this is a recipe for disaster. Your quads are the biggest muscles in your body and if they give out, you're toast. And for longer races kicking harder is the best way to increase your pace. We've all seen the swimmers who seem to have that extra gear and are able to put the hammer down and break away from the field. It seems to me in the vast majority of cases their extra gear involves increasing their kick. Again, you can't do this unless you've been working your kick in training. Maybe a select few have the discipline to train their kick while swimming, but I think most of us really need to do kick sets--and not social kicks!

qbrain
November 6th, 2009, 01:42 PM
Your quads are the biggest muscles in your body and if they give out, you're toast.

Kirk, What kind of workout are you doing that your quads are bigger than your glutes? The quads are a large muscle group when used for a six beat kick are contracting 3x as often as the lats/delts/tris etc. :)

I wonder if you tripled your stroke rate with a pull buoy, and that was the norm, would people start to social pull?

Just being nit picky.

joel schmaltz
November 6th, 2009, 01:43 PM
My opinion is that most masters swimmers have time constriants in which to get there workout in. Therefore, since kicking is not everyones favorite activity these sets are the first to disappear from the workout. I do agree with qbrain in regards to kicking while you are swimming in practice. Once the legs die , the rest of the body soon follows.

Donna
November 6th, 2009, 02:28 PM
In the past year I have made great strides with my kicking. In fact this morning I noticed I actually had a wicked kick going on a quick sprint set. Unheard of a year ago for me!

The way people can add the kick back to practice is to use fins, gives you speed and works your legs at the same time, abs too if you are doing fly!

knelson
November 6th, 2009, 04:40 PM
My opinion is that most masters swimmers have time constriants in which to get there workout in. Therefore, since kicking is not everyones favorite activity these sets are the first to disappear from the workout.

Yeah, I'm sure this is definitely a factor, but I think even a short kick is worthwhile. Something like 8x50 kick can be done by just about everyone in under ten minutes yet can give the legs a good workout.

Rich Abrahams
November 6th, 2009, 05:21 PM
A good way to concentrate on emphasizing your kick during a swim set is to do swimming golf, i.e. combine your time with your stroke count. This works great for a set of 50's. If you descend the set (meaning keep lowering your total score) you'll see the relationship between your kick and speed. This is especially true if you have the ability to control your kick like opening and closing a valve instead of like a switch (either on or off). For me, my times descend when I increase the kick and keep the stroke count the same. You have to keep all other variables the same, in particular the number SDK's.

An excellent way to work on increasing kick tempo is vertical kicking. At least for me, when the resistance goes up (e.g. raising arms higher out of the water) the kick tempo has to increase to keep your whole head above the water. My goal this year is to go at least 30 seconds with a 10 lb. diving brick held over my head. So far my pr is 22 seconds. This also really works your hamstrings as well as the quads.

ehoch
November 6th, 2009, 05:25 PM
Kicking is your engine in swimming - if you don't get enough in your regular masters workout - move down a lane or 2 once a week and do the main set kicking.

Also - for you sprinters out there, VERTICAL kicking -- try it out. Build up to it with clean technique - it's a great way to increase your leg speed.




For a long time alot of coaches (particularly TI) de-emphasized kicking as a major factor in swim speed.

Kicking has actually become more and more important over the years - and TI is a "learn to swim" program - but has very little relevance on swimming fast - or swim coaching.


As an aside, has anyone found any type of correlation between endurance built through kicking and endurance for cycling?

I would bet anything that there is a negative correlation - but don't have the science. You build big leg muscles in cycling that you have no use for in kicking....

ehoch
November 6th, 2009, 08:45 PM
Rich - looks like we are having the same ideas ....


So far my pr is 22 seconds

Why would a 50 sprinter need more than 22 sec of anything :) ?

10 pound brick ? Are you able to stay high enough to be able to breathe the entire time ? I started doing vertical kicking this summer. I alternated Free and Fly - started with 20 seconds on / off with just hands above my head (not keeping the arms straight) - then went longer - then I started to keep one arm straight - now I am at 30 seconds keeping a perfect streamline keeping my mouth above water all the way through. The weights will have to wait until next year. Not sure if it's the kicking or my race pace training - but I am swimming much faster compared to last year.

Rich Abrahams
November 6th, 2009, 11:35 PM
Erik,
I've been vertical kicking for years. I started during rehab for a shoulder operation.

I can keep my mouth above water with the brick, but it is barely over my head. I also like to use the streamline which is very tough. I do it all freestyle kick as fly aggravates my sciatica.

Glad to hear you're swimming fast. Sorry I'll miss seeing you swim at Long Beach this year.

joshua
November 7th, 2009, 05:01 AM
I have been doing this kick session with various strokes:

5x(25 hard kick/25 easy stroke)
5x(25 easy kick/25 hard stroke)

smontanaro
November 7th, 2009, 07:48 AM
*some masters do not turn well with w/FINz and should not wear them
*some masters need to use FINz to build confidence in their SDK


And some masters just use them as a crutch. :cane: It bugs me that some people use them all the time, or worse, put them on at various times during the workout. The lane then has to reshuffle. Small thing, but it certainly is a small flow break.

I got some zoomers maybe three seasons ago and used them for some kick sets. I think they might have helped, but I really have no idea. This year I'm swimming zoomer-free and hope to work more on the integration of my kick with my stroke.

Speaking of which, one of our coaches made a comment about the transition from streamline (or SDK) to swimming the other day. You need to flutter kick first, then bring in the arms. For me if I fail to do that I get pretty discombobulated and it takes me another two or three strokes to get my arms and legs in proper sync. I imagine that's a no-brainer to you TT-type swimmers, but for me (more of a fitness/recreational swimmer who enjoys the occasional meet) it was a small revelation.

Skip

Ahelee Sue Osborn
November 7th, 2009, 11:07 AM
Speaking of which, one of our coaches made a comment about the transition from streamline (or SDK) to swimming the other day. You need to flutter kick first, then bring in the arms. "it was a small revelation."
Skip

Skip - That is so cool that you got the transition figured out! And you're right... it changes everything! No stopping dead in the water if you're a little deep and it makes a great powerful but smooth breakout.

Coach Chris Colburn pointed out to me in Clovis that I was breaking out on backstroke with my breakout arm sticking up in the air.
I'm a coach and a relatively new backstroker. But I didn't realize it and no one told me in training.
That little piece of coaching smoothed out the remainder of the SDK for me.

I LOVE when swimmers coach each other! Don't complain about the lack of coaching on deck... rally your team and lane mates to help you.
It totally works!

Ahelee Sue Osborn
November 7th, 2009, 11:18 AM
And some masters just use them as a crutch. :cane: It bugs me that some people use them all the time, or worse, put them on at various times during the workout. The lane then has to reshuffle. Small thing, but it certainly is a small flow break.


So here is the thing about masters swimmers Skip...
They almost all LOVE swimming and or kicking with FINz!
Probably even more than fast 25s.

I couldn't agree with you more that some use them as a crutch.

As a coach, I try to find a way to put a "FINz Set" in every single workout. That way, when I see the gang reach for the fins, I can tell them to save their legs because the FINz set is coming.

Some swimmers have real issues with being able to kick well.
They can improve - some coaches have the skill to help them - but it also takes patience and willingness from the swimmer.
Often they do not want to be bothered.
And masters afterall is for fun. So the swimmer and coach have to decide how much they are willing to work for it.

Can we all agree though that big FINz and ego are trouble if the fins are not assigned to the set?

Ahelee Sue Osborn
November 7th, 2009, 11:29 AM
An excellent way to work on increasing kick tempo is vertical kicking. At least for me, when the resistance goes up (e.g. raising arms higher out of the water) the kick tempo has to increase to keep your whole head above the water.

Love this... need to do more of it!

A good way to start a group vertical kicking is to line everyone up at the backstroke flags and face forward - no looking sideways or up at the flags.
Start the kick.
At the end, check where the swimmers are located relative to the flags.

Everyone should be still right underneath the flags.
Anyone behind the flags is kicking more forward - or up.
Anyone in front of the flags is kicking more backward - or down.

The kick should be even forward and back.
Or up and down when you're actually swimming.

This is actually a fun kick set to do with a group - big or small :)

swimmj
November 7th, 2009, 12:03 PM
So here is the thing about masters swimmers Skip...
They almost all LOVE swimming and or kicking with FINz!
Probably even more than fast 25s.

I couldn't agree with you more that some use them as a crutch.

As a coach, I try to find a way to put a "FINz Set" in every single workout. That way, when I see the gang reach for the fins, I can tell them to save their legs because the FINz set is coming.

Some swimmers have real issues with being able to kick well.
They can improve - some coaches have the skill to help them - but it also takes patience and willingness from the swimmer.
Often they do not want to be bothered.
And masters afterall is for fun. So the swimmer and coach have to decide how much they are willing to work for it.

Can we all agree though that big FINz and ego are trouble if the fins are not assigned to the set?

Ahelee - I agree with you in regards to FINz except for those who are dealing with shoulder issues. If you are working with a touchy shoulder and choose to use FINz and either only kick or overkick a sprint session, I can totally understand that. And as a coach, I expect that swimmers with various physical issues let me know what they are working with, so I can help them. And swimmers need to be realistic about where they are in their lanes and space themselves as needed. Often one can leave an extra 5 or 10 seconds behind and not cause any issues.

--mj

Ahelee Sue Osborn
November 7th, 2009, 12:20 PM
Ahelee - I agree with you in regards to FINz except for those who are dealing with shoulder issues. If you are working with a touchy shoulder and choose to use FINz and either only kick or overkick a sprint session, I can totally understand that. And as a coach, I expect that swimmers with various physical issues let me know what they are working with, so I can help them. And swimmers need to be realistic about where they are in their lanes and space themselves as needed. Often one can leave an extra 5 or 10 seconds behind and not cause any issues.--mj

Great addition MJ.
FINz are a saving grace for swimming with a sore or injured shoulder.

But hopefully the swimmer is anxious to find out why their shoulder is hurt if it is a bad technique related issue.

The nice thing about masters is that we are all adults.
Swimmers have to take responsibility for their roll in lane selection, equipment usage, effort level in workouts - and communication with their coaches.
(one of my old coaches told me masters swimmers are simply 10 & unders with credit cards)

Coaches by the way, are not mind readers!

SolarEnergy
November 8th, 2009, 09:13 PM
The way people can add the kick back to practice is to use fins, gives you speed and works your legs at the same time, abs too if you are doing fly! I'm not crazy about using fins myself since it hurts my ankles so much.

But it is certainly fair to assume that for anyone capable of using them while achieving some level of ankle relaxation, it probably remains the most efficient method of stretching the ankles, thus leaving a permanent favorable impact.

Again though, me, hell they hurt.

jstonebarger
November 9th, 2009, 01:31 PM
Double post. Sorry.

swimmj
November 9th, 2009, 03:00 PM
Great addition MJ.
FINz are a saving grace for swimming with a sore or injured shoulder.

But hopefully the swimmer is anxious to find out why their shoulder is hurt if it is a bad technique related issue.

The nice thing about masters is that we are all adults.
Swimmers have to take responsibility for their roll in lane selection, equipment usage, effort level in workouts - and communication with their coaches.
(one of my old coaches told me masters swimmers are simply 10 & unders with credit cards)

Coaches by the way, are not mind readers!

I always ask if an injured swimmer knows why they are having shoulder issues and what they are doing to address it - stroke work, pt, etc.

And your old coaches comment about us being 10 and unders with credit cards - very, very funny and often true. I coach both groups and had the experience of being on deck twice when swimmers complained about someone going much faster and the offended swimmer was sure that the faster swimmer had a stroke flaw I should correct - kicking with knees too bent. The difference between the 7 year old and the 65 year old in complaint - the 7 year old used an adjective. Really. The. Only. Difference.

--mj

jstonebarger
November 10th, 2009, 05:57 AM
When doing kick sets is there any real need for the board?

I can practice the br kick with or without (on my stomach), but for dolphin or flutter sets kicking on my back without a board feels much better (easy breathing, flatter position, streamlining and bs style flip turns...)

Am I missing anything by not using the board as well? Or is it just personal preference?

__steve__
November 10th, 2009, 06:13 PM
I'm learning how to keep my head up just enough (kicking without board) so I can inhale through my nose.

orca1946
November 12th, 2009, 06:02 PM
More & faster kicking is great for cardio & speed .Deeper kicks will work the quads & hams better.

slowfish
November 13th, 2009, 05:10 PM
Love this... need to do more of it!

A good way to start a group vertical kicking is to line everyone up at the backstroke flags and face forward - no looking sideways or up at the flags.
Start the kick.
At the end, check where the swimmers are located relative to the flags.

Everyone should be still right underneath the flags.
Anyone behind the flags is kicking more forward - or up.
Anyone in front of the flags is kicking more backward - or down.

The kick should be even forward and back.
Or up and down when you're actually swimming.

This is actually a fun kick set to do with a group - big or small :)

boy, i'm sure going to give this a try. given that i go nowhere with my kick, i suspect there is something very, very wrong with my kick. i can't seem to make any improvements even with the tips in the "help my flutter kick is terrible" thread. my 25 sprint kick times stay stagnant.