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jerrycat
August 19th, 2003, 01:59 PM
Hi all,
It's so funny--sometimes I see people at the pool who really go at it with the kickboard...and then other people wouldn't touch one if their life depended upon it.

I'll admit, I don't use one--mainly becuase I'm impatient, feel like I'm not going anywhere, and am a purist to a fault sometimes.

But, if you think that it's worthwhile, I would incoporate it, all for the sake of improvement.

The great questions are:
Will training with a kickboard make me a better, faster, super awesome swimmer?

And, if you train with one--why? Or, why not?

Thanks everybody (you know you're my outlet!)
JoAnne -aka, Jerrycat ;)

Scansy
August 19th, 2003, 03:05 PM
Jerrycat,

I am no expert, but here is my two cents worth.

It seems to me that the kickboard has its place - just like the buoy for pulling sets. It helps to isolate the kicking portion of a stroke. The board seems to have really helped me to strengthen my legs for the breaststroke kick.

However, I am now phasing out my use of the board. It started because I was getting shoulder soreness when I kicked. It seemed to put an unnatural stress on my shoulders. Since swimmers can have problems with shoulders, I started to back off on the board. I now kick without a board - breast, fly and free kicking. A benefit of ditching the board that I didn't expect is that my swimming has improved. I think that doing kick sets without it puts my body in a more "poper" position - more streamlined. When kicking with the board, I think my upper body rode too high (and the legs too low). This then would translate into the full stroke. So while the board allowed me to strengthen my breaststroke kick at first, I am now doing it in a more proper form. Oh yeah, the shoulder soreness has stopped too.

You may find that kicking without the board is difficult at first - I certainly did. But it will get easier. Your balance will improve in time.

vkanders
August 19th, 2003, 04:12 PM
My personal opinion is that kicking WITHOUT a board is more beneficial than with. Kicking on my back is helpful for my pushoffs and streamlining, while kicking on my side is great for freestyle and backstroke - I feel that it mimics the actual kicking that I do better than kicking with a board.

The other reason I don't like kicking with a board (besides the fact that I don't find it that useful) is that it puts a lot of strain on my lower back because my back is arched.

-Victoria

aquageek
August 19th, 2003, 08:50 PM
One thing in my 30 years of competitive swimming that has not changed is kickboards. All coaches use them. They remain an integral part of every workout. Other toys have come and gone but not the old reliable kickboard. I think there must be some merit to them as every single coach I've ever had uses them, both the good, bad and sleepy coaches.

I'm not sure what purist has to do with kickboards. Since kickboards predate Speedos maybe wearing a Speedo makes you a non purist. Do purists wear goggles? That purist stuff is way overrated.

Matt S
August 19th, 2003, 09:22 PM
Joanne,

Just a technical point: although most coaches do use kickboards in some fashion or another, there is a minority view that they are not beneficial. The reasoning is pretty similar to what Victoria described. These folks feel that isolating a muscle group provides less benefit to you than what you lose by learning to kick in an unnatural position.

I personally use a kick board very sparingly. I would NOT recommend one to a runner/biker trying to become a triathlete. Several reasons: (1) since these folks tend to train leg muscle groups that are antagonistic to muscle groups they use for kicking (or so my college coach told me) they are probably not going to ever become great kickers, and they may mess up their legs for the other training they do. (2) they will need their legs for the other two portions of the race, and they should learn to swim without relying on kicking for too much propulsion. Most important of all, (3) the reason most runners can't kick worth a darn (and may even go backwards when they try) has little to do with weak kicking muscles. Their problem is that their ankles are so inflexible, they can't point their toes very much or for very long, and every time they kick down with their foot perpendicular to their leg, it's like dropping an anchor off of their backsides. To fix the flexibility, they do not need a kickboard to help them kick harder; they need a set of swim fins to help them point their toes, and loosen up their ankles. (And incidentally, fins can make slow drilling to work on pollishing their stroke mechanics a whole lot easier.)

I do not know if you fit in that category, but it is food for thought.

Matt

jerrycat
August 19th, 2003, 10:08 PM
Hi All!
thanks for the feedback so far! It's funny Matt S that you should mention running--as I am a runner, currently in therapy for a knee injury. It is this injury that brought me back to swimming. And, at first, I needed the fins not only to get me through a workout, but to also help my feet and ankles move. It is so much better now.

And, for the record, when I say purist--I mean that I like to do things as they are. I see no need to jazz something up to make it more interesting than what it really it. So, things like doing aerobics in the water, combining yoga and pilates to make yogalates, shoulder presses when lunging, and doing calf raises while training biceps, makes no sense to me. Call me straight Sally, but I would never ever feel the need or desire to read a book while doing eliptical either.

It's the same thinking with swimming. When I'm swimming--I'm swimming. Legs, arms, everything. Kickboard just doens't seem like swimming to me.

I'm really just a midwestern woman, who doesn't have a bohemian bone in her body (let alone organic food in the fridge), and I admit that this black and white approach of mine needs readjusting. That's why I swear--if it's kicking that will make me faster, then it's kicking I'll do. If it's water aerobics that will make me faster, then it's water aerobics I'll do (really, I'm just kidding on the last one--don't worry Shaky, I haven't gone to the dark side).

Have fun! Swim fast!
Jerrycat :D

Gareth Eckley
August 20th, 2003, 04:22 AM
I do not use a kickboard, I stopped about 5 years ago. Thanks to total immersion for that. I was never a big kickboard fan anyway. I find that my swimmers are kicking very hard to get through the TI drills, and some of the arm recovery drills that I give them. After 500 meters of the drills I think that they have worked enough on thier kick.

I use zoomer fins for the reasons that Matt mentions. I also find that I can do a lot of "core body" strengthening. By using dolphin kick on back, sides and front. They are very useful for the triathletes that I coach and they like them.

My tutor on my latest coaches course mentioned that using a kickboard for fly kicking sets was to be avoided. There is a great amount of harmfull compression of the lower vertebra that takes place, especially bad for developmental children.

I feel that there is over stretching of the shoulder occuring on long kickboard sets. A few swimmers seem to have no problem with it, but with from 35 - 50 % of swimmers having experienced shoulder pain, anything that stresses the shoulder should be avoided.

Kickboards make great cushions when sitting on the pool deck !!

Steve Ruiter
August 20th, 2003, 12:10 PM
I use a kickboard regularly and think it is beneficial for me. I do not experience any of the back or shoulder pain mentioned. Having said that, I think hand paddles are evil, but that is because I experience shoulder pain and I primarily see paddles used by others to go faster because their kick is no good.

I cant say much about the technique effects kickboards have on my stroke. When I kick I really try to pop my center of gravity (torso) up by making it feel like I am rolling over a barrell instead of floating on a board. I don't think the little kicking I do affects my stroke technique as much as the conditioning helps me.

I cheat a whole lot less with a board than when I kick without a board, and I limit my kicking to 400-500 yards of fast, hard kicking (and occasional "rest" 50's) that isolates my leg muscles and works them hard.

One other thing I have started doing occasionally (when someone leaves fins out) is to swim fly and back with fins for a while (like 16x50 alternating fly, back) then take them off and do some more 50's. I find it gives my legs a workout and helps me swim more legal fly. And its fun to go real fast.

Steve

mattson
August 20th, 2003, 12:44 PM
Be *real* careful about what question you are asking. Are you comparing kicking with or without a board, or comparing "not kicking at all" versus "kicking with a board". There was a wonderfully frustrating TI discussion last summer, where Ion mentioned what great workouts he gets, using a kickboard. (Despite the number of times I asked the question, he failed to answer my TI related question: Are there any advantages to using a kickboard, compared to kicking without a board?)

There are two reasons that I like to use a board, that actually have nothing to do with kicking:
1) Allows me to breathe easily. (Backstroke, I have to synchronize with my arm rate. If I kick without a board, I am susceptible to waves from other people in my face.)
2) Stretches out my lat muscles, which are usually tight for me. (I don't have shoulder problems using a board.)

lefty
August 20th, 2003, 04:29 PM
Kicking withour a board is probably better training than kicking with a board simply becuase it is more difficult to do and it simulates the swim position more closely. Of course if you have dificulty doing a kick set with out a board, then use one. Otherwise try doing most kick sets without...

Ion Beza
August 20th, 2003, 05:01 PM
I am re-thinking this:

Originally posted by mattson

...
There was a wonderfully frustrating TI discussion last summer, where Ion mentioned what great workouts he gets, using a kickboard. (Despite the number of times I asked the question, he failed to answer my TI related question: Are there any advantages to using a kickboard, compared to kicking without a board?)
...

Both, kicking with a kickboard and kicking without a kickboard, aim to achieve ankle flexibility and the development of quadriceps.

I observed that:

.) kicking with a kickboard offers a comfortable upper body position when leaning on the board to forget about the stroke, and concentrating on isolating the legs for kicking;

.) kicking without a kickboard doesn't offer the comfortable position for kicking and forgetting about the stroke, because it involves raising the upper body without the board and without any arm stroke, just by clenching the body into a tight horizontal position.

Because of this, fast swimmers I have seen that exercise kicking without the board, they do it for a little bit in a workout, but not for a big distance.

However, at the U.S. Swimming level, many programs adopt as much as 1/3 of the mileage for kicking only -in order to develop ankle and quadriceps-, and I think that this big distance is easier to do by kicking with a board.

Myself, I do kick with a board for 1/3 of the mileage done in a 52 weeks season.

I have a fast kick compared to most Masters across U.S., but I have a slow upper body that I try to quicken.

My swimming is a Thorpe-style of swimming, in another league though.

In one workout two months ago, during a warmup set, for fun, I asked one assistant coach -Adrienne, who used to coach in the early 90s in Missouri Steve Crocker (U.S.) then the #3 sprinter in the world in 50 meter freestyle (behind Tom Jager (U.S.) and Matt Biondi (U.S.))- to time me for a 200 yards kick, and I did 2:52 while laughing.

Shaky
August 20th, 2003, 06:23 PM
Originally posted by jerrycat
If it's water aerobics that will make me faster, then it's water aerobics I'll do (really, I'm just kidding on the last one--don't worry Shaky, I haven't gone to the dark side).

Evidently kickboards have an important use in water aerobics. What you do is stack a couple of them together and use them as a seat so that you don't have to work as hard to wave your arms in the air.

aquageek
August 20th, 2003, 06:45 PM
Now that was hilarious, Shaky. Damn good!

Gareth Eckley
August 21st, 2003, 04:15 AM
ION are you familiar with the concept of muscle imbalance ? This is where most swimmers have much stronger quadriceps than hamstrings and that strengthening the hamstrings to get a closer balance in the leg muscles can lead to a better kick.

This link explains it better than I can:
http://www.zoomers.net/new-muscleimbalances.htm

The second link is around ankle flexibility:
http://www.zoomers.net/new-thekick.htm

Sorry if this is info that you already know.

I understand that quite a few succesful coaches are working on even propulsion on the downbeat and upbeat ( squeezing water between the feet ) and that it does seem to make a difference.

I do a lot of flutter kick on my back and sides, with and without fins and I feel that it does more for my kick than kicking on a board ever did. I also stretch my ankles regularly and they are at my limit.

Every little bit helps !

Tara
August 21st, 2003, 06:54 AM
Just read the article on kick that you mentioned, and went onto the link http://www.zoomers.net/rack.htm has anyone tried this, after reading it i understand how it works, where do you get it from and how much is it? Has anyone here tried it?

I really need to improve my ankle flexibility, mine is about 55 degrees, I work on leg flexibility every day but over the last 8 months or so havent had so much improvement in actual range of movement.

Thanks

:)

Gareth Eckley
August 21st, 2003, 07:21 AM
I do have " the rack ". I seem to have most " pool toys ", stretch bands, cords, balance ball, medicine ball etc. If I see something that interests me I usually try it out, both for myself and also to see if it helps in coaching.

The rack is simple to use and does allow you to control the stretching force very well. You have more control then you get by putting your feet under a couch.

Having said that, stretching feet under a coach can work vey well and you may find that you are happy with the results and can save the cost of buying "the rack".

Marty Hull recommends soaking the feet in warm water for a period before stretching and that does seem to help.

Using fins does also stretch the ankles. Eventually you will reach your limit and be unable to increase that range of motion further. I coach quite a few triathletes and boy are their ankles tight !

Shaky
August 21st, 2003, 10:57 AM
Along the lines of discarding the kickboard to keep the body more in a "swimming" position, do any of you use snorkels for that purpose? One of the regulars at one of my previous pools did all his kicks without a board and with a snorkel, sometimes with fins and sometimes without. He also used flip turns.

Good? Bad? Makes no difference?

Ion Beza
August 22nd, 2003, 12:41 AM
I didn't know this:

Originally posted by Gareth Eckley
ION are you familiar with the concept of muscle imbalance ? This is where most swimmers have much stronger quadriceps than hamstrings and that strengthening the hamstrings to get a closer balance in the leg muscles can lead to a better kick.

This link explains it better than I can:
http://www.zoomers.net/new-muscleimbalances.htm

The second link is around ankle flexibility:
http://www.zoomers.net/new-thekick.htm

Sorry if this is info that you already know.

I understand that quite a few succesful coaches are working on even propulsion on the downbeat and upbeat ( squeezing water between the feet ) and that it does seem to make a difference.

I do a lot of flutter kick on my back and sides, with and without fins and I feel that it does more for my kick than kicking on a board ever did. I also stretch my ankles regularly and they are at my limit.

Every little bit helps !
My information is mostly empirical, and some bits gathered from books and the news.

So, in the flutter kick, the quadriceps making the downbeat are more developed than the hamstrings making the upbeat, and there is an imbalance in strength between the quadriceps and the hamstrings which when corrected towards some parity improves the entire flutter kick.

This imbalance between quadriceps and hamstrings explains why when I kick on my back mostly with my hamstrings I am lame, and when I kick flutter with mostly my quadriceps I am strong:

a month ago, in a 50 meter pool workout, I was doing 8x50 meter flutter kick with a kickboard leaving every 55 seconds, while I was making them in about 47 seconds each.

From your post and the first link, it looks like I have work in front of me, in the department of kicking on my back, so that I develop further my hamstrings for future flutter kick.

Sometimes when I kick strong, I build pain in the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles, which is a sign that I am working on these, but from the first link it seems that I need to focus more work on the hamstrings.

As for ankle flexibility, I guess that compared to the pictures shown in the second link, I am at about 70 degrees of flexibility.

It's interesting to discover and learn more, from posts like this...

Gareth Eckley
August 22nd, 2003, 08:39 AM
Just to further confuse everyone, 'Magaschilo' in the book 'Swimming Fastest' does not like to emphasise the upbeat of the kick. He feels that this drops the hips and creates extra drag.

'Rick DeMont' in the chapter 'Freestyle Technique' in "the swim coaching bible" does advocate emphasising the upbeat. Preferring to have the "weak kick", the upbeat, to be strengthened to more closely match the "strong kick", the downbeat.

I feel that having the muscle strength of the back of the legs close to that of the Quadriceps must be a good thing.

However I am not sure how much muscle force to put into the upbeat. Should it be a relaxed movement or a strong movement. I can see pros and cons to both arguments and I do not see a definite answer in the literature.

The info in "Swimming Fastest" and Colwins "Breakthrough Swimming" is making me re-evaluate a lot of my beliefs , but I need to see how it works in practice. You never stop learning !

lefty
August 22nd, 2003, 10:05 AM
Ion,

I am impressed that you can do 50M kick sets on 55. A few years back I could do that, but I was going a 23 in the 50 M free then. You weren't kidding when you said that you have a strong kick.

I think that you made some great observations, but I would like to take them a step farther (further? I never know which one).

WHen you said that kicking with a board allows you to concentrate on your lower body and forgetting about upper body, you are dead on. However that is the reason that you want to practice WITHOUT a board. You need to develop enough propultion kicking without a board that it too feels natural and comfortable.

Kicking with a board is great exercise and it is a good for swimmers to do. However, I would compare it to running. A great thing to do, but won't necessarily help your technique.

One last thing, who was the South African swimmer who was actually the best sprinter in the world in the late 80's. I think he went a 22.0 in the 50 but his WR wasn't recognized.

Ion Beza
August 22nd, 2003, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by lefty
Ion,

I am impressed that you can do 50M kick sets on 55. A few years back I could do that, but I was going a 23 in the 50 M free then. You weren't kidding when you said that you have a strong kick.
...

The coach who trained Steve Crocker (U.S.) in the early 90s, says that I am fearsome in kicking and that I should be a fearsome sprinter.

Like being able to do 24 seconds for the 50 meter free Long Course.

The challenge that I battle is that I have a slow upper body, strong as in having benchpressed 320 pounds for a 158 body weigh in 1998 and having benchpressed 290 pounds for a 162 body weigh in 2002, but slow.

It might be due to the fact that when pulling I am not getting a big enough distance per stroke, and I speculate that it is because of not having enough blood vessels going from the heart to the triceps due to my late start in swimming when the body was already grown (i.e.: I joined my first ever swimming club at age 28).

How is it that I have blood vessels going from the heart into the quadriceps, given the same factor of starting late in swimming, I don't know.

In kicking I have a gift -which it seems here that I can still further (with stronger hamstrings)-, and if this gift was matched with a faster upper body, then that would put me into a superior level of swimming.

Originally posted by lefty

...
Kicking with a board is great exercise and it is a good for swimmers to do. However, I would compare it to running. A great thing to do, but won't necessarily help your technique.

One last thing, who was the South African swimmer who was actually the best sprinter in the world in the late 80's. I think he went a 22.0 in the 50 but his WR wasn't recognized.
Kicking with a board for long distances would help develop the quadriceps and the ankle flexibility.

Not the technique, but the quadriceps muscles only.

I believe the South African sprinter strong in the late 80s and early 90s, was Peter Williams.

He swam 22.83 in the 50 meter free Long Course in 1990, for #12 in the world that year, but 1990 was a worldwide vintage year for sprinting (with Tom Jager's 21.81 and Matt Biondi's 21.85) while Williams was peaking out by then.

Matt S
August 22nd, 2003, 01:07 PM
Ion: thank you. That was an enlightening discussion. It also explained something I have noticed in my own swimming. I too have a MUCH stronger flutter kick on my stomach than on my back.

Gareth: Mr. Magaschilo has a valid point about a strong up beat in your kick causing your hips to sink a bit. This could be a problem in freestyle; however, I have found it to be an advantage in sprint butterfly. Consider, the model I use for fly is the body dolphin style TI advocates. I want my shoulders and hips to alternate going up and down to create the body dolphin effect. Since I have one complete kick cycle per arm cycle (I am not trying to sneak in another kick, as in double-beat fly), a strong up kick actually sinks my hips, and raises my shoulders at just the right point in the stroke cycle. I find it hard to maintain over 100's, since it uses so much energy (and since I am not a great flyer), but it works like magic for 50's.

Lefty: the guy I think you want is Jonty Skinner, who was the first man under 50 seconds for 100 LCM, and the only one for several years. I dimly recall some speculation that an after the fact measurement of the pool where he set the record indicated it was a hair under 50 meters, but his world record was the official record for FINA at the time. I was going to recommend to you the SwimInfo page that has the top swims in each event (http://www.swiminfo.com/results/All_Time_LCM.asp#men50Free); however, he is on neither list, and looking at the times for the 100, his old world record is not even fast enough to be on the list!

Matt

Ion Beza
August 22nd, 2003, 03:50 PM
Originally posted by Matt S

...
Lefty: the guy I think you want is Jonty Skinner, who was the first man under 50 seconds for 100 LCM, and the only one for several years.
...
Matt
The first swimmer under 50 for 100 meter free was Jim Montgomery (U.S.) who won gold in the 1976 Olympics with 49.99.

One month later, Jonty Skinner (R.S.A.) who was banned from the Olympics because of the apartheid in South Africa, went 49.44.

There was no 50 meter free in 1976.

Skinner retired in the late 70s.

The first 50 meter free competitions were at the World Championships in Barcelona, Spain in 1986, and the Olympic Games in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea.

Tom Jager (U.S.) and Matt Biondi (U.S.) were winning these, but Robin Leamy (U.S.) and Peter Williams (R.S.A.) were unsung heroes of the 50 meter free sprints.

I think that Peter Williams is what lefty was looking for, when inquiring about a South African doing fast 50 meter free races in the late 80s.

cinc3100
August 22nd, 2003, 11:18 PM
I kick the fastest in breaststoke. I think as a kid I could kick it faster than flutter kick and fly. Ion, is a great flutter kicker. For for Jonty Skinner, he was wrong as well as most of the sportspeople of South Africa. Countries in Africa like Ethopia, Sudan ,Rwanda, Nigeria, that had bloody civil wars that killed and exiled thousands of people were allowed in the olympic games while South Africa that practice a dated form of racism wasn't.

cinc3100
August 24th, 2003, 12:51 AM
Maybe, we should have a swim meet where all the events are kicking or pulling. Ion would do real good in flutter kick.

Ion Beza
August 24th, 2003, 01:53 AM
Originally posted by cinc310
...
Ion would do real good in flutter kick.
I would do well indeed:

not the best, but pretty high anyway.

I wonder who lefty is, since stating that a few years ago he was swimming 50 meter free in 23 seconds.

lefty must be a recognizable name in swimming.

lefty
August 25th, 2003, 11:45 AM
Recognizable? Hardly! I went a 23.96 and didn't even have a senior cut. Since I had my identity stolen and credit ruined I am pretty paranoid about posting personal information on the internet, however if you send me a private message I'll give you my 411

And yes it was Peter Williams that I was thinking of, though I am not surprised that there were other unrecognized records.

Ion Beza
August 26th, 2003, 12:20 AM
Originally posted by lefty
...I went a 23.96 and...
...

Still, had I been able to do 23.96 in 50 free Long Course, then I would make sure that at least three sports bars in San Diego know me...

cinc3100
August 26th, 2003, 04:05 PM
If you are in your 50's Lefty and did 23.96 back in the 1960's that was a really good time for then in meters. In yards it wasn't as good but still is similar to a boy in high school swimming a 21.96 today in yards. I reread your post and you said it was meters and I now don't think your in your 50's,correct.

Ion Beza
August 26th, 2003, 07:08 PM
Nah, lefty must be in his 30s now.

23.96 in 50 meter free a few years back, who that is?

WaterRat
August 28th, 2003, 02:35 PM
Kickboards also cause me shoulder pain. Does anyone else use a pull buoy for kicking? I usually kick without a kickboard but for breaststroke I'll sometimes use a pull buoy. It looks odd but it provides enough floation. The buoy rides a few inches underneath the surface which seems to cause less stress on the shoulders.

cinc3100
August 29th, 2003, 11:41 PM
I like using kickboards and even if they are not a 100 percent good for me, so what. As for not using goggles I'm one of the few that don't use them in a meet. I don't want themfall off. I'm still able to see to make turns and how to touch in a finish.

Gareth Eckley
August 30th, 2003, 05:46 AM
It is quite easy to stop goggles falling off on diving into the water. They fall off because water pressure pushes them off mainly due to the head being at the wrong angle.

There are two steps to take to stop this happening:

1 - Make sure that your head is within your arms, in a tight streamline position before you hit the water. Eyes are looking down not forward.

2 - Close elbows together to have the inside of your arms squeezed against the side of your head.

If you do " 1 " and the goggles still come off then make sure to do " 2 " as well. I see some swimmers diving with their hands together but you could drive a truck thru the gap between their elbows, the water surges thru this gap and off come your goggles.

I have taught this to my swimmers and it works.

Oh, the straps need to be not too loose as well !

Rnovitske
August 31st, 2003, 11:51 PM
I find kickboards bad for butterfly and flutter kicking for all the previous reasons. I do use them for breaststroke kicking and feel they help this kick. However, I might recommend holding the board sideways. A sideways board creates a bit more resistance in the water for me to kick against (I have a decent breaststroke kick and sometimes need this for training), and a wider board to hold onto spreads my arms further apart, helping to minimize pinching at my shoulders.

Glen
September 2nd, 2003, 12:25 AM
I as well find that using a board gives me much shoulder pain, I will try the board sideways with my Breast kick. I rearly use a board for flutter, fly or back kick one for the pain but also I never feel like I am kicking properly. I will do the flutter and fly under water and surface a couple of times per 25m. My kick is my strong point in both fly and breast.

sparx35
September 28th, 2003, 02:57 PM
I have just read these articles too .I didn't realise that this was so important.I am now going to try and increase my "angle of foot".As for where you would get a Rack i don't know but i think a bit of "make it yourself "may save some money!!!!(wood for a base,old jeans cut up for a strap,all fixed together with some screws or glue,hey i may patent this idea..)

sparx35
September 28th, 2003, 03:02 PM
sorry, i meant to post this reply to a different thread,the one on the article of feet and improving angle for faster swimming,think my computer has started to take over.....must......find....unplug......the......po we..........................................r..... .................................................. .....................

dpflyer
September 28th, 2003, 07:14 PM
I just tuned into this thread. I used to use kickboards as an integral part of my workout. After experiencing debilitating tendonitis I had to give up the kickboard for awhile. Then I started using Zoomers and would do my whole kick set - 400 IM - with Zoomers and no board. Now sometimes I will use the board to do the breaststroke portion and maybe the flutter.

When coaching I put in kick sets without boards, which means when the swimmers are getting prepared for their workout by getting a kickboard I have to go retrieve them and tell them, "No boards tonight!" They are so addicted.

In the middle of the workout I have them do vertical kicks, something like 4 x :20 on :30. Watching the new Richard Quick video series he advocates about :10 seconds of hard, fast kicking.

Back in 1993 when the National LC meet was in Minneapolis I entered an exhibition 50m kick race. Most everyone used a kickboard. Tim Garton won that race with a time of about :32, more than a couple body lengths ahead of everyone! It was an awesome performance for which I had a front row - I mean, back row - view of. Does anyone remember that?

Conniekat8
September 29th, 2003, 12:04 PM
Just my two cents worth of personal experience...
I spread my kicking around, some with the kickbopard, some sideways, some on my back.

Too much kickboard seems to strain my lower back muscles, and they spaz out. Ouch!

My favorite way to kick is a flutter kick on my back. It seems to work more leg muscles than the flat or a sideways kick.
I either read it somewhere, or the coach told us that when swimming on out backs, most swimmers tend to use their leg myscles on the up, and the down motion, while when we do the regular freestyle or a kickboard kick, we tend to push only in one direction.
My fastest kick is the dolphin kick on my back.

In general, kicking is the weak part of my stroke. I have strong legs, but ankles need a lot more stretching.