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Fresnoid
January 15th, 2012, 02:43 PM
Ask yourself one question: Do you kick faster than you swim? If not, you're wasting your time down there off every wall.




:worms: :)

smontanaro
January 15th, 2012, 02:45 PM
Alternatively: "If not, you should be working on your SDK"?

The Fortress
January 15th, 2012, 02:54 PM
Ask yourself one question: Do you kick faster than you swim? If not, you're wasting your time down there off every wall.
:)

Yes!

notsofast
January 15th, 2012, 03:01 PM
I think the correct question is: Do you kick off the wall faster than you swim mid-pool?

That Guy
January 15th, 2012, 03:48 PM
This is good, we need more SDK controversies around here. If I don't see one every 12 hours or so, I get bored :D

__steve__
January 15th, 2012, 05:06 PM
I will do a few from the start, but even then I need to get on top soon because my dolphin kick isnt streamlined

jaadams1
January 15th, 2012, 05:43 PM
I will work on my SDKs for off the starts, where I usually do about 6-7 or so of them, and after that, I will continue to work on actually STREAMLINING off the walls. My hands most of the time aren't even touching each other! :afraid:
I'd love to be able to come off my last turn of a 200 Free and SDK like Phelps, but I don't think it's going to happen, and I'm not one that's going to "waste my time" SDKing when my better events are middle dist/distance free, and 400 IM, 200 Fly (I usually streamline glide w/out kicking on my fly to save energy for the pulling). :) That's my own way, I don't suggest you copy it.

orca1946
January 15th, 2012, 06:24 PM
In 200 fly SDK saves me a few strokes every turn!:applaud:

swimmasterusa
January 15th, 2012, 06:50 PM
One thing that I learned a while back was that my SDK was not as fast as my fly or free but faster than my backstroke by far. My SDK have greatly improved over the last few months by practicing them and they are now about as fast as my normal swim when i timed my SDK for a 25. One thing that helped me improve was that I decided to SDK off every wall at every practice unless it was breast stroke. Now when I do it, Iím underwater and Iím watching people swim beside me while I am still kicking, Especially on SDK on my back.

As for kicking off the wall faster than swimming, I donít think that really tells you how fast your SDK is. For example, I can just launch myself off the wall in a streamline to the 7ishmark and pretty much stay with the person next to me and most people donít really go way out to the 10 or 15 that often. I think that you have to time yourself doing SDK per 25 and look at the variations in time per 5 yards or meters.

I think what slows most people down is that when they try to do SDK, they havenít practiced it and aren't doing it correctly and are really just creating drag, maybe they just don't have the needed core strength, or their feet aren't flexible enough or large enough to provide any kicking momentum.

swimshark
January 15th, 2012, 06:56 PM
I will work on my SDKs for off the starts, where I usually do about 6-7 or so of them, and after that, I will continue to work on actually STREAMLINING off the walls. My hands most of the time aren't even touching each other! :afraid:
I'd love to be able to come off my last turn of a 200 Free and SDK like Phelps, but I don't think it's going to happen, and I'm not one that's going to "waste my time" SDKing when my better events are middle dist/distance free, and 400 IM, 200 Fly (I usually streamline glide w/out kicking on my fly to save energy for the pulling). :) That's my own way, I don't suggest you copy it.

I could have written this post as well. My Superman look off the walls is more important right now. Of course, rotator cuff issues means I can't swim so all I'm doing it kicking. I hope it helps me!

The Fortress
January 15th, 2012, 07:36 PM
I think what slows most people down is that when they try to do SDK, they haven’t practiced it and aren't doing it correctly and are really just creating drag, maybe they just don't have the needed core strength, or their feet aren't flexible enough or large enough to provide any kicking momentum.

Exactly! Don't expect to have good SDKs if you don't train them or have the strength to execute them.

Here is what USA Swimming says about developing an SDK:

"We are frequently asked for dolphin kick training tips and ideas to improve under waters. We have found that the keys to a strong dolphin kick are core and leg strength, ankle flexibility, and executing quick, snappy kicks that finish all the way through the toes. Based on these keys, we recommend using both vertical kicking and a monofin to improve dolphin kicking. Doing sets with a monofin will not only build strength in the appropriate core and leg muscles needed for dolphin kick, but it will also improve ankle flexibility. The key with using a monofin is to start slow and build up to larger sets as the swimmer becomes stronger."

I started training with a monofin years ago.

rxleakem
January 15th, 2012, 08:29 PM
This is a great question...
It's a good one to ask a swimming buddy while you are in practice or at a meet of yourself - if you don't like their answer to it, then keep working at it.

Ande has great info here and here - especially post #10.

Fresnoid
January 15th, 2012, 08:31 PM
In 200 fly SDK saves me a few strokes every turn!:applaud:

Now we're onto something. Even though very few can kick faster than they swim, the upper body gets a few extra seconds of rest on each turn.

Fresnoid
January 15th, 2012, 09:05 PM
This is a great question...
It's a good one to ask a swimming buddy while you are in practice or at a meet of yourself - if you don't like their answer to it, then keep working at it.

Ande has great info here (http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16618) and here - especially post #10 (http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10130).

I like that post about momentum. It does make sense that a few kicks can add to your speed off the wall - cumulative velocity, also getting a touch more rest before dropping to swimming speed.

What got me thinking about this was a set I was doing with a high schooler last week. We were doing 100s scy on 1:10. He was killing me on the turns, turning faster, getting a better push, probably streamlining better and getting a lot more out of his first SDK. That got him a half body length off each wall. However, he was doing 2-3 SDK's I was doing one. In my first two arm strokes, I made up almost the entire gap every time. He was still kicking while I was swimming. Also, he may have been staying down too long. We were talking about it after the set and the coach mentioned to the kid that his first stroke off the walls was clearly focused on a big desperate breath instead of propulsion.

aztimm
January 15th, 2012, 11:14 PM
In 200 fly SDK saves me a few strokes every turn!:applaud:

I couldn't even imagine doing a 200 fly, but for a 25 fly (as part of 100 IM), between the start and 8 or so SDK's, I only have to do 3-4 actual strokes of fly. :applaud:

I wasn't a fan at first either, and could barely do any. I think 4-5 years ago I started to work 1 for each turn of freestyle. When I swam the 1500 LCM this past summer, I did at least 3 off of every wall.

fmracing
January 16th, 2012, 11:30 AM
Do you kick faster than you swim? If not, you're wasting your time down there off every wall.


Its not entirely this black and white. When I am using SDK on my starts and turns, it is not to create speed, it is to "maintain' the faster-than-swim-speed I am getting from the wall/block longer than would be possible by just breaking out immediately. As I push off from the wall, I am going faster than I swim. Within about say, 5-10 feet after full extension off the wall I've already slowed below swim race pace. If 3-4 dolphins off the wall will keep my velocity above swim race pace for an additional 5-10 feet, then its worth doing. Past that point though, theres no real reason to continue underwater because I've slowed down below swim race pace, so I should be breaking out by then.

This also does not apply if you have a weak push from the wall that doesn't accelerate you faster than swim race pace in the first place.

nhc
January 16th, 2012, 04:32 PM
Has anyone learned SDK before learning swimming?

darrinlajoie
January 16th, 2012, 06:14 PM
I used to watch Man from Atlantis (Patrick Duffy - 1977-78), but I already had learned how to swim.

bowyer954
January 16th, 2012, 07:59 PM
I have been working on my SDK's for about 14 mos--much more now though than then. In my last big meet it hit me like a ton of bricks when swimmers on either side of me were still underwater kicking after I had taken two strokes and they were ahead of me! Those with the big kicks off the walls have a tendency to win.

ande
January 17th, 2012, 01:03 PM
Ask yourself one question:
Do you kick faster than you swim?
If not, you're wasting your time down there off every wall.

Your one question approach is not that simple.

when you're underwater after diving or pushing off.
We streamline glide for a moment then we kick then we break out.
Racing is about pacing and energy management and figuring out the fastest and best way to race each race.

For many swimmers SDK is a weapon.

On turns it's smart to push off and kick under the currents and waves.

All swimmers should work to improve their flutter kick & SDK.
They should figure out how many kicks to do for each race or not.
Each person has a kick style and count sweet spot.

I've always said, train to improve your SDK, put in a good effort for months and years, don't give up after a short time, but if it's not as fast then do what is.

better questions might be:

What should I do at each point of my race?
what is the fastest way to swim my race?
Should I SDK or not?

If you suck at it, don't use it.

SDK is is one of the things that has transformed swimming.
It's what helped swimmers like michael phelps, ryan lochte, natalie coughlin, and many others continue to improve and swim faster than anyone ever has.

SwimStud
January 17th, 2012, 01:38 PM
If you suck at it, don't use it.


To kindly mimic Ande's style I say a better statement would read: "If you suck at it, don't use it... yet.

You gotta work at the stuff you're bad at (which I know Ande said)...that's the low hanging fruit.You can usually improve just by thought alone.Even if you don't get great you'll get better!Be open to anything, to try everything, find what works for you and your body.

:2cents:

jswim
January 17th, 2012, 03:05 PM
I notice that when I try to get in a few standard quick dolphin kicks I actually feel like I slow down, but when I do a couple of slower dolphins after a glide off the wall, it feels like I maintain speed better. Is it always faster to perform the 'rapid-fire' style SDK seen so often in swimming vids?
Perhaps I need to slowly work up to a quicker cadence?

GregJS
January 18th, 2012, 02:12 AM
Apparently, I have virtually no core muscles, but I've read about, them so I do believe they exist :). Right now, my attempts at SDK probably just look like small convulsions and they don't really feel like they are helping me get or maintain much forward movement/momentum. I'm also a weak kicker - probably due to the same lack of core strength. But watching videos of olympic swimmers do SDKs - and maybe even more so, watching rxleakem turbo propel himself down the pool with them in real life - makes me think they're worth working on.

One poster (maybe it was on another SDK thread) says that SDKs are more tiring than swimming. But my understanding is that core muscles, when you've developed them, are less prone to tiring than arm and leg muscles. If this is so, SDKs seem like they'd be worth doing just to help the arms and legs last a bit longer. But maybe my understanding is wrong. Anyways, I will try working on the SDKs and see what happens.

Anyone know a type of core strengthening exercise that would be particularly good as supplementary help with SDKs (and/or kicking)?

Celestial
January 18th, 2012, 08:42 PM
Apparently, I have virtually no core muscles, but I've read about them, so I do believe they exist :)

:joker:


Wouldn't crunches, etc. help the core muscles?

**My question to all of you who have monofins - lets say I don't want to make the investment (kinda like should I buy that exercise machine, just to see it collect dust in the family room?) - if I take my regular old fins, and just do some serious shooters with those on, will that help my core as much? I'm thinking, no, because the monofin is so much stiffer, thus requiring more effort.

swimmasterusa
January 18th, 2012, 08:53 PM
One thing that I have been doing to help build a stronger core is to swim or kick an easy 50 but when i get to the flags before the turn, I stop and then start doing vertical dolphin kicks for about 20 seconds, and then repeat it. As I got better, I started raising my hands out of the water while doing the doplhin kicking and it makes it so much harder.

I also noticed that after I started doing this, my SDK's were much easier and I went much faster. I can now SDK a 25 in less than 15 seconds. before, it was 18.

smontanaro
January 19th, 2012, 04:46 PM
... when i get to the flags before the turn, I stop and then start doing vertical dolphin kicks for about 20 seconds...

Good for your core and it scares the bejesus out of the noodlers!

fmracing
January 19th, 2012, 05:05 PM
Do many of our expert sdker's find it better to take mini-rapid kicks or bigger kick amplitiude?

I've experimented with both and found really no major difference except perhaps I'm more likely to do mini rapid kicks in a 50 than in a 100 due to adrenaline.

swimmasterusa
January 19th, 2012, 08:35 PM
Haha, and we know that we love to do that. Thankfully at my pool, teh noodlers are only there for an hour a day.

Good for your core and it scares the bejesus out of the noodlers!

That Guy
January 19th, 2012, 09:47 PM
I've experimented with both and found really no major difference except perhaps I'm more likely to do mini rapid kicks in a 50 than in a 100 due to adrenaline.

I've experimented with both and I haven't found much of a difference either. The key is to be kicking at max intensity with both sides of the feet.

Paredes
January 19th, 2012, 09:52 PM
Now that I think about it... I did get my best 100 free time when I focused solely on fast flip turns and a powerful and fast SDK. Took a lot of adrenaline since it was my high school state swim meet to do it tho :D

But hey, best time!

ViveBene
January 20th, 2012, 06:59 AM
:joker:


Wouldn't crunches, etc. help the core muscles?

**My question to all of you who have monofins - lets say I don't want to make the investment (kinda like should I buy that exercise machine, just to see it collect dust in the family room?) - if I take my regular old fins, and just do some serious shooters with those on, will that help my core as much? I'm thinking, no, because the monofin is so much stiffer, thus requiring more effort.
I got a monofin. It dragged me all over the pool. It's a fun instrument.

The Fortress
January 20th, 2012, 10:11 AM
Core work -- Don't do crunches. Do deadlifts, hanging leg raises, power wheel work, back extensions.

SDK -- I take rapid fire ones in a 50, slightly less rapid in a 100. I never take big undulating SDKs. But this might vary some by size; I'm short.

Monofin -- Better for core work and dolphin kick than regular fins. But if you have stiff long blade fins (not the silly floaty kind), then you will get great core and leg strengthening by using them. Kick fast with fins, although I work on DPK with fins too.