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SpeedoRocks
October 2nd, 2013, 11:59 AM
Hi i counted my dolphin kicks after flip turn and i took 11 dolphin kicks to reach the 15m mark. Is that a good number? those dolphin kick were swift and fast ones. Should i dolphin kick after walls or just flip turn and freestyle?
I am aiming for 5-6 dolphin kicks for a 200m freestyle race.
Also is there any advantage for dolphin kicking off walls instead of just transitioning to normal freestyle?

ande
October 2nd, 2013, 12:39 PM
Hi i counted my dolphin kicks after flip turn and i took 11 dolphin kicks to reach the 15m mark. Is that a good number? those dolphin kick were swift and fast ones. Should i dolphin kick after walls or just flip turn and freestyle?
I am aiming for 5-6 dolphin kicks for a 200m freestyle race.
Also is there any advantage for dolphin kicking off walls instead of just transitioning to normal freestyle?

You counted your dolphin kicks after flip turn and took 11 dolphin kicks to reach the 15m mark.
Is that a good number?
Maybe, it's all a matter of SPEED, FATIGUE, and the need to breathe.

those dolphin kickS were swift and fast ones.
Should i dolphin kick after walls or just flip turn and freestyle?
It depends, you should do what helps you do the fastest overall time in your race
I"ve written a lot about SDKing in Swim Faster Faster (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?4229-Ande-s-Swimming-Tips-Swimming-Faster-Faster&p=276466#post276466) and recommend you experiment with different kick counts, test and time
Come up with a kick count strategy for each race.
also test your times for SFK (streamline flutter kick)


I am aiming for 5-6 dolphin kicks for a 200m freestyle race.
that's a lot and difficult to do on your 6th, 7th & 8th length

Also is there any advantage for dolphin kicking off walls instead of just transitioning to normal freestyle?
Possibly, which is why I suggest test your SDK vs your SFK and figure out what works best.
Some swimmers SFK faster than they SDK

Average John Smith
October 2nd, 2013, 01:36 PM
5-6 kicks on a 200m free is a lot..... just do 2-3 and get up and get moving. Phelps does that many kicks off the last wall ..... which is very demanding.

ande
October 2nd, 2013, 02:34 PM
5-6 kicks on a 200m free is a lot..... just do 2-3 and get up and get moving. Phelps does that many kicks off the last wall ..... which is very demanding.

Phelps did that many kicks
not sure he's in shape to do that now but there's no doubt he could regain that ability with a little training

Chris Stevenson
October 2nd, 2013, 02:37 PM
11 kicks to get to 15 meters is pretty good DPK; I need 11-12 usually.

Although he's the expert on the 200 free, I'll disagree with AJS in principle. I do 5 kicks off every wall in the 200 free and don't think it hurts me (quite the opposite); I do more than that (usually 7) on the 200 back.

Whether it is a good idea or not depends on how well conditioned you are for it and how fast your kick is. It is not something you should do out of the blue, you should test it (extensively) in practice under conditions that mimic your race.

One nice thing about masters: you've got some time to test the waters, so to speak. Try upping your kick by 1 for a year and see if it changes anything, for better or worse. Then continue as needed.

__steve__
October 2nd, 2013, 05:02 PM
Though an old clip and a 100 free, popov just coasted off the wall starting flutter kicks at breakout to win in 96. Maybe conserving his energy since he was even with HallJr for the lead

@6:10.


(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ga6r3XU4SY&feature=player_detailpage#t=380)http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=5ga6r3XU4SY#t=380

Just thought it was kinda interesting

Swimspire
October 3rd, 2013, 06:36 PM
Hi i counted my dolphin kicks after flip turn and i took 11 dolphin kicks to reach the 15m mark. Is that a good number? those dolphin kick were swift and fast ones. Should i dolphin kick after walls or just flip turn and freestyle?
I am aiming for 5-6 dolphin kicks for a 200m freestyle race.
Also is there any advantage for dolphin kicking off walls instead of just transitioning to normal freestyle?


Hi SpeedoRocks,

Lately, dolphin kick has become the better option off of the walls during races. However,from what I saw in your freestyle video (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?23068-Please-Help-with-freestyle-video), you need to work more on improving the efficiency of your dolphin kick before you can try for 5-6 kicks out of each wall in a 200m freestyle race.

For now, I would suggest not worrying so much about how many dolphin kicks you take out of each wall, as much as I would concentrate on how efficient your dolphin kicks are (however many or few they may be). In the video, you are taking 2 dolphin kicks off of the wall - I think given your level, 5-6 kicks at this point would be more of a disadvantage than a benefit. If you continue to improve the strength and speed of your dolphin kick, you can try taking more kicks during practice. Its better to experiment and work on technique issues in practice than in a race. Bringing any new element into a race without trying it in practice first throws in the additional variable of uncertainty.

Average John Smith
October 9th, 2013, 12:56 PM
. ..... I do 5 kicks off every wall in the 200 free and don't think it hurts me (quite the opposite); ......


That is impressive. I would blow apart with that much time underwater on a 200 free ..... :-)

__steve__
October 9th, 2013, 03:43 PM
That is impressive. I would blow apart with that much time underwater on a 200 free ..... :-)
I was lucky to witness this impressive perspective of UW capacity last year (both 2 bk and free scm). He would disappear then pop up 15M down at the other end for the brief 10m swim before doing it again. Easy to loose sight of where he was at each point in time.

He is a human porpoise

Karl_S
October 9th, 2013, 04:22 PM
...He is a human porpoise I believe it was ande who coined the phrase, "hung in the lung" to describe Chris.

Chris Stevenson
October 9th, 2013, 06:04 PM
I was lucky to witness this impressive perspective of UW capacity last year (both 2 bk and free scm). He would disappear then pop up 15M down at the other end for the brief 10m swim before doing it again.

Thanks for the praise, however exaggerated; it sure would be nice to go 15m in 5 dolphin kicks (instead of 11-12)! But realize that John is the real expert here in the 200 free, though too modest (and out of shape) to admit it. I just dabble. He is right to think about the effect that early kicking does on the last 50, which is painful enough as it is.

The bottom line is that the "proper" number of kicks is going to vary from person to person based on how good a kicker you are and your conditioning level (and habits in practice). I think it is a good idea to experiment and see what works best, and also to revisit the issue if you work hard on improving your underwater kicking and conditioning.

I seem to remember someone in another kicking-related thread claiming that kickers are made, not born. While certainly one can always improve any aspect of swimming, I would have to disagree with that statement (putting aside false modesty: I was a better kicker at 8 years old than some ever get to be). Some people are natural-born kickers and others aren't. For example, if your ankles can't hyperextend a lot then I wouldn't worry too much about dolphin kicking and just get up to the surface and start swimming.

__steve__
October 9th, 2013, 10:18 PM
I was a better kicker at 8 years old than some As for my UW speed I'm not much of a kicker there but I'll still practice and try to improve, then (like you mentioned) experiment to see what might work best though.

Swimspire
October 9th, 2013, 10:32 PM
Thanks for the praise, however exaggerated; it sure would be nice to go 15m in 5 dolphin kicks (instead of 11-12)! But realize that John is the real expert here in the 200 free, though too modest (and out of shape) to admit it. I just dabble. He is right to think about the effect that early kicking does on the last 50, which is painful enough as it is.

The bottom line is that the "proper" number of kicks is going to vary from person to person based on how good a kicker you are and your conditioning level (and habits in practice). I think it is a good idea to experiment and see what works best, and also to revisit the issue if you work hard on improving your underwater kicking and conditioning.

I seem to remember someone in another kicking-related thread claiming that kickers are made, not born. While certainly one can always improve any aspect of swimming, I would have to disagree with that statement (putting aside false modesty: I was a better kicker at 8 years old than some ever get to be). Some people are natural-born kickers and others aren't. For example, if your ankles can't hyperextend a lot then I wouldn't worry too much about dolphin kicking and just get up to the surface and start swimming.

SpeedoRocks, I just wanted to add to my last post and let you know that your drive and desire to improve your swimming, to work hard and to experiment with different techniques is really inspiring.

The point of this forum is to help and encourage our fellow Masters swimmers, to be a positive force, and to give them hope in the pursuit of their dreams, as opposed to claiming that some are just "born" with it and encouraging them to just settle for less.


You have to believe that anything is possible and that you CAN improve your strength and speed at any age and at any level, while keeping realistic expectations as to how quickly that improvement will come.


Keep up the great work and never settle for less!

__steve__
October 9th, 2013, 10:57 PM
The point of this forum is to help and encourage our fellow Masters swimmers, to be a positive force, and to give them hope in the pursuit of their dreams, as opposed to claiming that some are just "born" with it and encouraging them to just settle for less. Sometimes settling for less is faster and for me , less than 11 kicks definately is. Everyone has strengths and weeknesses and using them in a manner to maximize performance I think was the point.

Swimspire
October 9th, 2013, 11:01 PM
Sometimes settling for less is faster and for me , less than 11 kicks definately is. Everyone has strengths and weeknesses and using them in a manner to maximize performance I think was the point.

Steve, the number of kicks was not my point. You may have missed my first post. Here it is, for your convenience:

Hi SpeedoRocks,

Lately, dolphin kick has become the better option off of the walls during races. However,from what I saw in your freestyle video (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...reestyle-video (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?23068-Please-Help-with-freestyle-video)), you need to work more on improving the efficiency of your dolphin kick before you can try for 5-6 kicks out of each wall in a 200m freestyle race.

For now, I would suggest not worrying so much about how many dolphin kicks you take out of each wall, as much as I would concentrate on how efficient your dolphin kicks are (however many or few they may be). In the video, you are taking 2 dolphin kicks off of the wall - I think given your level, 5-6 kicks at this point would be more of a disadvantage than a benefit. If you continue to improve the strength and speed of your dolphin kick, you can try taking more kicks during practice. Its better to experiment and work on technique issues in practice than in a race. Bringing any new element into a race without trying it in practice first throws in the additional variable of uncertainty.

Average John Smith
October 10th, 2013, 12:45 PM
..........The point of this forum is to help and encourage our fellow Masters swimmers, to be a positive force, and to give them hope in the pursuit of their dreams, as opposed to claiming that some are just "born" with it and encouraging them to just settle for less. You have to believe that anything is possible and that you CAN improve your strength and speed at any age and at any level, while keeping realistic expectations as to how quickly that improvement will come........

Chris and Ande are correct. Great kickers are usually born ..... (as are breast strokers). You can certainly improve your abilities ....... but genetics rule in the end. It's just life.

Back to the issue..... Chris is an exception in my opinion ..... Unless you are in GREAT shape, don't spend too much time underwater on a 200 free. For old people, it isn't worth the trade off in terms of lost oxygen by the end of the race. You'll crater the last 50.

ande
October 10th, 2013, 02:53 PM
Chris and Ande are correct. Great kickers are usually born ..... (as are breast strokers). You can certainly improve your abilities ....... but genetics rule in the end. It's just life.
Back to the issue..... Chris is an exception in my opinion ..... Unless you are in GREAT shape, don't spend too much time underwater on a 200 free. For old people, it isn't worth the trade off in terms of lost oxygen by the end of the race. You'll crater the last 50.

Keep your kick counts high and crater in your races
It's an excellent way to entertain your friends at meets

Death by 200 fly seems to work the best


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjI1TOjK7oI

http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?18492-Videos-of-What-to-NOT-do

knelson
October 10th, 2013, 04:47 PM
Chris and Ande are correct. Great kickers are usually born ..... (as are breast strokers). You can certainly improve your abilities ....... but genetics rule in the end. It's just life.

And I remember Gary Hall touched on this here a while back. To paraphrase--if I'm remembering correctly--he said the kick is a dangerous weapon and you should work on it, BUT if you're not a good kicker you're probably never going to be a great kicker, so concentrating on it too much is probably a waste of time.

I think many swimmers, and maybe masters swimmers especially, need to keep this in mind. Just because some people can swim faster by doing a lot of SDKing doesn't mean everyone can. If you're faster on the surface then swim on the surface! You've got to remember that the goal is to swim is as fast as you can, not to look like Ryan Lochte.

Swimspire
October 10th, 2013, 05:12 PM
And I remember Gary Hall touched on this here a while back. To paraphrase--if I'm remembering correctly--he said the kick is a dangerous weapon and you should work on it, BUT if you're not a good kicker you're probably never going to be a great kicker, so concentrating on it too much is probably a waste of time.

I think many swimmers, and maybe masters swimmers especially, need to keep this in mind. Just because some people can swim faster by doing a lot of SDKing doesn't mean everyone can. If you're faster on the surface then swim on the surface! You've got to remember that the goal is to swim is as fast as you can, not to look like Ryan Lochte.

Gary Hall actually appears to take the opposite view, from the articles that I have read. In his Finis blog from December 7, 2012, he debunks the myth that "kicking is overrated". (http://www.finisinc.com/blog/events/gary-hall-swimming-myths-debunked-6).

In another article from Triathlete magazine in May 2013, he says "The good news about kicking is that if you don’t have good flexibility in your ankles, you can develop it very quickly (within weeks) and increase your propulsion without swimming harder." He encourages swimmers to improve their kick and emphasizes the importance of the kick in swimming. (http://triathlon.competitor.com/2013/05/training/why-its-important-to-conquer-the-swim-kick_75540)

It's a huge discouragement to tell new swimmers that they may as well give up if they don't have a strong kick from the outset. It's true that you can be born with specific physical attributes that may give you an edge over the competition, but that does not mean that someone else can't surpass you through hard work and smart coaching.

SpeedoRocks
October 10th, 2013, 08:15 PM
Great kickers are usually born ..... (as are breast strokers). You can certainly improve your abilities ....... but genetics rule in the end. It's just life.
I always get lapped by my team mates during flutter kick, but i was faster than them at the dolphin kick. So what is that suppose to mean?

Chris Stevenson
October 11th, 2013, 04:39 AM
The point of this forum is to help and encourage our fellow Masters swimmers, to be a positive force, and to give them hope in the pursuit of their dreams, as opposed to claiming that some are just "born" with it and encouraging them to just settle for less.

Maybe this was directed at me; if so then you've misunderstood greatly. The question driving the thread, it seems to me, is how many DKs are optimal off the wall, and what I'm saying is that it will depend on the swimmer. That's not the same as telling someone to give it up.

As mentioned before, I encourage the OP (and anyone else) to work on their kick and experiment with the number of kicks that works best for them. My main point about "natural kicking ability" is that IMO for some people, that optimum number is never going to be close to the double digits. Yes, that's just my opinion but it is not meant to discourage anyone. The opposite, in fact: lots of incredibly fast swimmers aren't great dolphin kickers (especially breaststrokers and freestylers, it seems to me).

But yes, working on improving the dolphin kick will probably increase that optimum number. One of the nice things about masters swimming is that we have time to experiment, we don't have to produce results every year. I think taking some time to work on something different (or try completely new events or whatever) is a great benefit of this mindset. So if someone wants to do so, I think it is a great idea to work on increasing underwaters and see if that helps. If nothing else it keeps one engaged in the sport.


I always get lapped by my team mates during flutter kick, but i was faster than them at the dolphin kick. So what is that suppose to mean?

Probably just that you have a strong core. Flutter kicks is more about pure leg strength/conditioning, you can engage your core a lot better on DK. You should take it as a promising sign in your quest for improving undewaters.

chowmi
October 11th, 2013, 09:12 AM
http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewNewsArticle.aspx?TabId=0&itemid=5592&mid=8712

Did this work? If not, go to usa swimming website, news, around 10/07 blurb on dolphin kicks in races.

knelson
October 11th, 2013, 10:10 AM
Gary Hall actually appears to take the opposite view, from the articles that I have read. In his Finis blog from December 7, 2012, he debunks the myth that "kicking is overrated". (http://www.finisinc.com/blog/events/gary-hall-swimming-myths-debunked-6).

It's strange because I know Gary posted more or less the same thing here, but now I can't find it. It must have been deleted. And, yes, he certainly advocates kicking as being important but I definitely recall him saying (and it may have been a reply to the original posting) that sometimes you've got to realize that if you're not a good kicker you probably shouldn't concentrate on it. Does anyone else remember this or am I dreaming?

Kicking is important and the vast majority of the top swimmers have great kicks. However, not everyone should be spending a lot of time underwater just because the elites are doing it. Yes, work on this skill for sure, but I think at some point you've got to realize that some people are naturals at this skill and others are not. You need to find out what works best for you, personally.

__steve__
October 11th, 2013, 11:27 AM
l The opposite, in fact: lots of incredibly fast swimmers aren't great dolphin kickers (especially breaststrokers and freestylers, it seems to me).I recall a post Jeff Commings mentioned his coach exhausted all efforts to get his ankles to flex with no success, what became speed brakes eventually led to a powerful weapon.


It's strange because I know Gary posted more or less the same thing here, but now I can't find it. It must have been deleted.
I recall this too, I think it was a suppliment to one of the myth debunks. It wasn't deleted, its out there, somewhere. The searching tool on our forum lost its ability to dig deeper into threads older than when the format was drastically changed. You have to manually go back and search page by page for anything earlier from the point it was changed last year.

knelson
October 11th, 2013, 12:10 PM
I recall this too, I think it was a supplement to one of the myth debunks. I think you must manually go back and search page by page for anything earlier from the point the forum format was changed last year.

Yeah, what happened? When I search I get results from 2013, then anything else is about ten years old. It seems like results before 2013--except really old stuff--can't be searched.

Karl_S
October 11th, 2013, 02:23 PM
Yeah, what happened? When I search I get results from 2013, then anything else is about ten years old. It seems like results before 2013--except really old stuff--can't be searched. This has been a problem for some time now. The posts are there, but somehow won't show up in a search.

__steve__
October 11th, 2013, 03:52 PM
Now that I have the chance - For 50's, how many DK's do you sprinters take (both start and turn for SC/start for LC)?

Allen Stark
October 11th, 2013, 09:43 PM
For sprinting,it really,really depends on how fast your surface sprint speed is vs your SDK.Whereas a fast SDK is faster than a fast 200 free on the surface,many fast sprinters are just faster than a fast SDK.You need to experiment for you.Get some 15M sprint times with various SDK counts and see.I'm not that fast a free sprinter,nor a great SDKer,but my optimum count came to 3 SDKs YMMV.

__steve__
October 12th, 2013, 10:13 AM
I am actually faster just gliding to the surface off the turns in distances 100 and up. But in the 50, the one distance I'm alright at, I have no idea how many kicks I take. I need to experiment this in the future.

lefty
October 13th, 2013, 10:24 PM
Yeah, what happened? When I search I get results from 2013, then anything else is about ten years old. It seems like results before 2013--except really old stuff--can't be searched.

I don't think he posted it here. But I remember it too. In fact he specifically mentioned Natalie Caughlin and said if you cannot kick like her, then don't bother.

But the "don't bother" wasn't work on kicking. He was dissecting hip vs shoulder driven freestyle, and the statement was if you don't have Nat's motor in the back, don't bother trying to be a shoulder driven freestyler.

Kickers are born not made and to be the fastest you swimmer can be, MOST of us would be better served trying to increase stroke rate not generating more power from the kick.

knelson
October 14th, 2013, 10:11 AM
I don't think he posted it here. But I remember it too. In fact he specifically mentioned Natalie Caughlin and said if you cannot kick like her, then don't bother.

That may have been a different piece. I'm pretty confident it was posted here and was specifically about kicking, not shoulder driven freestyle.

orca1946
October 14th, 2013, 02:16 PM
In a 200 , I think 2-4 would be the norm.

Average John Smith
October 14th, 2013, 05:23 PM
I would try to train a little more yardage for the 200 (i.e. on top of the water) than put too much effort on underwater kicks off your turn in that event. Yeah.... kick is important.... but underwater kicking is a real drain on the oxygen and if you're not good at it the results can back fire.

Jlvs2run
April 25th, 2016, 12:52 PM
I recall a post Jeff Commings mentioned his coach exhausted all efforts to get his ankles to flex with no success, what became speed brakes eventually led to a powerful weapon.

Can you please elaborate. Does this mean his ankles eventually flexed brilliantly, and if so how, or that focusing on other aspects more than made up for the lack of ankle flex? I've been working at stretching my ankles, with little success, and still no forward progress with the kick.

__steve__
April 25th, 2016, 01:10 PM
Can you please elaborate. Does this mean his ankles eventually flexed brilliantly, and if so how, or that focusing on other aspects more than made up for the lack of ankle flex? I've been working at stretching my ankles, with little success, and still no forward progress with the kick.
The frog kick pressure surface for propulsion is on the bottom of the foot, flutter and fly kick is the opposite. Lack of ankle flexibility can hurt the latter may not keep you from becoming a WR breaststroker.

Mark Usher
April 25th, 2016, 02:12 PM
I think it's a very individualistic thing. Our coach encourages us to try different kicking strategies in practice. Once you find what works best for you individually, then make it part of your training regimen and do it for every turn in practice so it gets ingrained.

Two DK's on freestyle turns and four for fly seem to be my sweet spot.

I've got a reasonably good kick and work on it a lot. I love doing dolphins on my back in practice; if nothing else it's a great ab workout.

FWIW, when I was working on turns with Sheila Taormina last year I asked her what she did when she swam in the Olympics - she said she didn't do any dolphins, she just went straight to a flutter kick off the wall because that was what worked best for her.

Mark

ande
April 25th, 2016, 03:39 PM
Can you please elaborate. Does this mean his ankles eventually flexed brilliantly, and if so how, or that focusing on other aspects more than made up for the lack of ankle flex? I've been working at stretching my ankles, with little success, and still no forward progress with the kick.
No. Jeff does not have floppy flexi feet that brilliantly point. It's better for him to just do a few DKs and get up swimming sooner than do a lot of DKs. They flex well like a frog giving him a fast powerful breastroke kick.