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Judester
April 24th, 2014, 03:26 PM
I decided to get back into swimming after not swimming seriously for 30 years. Right now, I'm trying to figure out where my weaknesses are, time-wise, but my times don't make sense to me. Freestyle and backstroke have always been my fastest strokes. Butterfly has always been my weakest and breast stroke my slowest. I'm not concerned about my breast stroke right now but today, I discovered that my fly kick is significantly faster than my freestyle kick - like by 8 seconds in 25yds. I find this very weird, especially considering that I'm pigeon toed, making it impossible for me to keep my feet together during the fly kick. I would think that at the very least, my freestyle kick would be as fast as my fly, but not slower. Is this normal? I think there's something seriously wrong with my flutter and whatever is wrong, it's not related to drag (I've already ruled out drag).

orca1946
April 24th, 2014, 04:08 PM
When I coached HS swimmers- a kid would walk to me & ask what stroke they should work on - I would look down at the feet. Pigeon toed is good for fly, back & free cuz that is the way your body is already bulit, which will make learning breaststroke more of a challenge.

Swimosaur
April 24th, 2014, 04:32 PM
... my fly kick is significantly faster than my freestyle kick ... Is this normal?

This is entirely normal. Witness: Elite swimmers do not flutter off the wall, they dolphin off the wall.

knelson
April 24th, 2014, 05:11 PM
This is entirely normal. Witness: Elite swimmers do not flutter off the wall, they dolphin off the wall.

Although 8 seconds for a 25 might not be normal. That's a pretty big difference!

Swimosaur
April 24th, 2014, 06:24 PM
Although 8 seconds for a 25 might not be normal. That's a pretty big difference!

Physicists work to the accuracy of several decimals,

Chemists to the nearest log unit;

Biologists just try to get the sign right.

orca1946
April 24th, 2014, 06:42 PM
T rex has a really good kick & tail wag but is short in the arm pull. LOL

Judester
April 24th, 2014, 07:57 PM
So other than drag, what are some common causes of a slow free kick?

__steve__
April 24th, 2014, 10:08 PM
Biologists just try to get the sign right.


Do microbiologists fall in this category?


So other than drag, what are some common causes of a slow free kick?Have you had someone look at your flutter kicking?

Fresnoid
April 24th, 2014, 11:10 PM
So other than drag, what are some common causes of a slow free kick?

Ankle flexibility is the biggest factor.

Judester
April 24th, 2014, 11:21 PM
Have you had someone look at your flutter kicking?

My fitness trainer has but unfortunately, swimming isn't his specialty (he's a strength trainer) so the only thing he had to say about it was, "You swim better than I do."

I got a paid membership to the USM a few days ago and I'm not sure how it works yet. I guess now would be a good time to contact my LMSC to find out what I've gotten myself into and, hopefully, whatever it is I've gotten myself into includes getting an assessment somewhere.

knelson
April 24th, 2014, 11:40 PM
Ankle flexibility is the biggest factor.

I agree, but wouldn't poor ankle flexibility cause poor dolphin kicking as well?

ande
April 25th, 2014, 09:52 AM
I decided to get back into swimming after not swimming seriously for 30 years. Right now, I'm trying to figure out where my weaknesses are, time-wise, but my times don't make sense to me. Freestyle and backstroke have always been my fastest strokes. Butterfly has always been my weakest and breast stroke my slowest. I'm not concerned about my breast stroke right now but today, I discovered that my fly kick is significantly faster than my freestyle kick - like by 8 seconds in 25yds. I find this very weird, especially considering that I'm pigeon toed, making it impossible for me to keep my feet together during the fly kick. I would think that at the very least, my freestyle kick would be as fast as my fly, but not slower. Is this normal? I think there's something seriously wrong with my flutter and whatever is wrong, it's not related to drag (I've already ruled out drag).

you asked "Is this normal?"
Yes sort of. My fly kick is slightly faster than my flutter kick. but not 8 seconds faster, "I wish."

I suggest testing each way of kicking with with a 25 AFAP
IE do a 25 SDK AFAP for time then rest 3 or 4 minutes then do a 25 SFK AFAP
SDK = Streamline Dolphin Kick
SFK = Streamline Flutter Kick

Consider "Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible" (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?5818-Help-My-Flutter-Kick-is-Horrible!&p=278784&viewfull=1#post278784)

secondheart
April 25th, 2014, 10:33 AM
I discovered that my fly kick is significantly faster than my freestyle kick - like by 8 seconds in 25yds.
Are you using a board?

Judester
April 25th, 2014, 03:51 PM
I suggest testing each way of kicking with with a 25 AFAP
IE do a 25 SDK AFAP for time then rest 3 or 4 minutes then do a 25 SFK AFAP
SDK = Streamline Dolphin Kick
SFK = Streamline Flutter Kick

Consider "Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible" (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?5818-Help-My-Flutter-Kick-is-Horrible!&p=278784&viewfull=1#post278784)

Thanks, Ande. Will do!


Are you using a board?

No, I use a snorkel with kicks so I don't have to think about breathing and for some reason, I can't do a fly kick with a kickboard. Well, I can do it but it feels awkward to me like it messes up my rhythm. Should I be using a kickboard? I never found them useful because I've never had a problem staying on top of the water without them.

orca1946
April 25th, 2014, 04:08 PM
Try fly kick on your back, it makes you kick up to the surface for a better extension & you can breathe.
Have thought of joining a team?

Swimspire
April 26th, 2014, 10:53 AM
Generally speaking, the fly kick, especially off the walls, is a more efficient way to swim than the flutter kick - this is why swimmers like Phelps get in the maximum 15 meters of fly kick off of the walls in fly, bk and free or IM races. You yourself have realized the efficiency of the fly kick in your own swimming experience.

Instead of comparing the speed of your fly vs flutter kick, therefore, you might want to focus instead on getting your flutter kick analyzed and determining what you can do to increase your speed and efficiency in that aspect of swimming. As others have mentioned on this thread, you'll need to have a coach take a look at the structure of your flutter kick and provide you with the appropriate drills to improve your kick. We provide this service online at Swimspire (http://www.swimspire.com/services/). At the same time, you can also work on continuing to develop your fly kick to use off of each wall. This will allow you to get an edge on your competition in your races.

It is an accomplishment in itself to have the determination to seriously get back in the water after many years away, so it is most important to always keep that love for the sport and embrace the challenges! Good luck!

Judester
April 26th, 2014, 10:28 PM
Have thought of joining a team?

Apparently, I joined one and didn't know it until about a week ago. Unfortunately, the one I joined is 50 miles away. I'm looking in to switching.


As others have mentioned on this thread, you'll need to have a coach take a look at the structure of your flutter kick and provide you with the appropriate drills to improve your kick. We provide this service online at Swimspire (http://www.swimspire.com/services/).

Hey, that's neat! So, if I record one minute of each stroke (four mins total), will Swimspire analyze all of them for a one-hour analysis fee?

Thanks for all of the advice. You guys are awesome! I'll keep this updated as things change, hopefully, for the better.

Swimspire
April 27th, 2014, 10:03 AM
Absolutely! I will PM you.

Judester
April 27th, 2014, 06:48 PM
Well, I'm going to my first swim team practice tomorrow morning. Should I have given my coach a heads up that I'm coming? It was kind of a last minute decision. Better last minute than never, I suppose.

arthur
April 28th, 2014, 02:27 AM
Well, I'm going to my first swim team practice tomorrow morning. Should I have given my coach a heads up that I'm coming? It was kind of a last minute decision. Better last minute than never, I suppose.
I might have misinterpreted this but from your earlier posts it seems like you have registered for USMS and selected a club while you registered. To actually join that club you probably have to talk to the coach, fill out a form, and give them a check to pay for coaching and pool time however the club is structured.

The USMS membership gives you the ability to compete in masters meets, insurance to let you swim with master's clubs, written practices on these forums, a magazine in the mail, the ability to track how far you swim and earn prizes, etc.

Most clubs would be fine with you dropping in but it might be good to call beforehand to verify the practice time, that they have space for new members, and to see if they have any requirements from you such as printing out a membership form. Clubs often let you try for free before you need to pay.

SolarEnergy
April 28th, 2014, 12:50 PM
I decided to get back into swimming after not swimming seriously for 30 years. Right now, I'm trying to figure out where my weaknesses are, time-wise, but my times don't make sense to me. Freestyle and backstroke have always been my fastest strokes. Butterfly has always been my weakest and breast stroke my slowest. I'm not concerned about my breast stroke right now but today, I discovered that my fly kick is significantly faster than my freestyle kick - like by 8 seconds in 25yds. I find this very weird, especially considering that I'm pigeon toed, making it impossible for me to keep my feet together during the fly kick. I would think that at the very least, my freestyle kick would be as fast as my fly, but not slower. Is this normal? I think there's something seriously wrong with my flutter and whatever is wrong, it's not related to drag (I've already ruled out drag).
Most elites are faster at fly kick, but not by this margin. It is reasonible to believe that the difference might come from the fact that fly kick better exploits the contribution from the whole body. Also, there's less myths evolving around the fly kick. Of course, kicking with both legs together would be one of them. In reality, you should not try to keep your legs together whilst fly kicking (it doesn't make much sense to even try). At free, you have all the "don't splash" and the "don't bend the knees" advices etc, which may prevent someone from achieving optimal kick speed.

__steve__
April 28th, 2014, 03:48 PM
It is reasonible to believe that the difference might come from the fact that fly kick better exploits the contribution from the whole body.
Yep, the larger muscle groups engaged. The SDK is not necessarily more efficient, but (for most swimmers) more powerful.

I'm slower dolphin kicking than flutter (due to simple genetics) - I no longer waste time with it. Consequently I am also slower under than at the surface. But like most others, kicking on my back is faster than on my belly, and the reason for this I believe is simply related to the greater backward propulsive force (range of leverage) the foot has when on back.

Judester
April 28th, 2014, 07:41 PM
I might have misinterpreted this but from your earlier posts it seems like you have registered for USMS and selected a club while you registered. To actually join that club you probably have to talk to the coach, fill out a form, and give them a check to pay for coaching and pool time however the club is structured.


The USMS membership gives you the ability to compete in masters meets, insurance to let you swim with master's clubs, written practices on these forums, a magazine in the mail, the ability to track how far you swim and earn prizes, etc.


Most clubs would be fine with you dropping in but it might be good to call beforehand to verify the practice time, that they have space for new members, and to see if they have any requirements from you such as printing out a membership form. Clubs often let you try for free before you need to pay.


Arthur, I apologize for the confusion my cluelessness may have caused. I'm just now starting to understand the context of all the aspects you mentioned. When I signed up for a membership to the USMS, I paid two fees - one to the USMS for $35 and one to South Texas LMSC for $10. I joined via online and after I selected an LMSC, the registration site asked me to pick a team, which I did without having a clue as to what picking a team meant (is this a virtual team? Is this a real team? Is this an online support team? That's how clueless I was) and it wouldn't let me opt out of picking a team (at least, I didn't see an option to opt out). A few days later, I got a "welcome to the team" email from the coach with some information on where the team practiced and when. I hadn't intended to join a team but I'm glad I did. I "accidentally" did exactly what I needed to do to keep myself motivated. Now I just need to see about transferring to a team closer to where I live and arrange the team/coach fee.

I went to my first practice this morning and all went well. I discovered that my flutter kick is fine, just weak in strength. Apparently, my main problem is my recovery. I tend to keep my entire arm tense throughout the stroke instead of loose from the elbow to the hands. It's going to be a hard habit to get out of but at least I'm now aware of the problem and know what doing it correctly feels like.