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biestieboy58
July 16th, 2018, 10:40 PM
I was told long ago that practicing dolphin kicks with short fins would help me train for learning the proper technique. I got back into swimming at 54 after a 36 year layoff and have now been at it for six years. Back in my youth days, swimmers did not do dolphin kicks. I feel like I do it great WITH the fins, but when I take them off, I got nothing!

I still don't think I can do a proper dolphin kick and think I do better (in freestyle) by just surfacing and starting my stroke as soon as possible. I can't seem to get the body undulation thing down.

Should I keep trying and if so, any tips? Am I alone in failing to properly be able to do this? Any drills to help master this?

JPEnge
July 17th, 2018, 08:28 AM
Lots of things could be going on... any chance you have a video of your attempts?

orca1946
July 17th, 2018, 11:42 PM
Do you bend your knees so much that the feet come out of the water ?

ElaineK
July 18th, 2018, 12:22 PM
Do you bend your knees so much that the feet come out of the water ?


Or, do you keep your knees so straight that your feet come out of the water? That was my problem before I concentrated on letting my knees stay a little looser.

67King
July 18th, 2018, 03:52 PM
I concentrated on letting my knees stay a little looser.

I would add not just knees. Caveat is that I know my UDK's are not where they need to be or could be. But I do notice one very consistent thing. I get the best results when I relax everything below my waist, really even my lower torso, as much as possible. I almost feel like I don't do good UDK's unless my whole body is relaxed. I try starting them in my torso, but really I have to feel as if I am starting them closer to my shoulders. And again, my waist down is like the fins you wear, just a big sail being whipped by my upper body. I can get about 2 yards further with the same number of kicks (I generally do 16 trying to get to 15M) in UDK sets.

I have found that even when I'm in the water a lot, it takes darn near half of my set to get the feel for them. But I've only identified what I need to do in the past few months.

RonCummins
July 19th, 2018, 02:37 PM
I'm sure this won't be a popular opinion, but you may just want to focus on a good streamline and getting to to the surface and swimming fast. In order order to have a good UDK, you have to have an excellent streamline, strong abs and flexible ankles. Then you can start to focus on the dolphin technique. If you weren't taught this technique at a young age, it is fairly difficult to pick up (as you have discovered, if you have been trying for six years).

I often remind people that swimming is a race to the other end, not a contest to see who can do more underwater dolphins. If it doesn't get your there faster, why would you practice it?

ssumargo
July 19th, 2018, 03:57 PM
I'm in the same position as you. With fins, I'm like a pro with UDKs. Without them, I'm just doing some weird movement underwater that takes up energy. Earlier this year, I decided not to do any dolphin kicks while racing, just to conserve my energy. But during practice, I make it point to do 1-2 dolphin kicks off the wall (its great with mid-long distance sets!). It might take a while, but I know that if I continue doing this, at some point I will be more comfortable with it and will do it while racing. So definitely keep trying!

orca1946
July 19th, 2018, 04:58 PM
Bestie ---- are you out there?

biestieboy58
July 23rd, 2018, 03:37 PM
I am still here. I had a non-sanctioned meet Sunday. I swam 25 and 50 meter freestyle. On both, I had a nice entry, counted to three (one, one-thousand, etc.), then just scissor-kicked until I surfaced, which was only 3-4 kicks including both legs. I will continue to try to get it in practice.

Karl_S
July 24th, 2018, 02:48 PM
I am still here. I had a non-sanctioned meet Sunday. I swam 25 and 50 meter freestyle. On both, I had a nice entry, counted to three (one, one-thousand, etc.), then just scissor-kicked until I surfaced, which was only 3-4 kicks including both legs. I will continue to try to get it in practice.
Wait, do you mean "scissor kick" or "flutter kick"? The latter should be the faster of the two for almost anyone I would think.

Dolphin kicks are another story.