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Superfly2005
August 20th, 2004, 01:42 PM
I'm having problems with my Butterfly kick for the last 6 months. I have to work my upper body harder then it has to to win a race. Any ideas on how to improve the kick? Thanks.

Rob Copeland
August 20th, 2004, 03:04 PM
Are you sure the problem is in the kick?

Just because you are working the upper body harder does not mean that there is a problem with the kick. It could be a problem with head and torso positions or stroke mechanics, or flexibility (have you been lifting weights?), or timing, or other stuff.

But, back to your question - Any ideas on how to improve the kick?

A couple of suggestions,
Try drilling with fins do long flowing kicks underwater (keeping a good streamline), concentrating on getting the whole body undulating; work on long and smooth, either on your stomach, back or side. I suggest 200 to 400 of this. Followed by 10 fast 50s with fins, dolphin on your back (underwater as long as you can), concentrating on tight fast powerful kicks.
Do over distance training - both with and without fins, focusing on long and smooth not fast. In preparation for my 200 fly, I will sometimes do sets of 3 400s or 800s, first and third with fins, number 2 without.

But my best advice is to have a coach with strong stroke technique skills look at you and prescribe drills and training geared to improving your fly.

Peter Cruise
August 20th, 2004, 04:21 PM
try watching the videotape of the winner of the Olympic 100m breastroke (mens) for perfect butterfly kick technique.

Superfly2005
August 20th, 2004, 05:02 PM
true that video tape could show me how to kick butterfly he seems to be a pro at it (cough cough)

LordoftheSwim
August 28th, 2004, 10:33 PM
HI. One thing that has always helped me with butterfly is something a coach told me once. Dive with your head first then hips and then comes your kick. I would have to agree with the other person who said it might not be your kick, because the kick is very much a result of the rhythm of the pull. Your head position is crucial in making sure you are not working you arms too much. When you breathe you should extend your next so that your chin is jutting forwarded, not up. Also, remember there are two kicks for every pull. Not just one, which can really make you rely on your upper body too much. There is one when you start the beginning of yoru stroke and a second when you swing you arms around. Using only one kick per struck makes you work so much harder.

LordoftheSwim
August 28th, 2004, 10:33 PM
HI. One thing that has always helped me with butterfly is something a coach told me once. Dive with your head first then hips and then comes your kick. I would have to agree with the other person who said it might not be your kick, because the kick is very much a result of the rhythm of the pull. Your head position is crucial in making sure you are not working you arms too much. When you breathe you should extend your next so that your chin is jutting forwarded, not up. Also, remember there are two kicks for every pull. Not just one, which can really make you rely on your upper body too much. There is one when you start the beginning of yoru stroke and a second when you swing you arms around. Using only one kick per struck makes you work so much harder.

etrain
August 30th, 2004, 02:34 PM
Not to start anything but quite a few people are dropping the second kick. I read something not too long ago on this. Don't remember where, but somewhere out in WWW world. If I recall right it was in the 200 that they would drop the second kick, to conserve energy. Also, some people just find the one kick enough. I think I first learned to do fly with one kick and then later coaches made me add the second one in.

Something that might help is to not think about lifting your head up to breath. Last year I went through a rough stage in fly where I was lifting my head straight up and really messing my stroke up. Now I am flying foward and sneaking my breath.

Also, don't struggle, it only makes it worse, if anything do slow fly. If you can't do it slow how can you do it fast, is what I always think...

Hope this helps...


etrain

Fly Free
August 30th, 2004, 05:34 PM
Just a couple of more ideas on this:

1) Relax your neck muscles so that your not forcing your head to bob up and down. You want a relax neck because that will translate the subtle up-down motions of the back of your head down through your spine and sternum to your hips and eventually your knees and feet. As the "wave" (energy) travels down your body it builds almost on it's own. So do the kick sets the guys here have suggested, but experiment with your body's reactions by first relaxing and then over time figuring out where the effort should come in.

2) My dolphin kick got better when I started doing a few 200s of dolphin kick on my sides (one arm extended, the other down at my side). Being on your side emphasises where your legs are... Are you bending your knees too much, if so then you can't keep a straight line or you loose momentum at the apex of each kick. If you don't bend them enough (which is a rare problem) then the tops of your feet might feel very strained because the wave action stops at your ankles and the energy doesn't dispate through your toes.

Remember to relax, and take your time to analyze your stroke overall. When you think you've really got it go back to doing the faster paced/sprint work.