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View Full Version : All that kicking - what's up?



stussy96
October 18th, 2007, 06:46 PM
So I was browsing through the forum, LOTS of talk about kicking. Which brings me to discuss:

What's up with my kicking?

My kicking has been, is, and I believe will forever be SLOOOOOW. It's horrible. My breaststroke kick is MUCH faster than my free kicking. When I was a teenager on my club team, the coaches thought it would be funny to have me race some of the 10 year olds a 25yd free kicking. Needless to say, they won, and I didn't find it so funny. And not by a little bit, they were done and I was just getting to the flags. That's how slow I am.

I'm convinced I'm a puller-swimmer, not a kicker-swimmer, if there is such a thing. I'm a sprinter, and I'm sure if you watch me swim a race there is little kicking going on (4 beat kick, rarely 6 beat). I don't have any video to share, sorry. My breaststroke kick is a decent speed...but it's breaststroke kick!!! What's wrong with my free kick? Seriously! In sets, I cannot make the times if I do free, but if I do breast I'm just fine.

Is this normal? I've been "stuck" this way forever. I can hold 100's easily on the 1:50 with breast, and I can do that all day....I can do about 1 on the 2:00 with free and it just gets slower from there. :drown:

Swimming? I can hold 100's on the 1:20 all day. I can also pull 100's on the 1:20 all day. Hmmmmm.

Is there someone out there that can figure this out? :help:

cathlaur
October 18th, 2007, 07:08 PM
Stacy

Perhaps we are twins separated at birth. I am a puller as well. I swim mostly upper body. I am also a sprinter. When I have to do kick board drills I cringe as I am going to be left behind in the dust. I am just going to perservere and see what happens. I am a butterfly swimmer and have a good dolphin kick. I know that kicking is something I really really need to work on.

SIGH

Good luck. If you get any great tips pass them my way

Katie

bobbyhillny
October 19th, 2007, 04:34 AM
I hear ya!

Perhaps it's because you have weak legs (I know mine are weak), and the recovery time is longer for breast kick so you have ample time to recover and start another kick. In freestyle, the kicks are continous, so your legs don't get to take a break. It's just a guess. Or maybe you need to work on flutter kick techniques. If done right, flutter kicks can be pretty powerful. You could feel the propulsion as if your legs are pushing you forward. Flutter kicks look kind of like wipping motion.

stussy96
October 19th, 2007, 09:31 AM
That's the thing...I know I am doing the kick right. I guess it's just weak legs, I don't know. It's strange.

Slowswim
October 19th, 2007, 10:11 AM
Stacy

Perhaps we are twins separated at birth. I am a puller as well. I swim mostly upper body. I am also a sprinter. When I have to do kick board drills I cringe as I am going to be left behind in the dust. I am just going to perservere and see what happens. I am a butterfly swimmer and have a good dolphin kick. I know that kicking is something I really really need to work on.

SIGH

Good luck. If you get any great tips pass them my way

Katie

Make that triplets! I think my problem is lack of foot flexibility. I don't fly (my coach promised to teach me next week when I see her!):applaud: and you can teel what my coach thinks of my sprinting in the signature.:cry:

geochuck
October 19th, 2007, 10:44 AM
That little motor at the back end is of no consequence (kicking).

I like the high powered front wheel drive.

The Fortress
October 19th, 2007, 11:43 AM
So I was browsing through the forum, LOTS of talk about kicking. Which brings me to discuss:

What's up with my kicking?

My kicking has been, is, and I believe will forever be SLOOOOOW. It's horrible. My breaststroke kick is MUCH faster than my free kicking. When I was a teenager on my club team, the coaches thought it would be funny to have me race some of the 10 year olds a 25yd free kicking. Needless to say, they won, and I didn't find it so funny. And not by a little bit, they were done and I was just getting to the flags. That's how slow I am.

I'm convinced I'm a puller-swimmer, not a kicker-swimmer, if there is such a thing. I'm a sprinter, and I'm sure if you watch me swim a race there is little kicking going on (4 beat kick, rarely 6 beat). I don't have any video to share, sorry. My breaststroke kick is a decent speed...but it's breaststroke kick!!! What's wrong with my free kick? Seriously! In sets, I cannot make the times if I do free, but if I do breast I'm just fine.

Is this normal? I've been "stuck" this way forever. I can hold 100's easily on the 1:50 with breast, and I can do that all day....I can do about 1 on the 2:00 with free and it just gets slower from there. :drown:

Swimming? I can hold 100's on the 1:20 all day. I can also pull 100's on the 1:20 all day. Hmmmmm.

Is there someone out there that can figure this out? :help:

I'm only a decently fast kicker, although a sprinter as well. (Except for BR kick, that sux.) Think I use the upper body and core strength more than the leg strength when swimming. Although my legs seem pretty strong. I also have never liked kick sets all that much. And, not using a board, they drag on forever if you don't have fins.

However, I do think fast kicking is critical for sprinting. So it is worth practicing and improving. I also am just forced to do more kicking than I would be inclined to do to save my shoulders. So I've tried to jazz up the kicking to make it more fun. I do loads of dolphin kicking with and without my monofin, on my front, back and sides. I do underwater shooters as well as some longer stuff. I've also been doing flutter kick shooters. For my anemic BR kick, I'm trying out the speedo BR fins, and they seem to help. In short, changing up the type of kicking, focusing on SDKs, and using some toys has helped improve my "kicking." I say "kicking" because the dolphin kicking is not just kicking, it hits the core and is part of the stroke. So maybe change things around a bit. A traditional kicking set would probably make me groan too.

There's an old thread that discusses the issue of whether you should bother to focus on kicking. I think it's called "Challenge: Who's willing to give up their kicking sets?" or something like that. Personally, not me.

cathlaur
October 19th, 2007, 01:56 PM
Slowswim. Glad to know that you feel my pain as well. OMG it drives me batty. I know my knees are weak as it hurts when I do kick sets. They will get stronger as the muscles around the knees get better. Though I must admit I am faster than I was. I am loosening up my ankles more. It seems to really help.

OH GOOD LUCK WITH THE Fly. I am still not cardivasularly strong enough to be good at it. But I have good form. I kick butt when we do one arm fly. I am at about 25 metres now. I have broad shoulders and can just pull through it . I will work on that once I am stronger. It just feels natural to me.

Okay Fortress you are right. I am a good dolphin kicker ( is that a word lol) because you use more than your legs. Maybe it helps that I have size 10 feet LOL LOL.

Katie

stussy96
October 19th, 2007, 06:14 PM
Maybe it helps that I have size 10 feet LOL LOL.

Katie


Wow, we were separated at birth. I wear 9.5. Are you almost 6ft tall, too?

cathlaur
October 20th, 2007, 11:09 AM
Stacy
Not quite 6 foot. But I am 5 '10 so I am a big girl. Comes in handy when shopping. Do you know how many times I have been asked to reach something on the top shelf for a shorter lady lol lol?

Because I am taller and bigger boned my 25 to 30 pound weight gain is bad but does not look as bad as if I was shorter. But I am hoping by June 1st it is gone

Good luck with the kicking. I think mine is getting stronger. I am loosening my ankles as I get more comfortable in the water. My knees hurt while doing it but not afterwards.

Katie

Namor
October 20th, 2007, 05:28 PM
What would a good kick time for freestyle as a proportion of
whole stroke time be?

Donna
October 20th, 2007, 08:16 PM
Another horrrrrrible kicker here! But I am getting better every week. Two weeks ago was the first time I broke 1 minute for an all out 50 kick and it took everything out of me. This week I not only broke a minute I went :53 and :54 in a set on a 1:30 interval, but that was only on the first 2 everything else was 1:05's.

Since swimming with the kids team (since August) I have done tons more kicking than I have ever done over the past 3 years. I went ahead and took progress pictures today so that I could compare where I was in Aug. 06, with Aug. 07 and Oct. 07. Guess what I found, from Aug. 06 to Aug. 07 not much difference in the size and shape of my legs, thighs and butt. Between Aug. 07 and Oct. 07, :woot::banana::cheerleader: what a major difference. Doubles with the kids and all of those kick sets are really working wonders.

If anyone is on facebook you can see my progress pictures at the following link:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=15365&id=713304201&saved

cathlaur
October 21st, 2007, 11:01 AM
I am always surprised at how hard kicking is. I am really trying to concentrate on kicking from the hip more. I think I kick from the knees and my feet more. Ah all the things I am learning.

Nothing makes me madder than seeing some of the people I swim with literally churn up the water as they fly past me. I want to be one of them LOL LOL

Donna I joined facebook yesterday. I will go check it out

Katie

Donna
October 21st, 2007, 12:22 PM
I was the same way Katie. Now that I actually have to do kick sets on an interval and try to hold a specific pace, I put the effort into my kick like I never have before. Breaking a minute for a 50 kick was a major deal to get to. Next goal is to break 50 seconds.

It translates to a thinner lower body, less weight to drag and more SPEED!

cathlaur
October 21st, 2007, 01:00 PM
Donna

I will definitley have to try harder with my kicking. I do find that my right calve will get a cramp after kicking. Though that is lessoning as time goes on. I need a thinner body everywhere LOL. Though I am losing inches in my back and chest. YEAH.

I will concentrate harder and try not to groan when I see the coach has posted kicking sets. YUCK LOL

Katie

Donna
October 21st, 2007, 01:30 PM
Every time I hear coach assign a kicking set I just say "My hips, thighs and butt will thank me for this later!"

geochuck
October 21st, 2007, 04:52 PM
Every time I hear coach assign a kicking set I just say "My hips, thighs and butt will thank me for this later!"

Every time I look in the mirror, I thank my coach. He never assigns a kicking set. My hips, knees, thighs, and butt will thank him later.

david.margrave
October 21st, 2007, 08:28 PM
I'm also a slow kicker. For sprints I'll go all out, but for anything longer than 100, I'll switch to 2-beat kick and my goal is not propulsion but to keep a body position which minimizes drag.

cathlaur
October 22nd, 2007, 08:09 AM
I guess kicking like anything else takes practice. I know I need to even just kick more in my strokes so I am really concentrating on that,

Katie

RecreationalSwimmer
October 22nd, 2007, 03:58 PM
This swimming from the core looks so... fast?

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFOWm-CiqdU

Its three time olympic gold medalist Brooke Bennett (800 and 400 m).

Brooke :bow:!

cathlaur
October 22nd, 2007, 04:13 PM
Yup it sure looks fast. SIGH

Katie