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carol58
December 11th, 2007, 10:50 AM
:fish2:I am new to the forums but not to swimming. I am 58, female and although I know this subject has been discussed a lot I would like to ask a few questions and get some feedback on what I do in the pool and ways to improve.
I started to swim in a 25M pool 5 years ago to lose weight and get fit and have done a lot to improve myself. I also added strengthening and cardio at the gym. I have always been very slow at flutter kick and have tried suggestions such as keeping the foot pointed, keeping knees fairly straight, trying to kick from the hips. A year ago I had hip replacement surgery and when I was able to swim again I decided to try some lengths using fins to help strengthen my legs. My swim routine is now this: I swim a total of 60 mins front crawl then I swim about 30 mins using fins. I do about 20 lengths fins with a board, 10 crawl with fins and a mix with fins..crawl, on my back, with and without a board. I know my legs are stronger and my endurance greatly improved. At the gym I do 15 to 30 mins on cardio such as the bike or elliptical trainer, leg press, leg curls and extensions and have increased the weights over the past few months, as well as a variety of arm and shoulder work, since I started back 9 months ago. HOWEVER....now I litteraly stand still if I try to kick without fins. Although I know my muscles are stronger I am kicking worse.
Exactly which muscles are used to have a good flutter kick and what exersises in the gym can I do to improve them? Also can anyone recommend a book or DVD that will give clear help on stroke improvement. Sometimes I find a written description of how to swim crawl not clear enough.
Thanks.

geochuck
December 11th, 2007, 11:05 AM
Don't force the toes to point. The down kick if done properly will naturally point and the foot will flex in on the down beat.

Relax and let it happen naturally, on the up beat of the kick the foot will right it self and not point in.

I have not done a kicking set or worried about how fast I kick 25 yards or meters since 1951.

To me the leg action is for balance. I do kick lick hades in a 50 or 100 sprint.

tomtopo
December 11th, 2007, 11:08 AM
If you're not moving without fins, the absence of ankle flexibility would be the first thing a coach would suspect. Feet can act as anchors if they don't flex up and down (plantar and dorsi flexing) properly. There are simple exercises that are designed to help improve ankle flexibility. Stretching them with your hands (pushing and pulling them for 20 second intervals), with your heels and toes touching each other you can sit on the heels, you can roll a towel up under the toes and sit on the heels. There are other exercises that will help improve the dorsi flexsion (toes toward the shins) like; standing on steps with the heels lower than the toes, calf raisers, soleus (the muscle behind the gastrocs (calves) machines Good Luck Coach T.