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Thread: FR Stroke weakness?

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    FR Stroke weakness?

    At the pool yesterday I was doing some pull sets w the buoy thing between my legs and noticed my times were not much slower on a 25y basis than I do when I add the kick. Is it safe to say my kick is my weakness or do most people do their pull sets close to their kick sets?

    I also felt like I was able to do sets quicker with my br kick vs flutter kicker. I assume that is fairly common as well.

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    Very Active Member mlabresh's Avatar
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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    I think it's pretty normal to be faster at pulling than kicking. My pulling is nearly as fast as my swim. My kick is fast (I normally swim with advanced kids and am one of the fastest kickers in the pool), but not as fast as my swim. Most of the power in your swim is going to come from your pull. BUT, having a good strong kick will give you a big speed boost in your swim.

    As far as your breast stroke kick being faster than your flutter kick.. do you mean when just kicking? My flutter kick is faster than my breast stroke kick. However, I had to correct a bad breaststroke kick over the last year, so it's still not all that strong.
    ~Megan

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    Yes just when I do my br kick.

    I feel like my kick is extremely weak especially for someone as large as I am 6'1 250, and before someone says well you have slow feet I am actually fairly fast and quick for my size. I feell its the part that is really holding me back... guess that means its time to really focus on it for a while!

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    Very Active Member mlabresh's Avatar
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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    Yeah, if you work on strengthening it, it will improve your speed. I would say, go over the common problems with kick - are you bending your knees? are you flexing your feet? Make sure you keep your legs straight and start your kick from your hips. Also make sure you have your toes pointed. Do you use fins at all?
    ~Megan

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    Quote Originally Posted by sok454 View Post
    At the pool yesterday I was doing some pull sets w the buoy thing between my legs and noticed my times were not much slower on a 25y basis than I do when I add the kick. Is it safe to say my kick is my weakness or do most people do their pull sets close to their kick sets?
    I used to be about the same with and without paddles/buoy. Now, I'm much faster with them. Part of it is building the strength to turn over the paddles (especially if you have larger ones) and part of it is just getting used to them. The buoy helps me a lot because it allows me to hold a better body position in the water without any effort.
    Quote Originally Posted by sok454 View Post
    I also felt like I was able to do sets quicker with my br kick vs flutter kicker. I assume that is fairly common as well.
    Dolphin kickers seem to be the fastest. I'm not very good at it but I'm getting better. l wouldn't be surprised if this was my best kick in 2-3 years. For 25... maybe 50 yards, my flutter kick is faster than breaststroke kick. After that, my breaststroke kick is going to be much quicker. I just can't turn over my breaststroke kick fast enough to keep up with flutter kick. But I can kick breaststroke for a long time at a fairly quick pace. I'm not sure if I'm "normal" though. Seems like most people I swim with are better flutter kickers.

    I've worked on stretching my ankles to get better flexibility out of them. Fins kind of do the same thing. This has greatly improved both my dolphin and flutter kick.

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    In practice My pull is only a marginal amount behind my full swim times. In longer sets I tend to pull marginally faster than I swim. However, in practice, my all out fastest sprint pull time is leaps and bounds behind my fastest sprint full swim times because then and only then do I engage the size 15's. Its too tiring to kick hard during practice unless its during a kick set or a sprint. For normal "bangin-yardage" time i mostly do a lazy 2 beat crossover just to keep the ass out of the water, or grab a bouy.

    So you can't really imply a weak kick just because you pull faster in practice swimming. However you have something to work on if your sprint pulls are faster or even close to your sprint times. Once you engage the legs there should be a big difference in sprint speed.

    I don't use fins/paddles for pulling or otherwise.

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    I have not used fins/paddles at all. I thought about getting the fins as my next purchase for training.

    Dang size 15?!?!? How big are you?

    I think I am going to start doing a lot more pull sets with the buoy as I felt like it gave me the sense of what it should feel like to have a good stream line position.

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    Very Active Member mlabresh's Avatar
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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    You may want to pick up some fins. Some short blades like the Finis Zoomers or other training fins. They will help strengthen and stretch your ankles. Paddles are great for giving you a better feel on your catch and on your hand entry position. I use my pull buoy every day. I use my paddles 2-3x a week. I use my fins 1-2x a week (I also have breaststroke fins that I use on occasion). The Finis Positive Drive fins are great if you want to be able to do breaststroke with fins on as well. I got some for my husband and he loves them.

    After swimming for the past year doing planned workouts with either Masters or my kids' team, I got into the habit of the typical warm-up: 200-400 swim, 200 pull, 200 kick. So I use my buoy and my board every workout.
    ~Megan

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    I think the buoy does help you to hold a good streamline position. And a consequence of that is that you can then use your hands mostly for propulsion and less for balance. You can replicate the good positioning when not using the buoy by lowering your head and lifting your hips.

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    My issue since I started in January has been increasing my core strength. Which over the past 9-10 weeks has improved a lot but I think if I did more dryland core training I would see the effects faster.

    The other thing I've been working on this week and last week has been my breathing. I've gotten to where I am comfortable taking 1 breath on a push off 25 and not thinking i'm going to die at the end. Also I've been working on maximizing the DPS and EVF. Just so many pieces to the puzzle.

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    Quote Originally Posted by sok454 View Post
    I think I am going to start doing a lot more pull sets with the buoy as I felt like it gave me the sense of what it should feel like to have a good stream line position.
    Be careful overusing/improperly paddles. It can lead to shoulder problems.

    I'll second the Finis Positive Drive fins. I can't keep up with the long bladers but I can kick full IM sets and they can't. One of the things I really like about them is that if I kick wrong, they just slide side ways through the water and I go nowhere. The thing I dislike the most about them is that when I swim too fast, they fill with water and begin separating from my feet.

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    OH I wasn't going to use the paddles. Maybe i'm misunderstanding the idea of pull sets. Are they not sets where you are using a buoy and only utilizing your upper body?

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    Quote Originally Posted by fmracing View Post
    In practice My pull is only a marginal amount behind my full swim times. In longer sets I tend to pull marginally faster than I swim. However, in practice, my all out fastest sprint pull time is leaps and bounds behind my fastest sprint full swim times because then and only then do I engage the size 15's. Its too tiring to kick hard during practice unless its during a kick set or a sprint. For normal "bangin-yardage" time i mostly do a lazy 2 beat crossover just to keep the ass out of the water, or grab a bouy.

    So you can't really imply a weak kick just because you pull faster in practice swimming. However you have something to work on if your sprint pulls are faster or even close to your sprint times. Once you engage the legs there should be a big difference in sprint speed.

    I don't use fins/paddles for pulling or otherwise.
    I have a two-beat crossover kick - I have trouble trying to kick more beats per stroke because my feet still try to cross over. Do you have this problem and if so do you also have a solution?
    "Librarians are hiding something." - Stephen Colbert

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    We always assume that pull = paddles + buoy but different teams do different things. I wouldn't assume that my interpretation is correct.

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    The pull buoy likely improves your body position, bringing your hips and heels to the surface of the water, which reduces your frontal drag.

    Freestyle kick is likely not propulsive, but helpful in counteracting the forces by your arms (Brooks 2000; Deschodt 2009).

    Question your route of training, consider using these methods for improvement (cf.
    http://www.stack.com/2012/08/16/freestyle-swim-kick/).

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    Quote Originally Posted by sok454 View Post
    Dang size 15?!?!? How big are you?
    6'2"-6'3", 225lbs 6'8" armspan

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    Quote Originally Posted by ekw View Post
    I have a two-beat crossover kick - I have trouble trying to kick more beats per stroke because my feet still try to cross over. Do you have this problem and if so do you also have a solution?
    Not really. Actually my problem for almost my whole swimming career not including the last few years was that I didn't kick AT ALL when i would practice unless it was a sprint or a kick set. Its only the more recent couple years that I picked up doing something, anything, with my feet during a normal pace practice swim. This has manifested itself to a 2 beat crossover because I am lazy. I can, when not so lazy, go to a normal two beat, and even a light 6 beat without any problems. My sprints though, I swear there is no connection between my feet and my arms, so it could be a 6, 7, 8, or whatever beat. I am unsure. I just kick my ass off for 22 seconds, lol.

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    Dang man. I bet you can really fly then!

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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    Quote Originally Posted by sok454 View Post
    Dang man. I bet you can really fly then!
    I'm tryin anyway

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: FR Stroke weakness?

    Quote Originally Posted by fmracing View Post
    6'2"-6'3", 225lbs 6'8" armspan
    You are a fast swimmer by design

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