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Thread: No kick

  1. #21
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: No kick

    find exercises to increase ankle, foot. See Redbird's ideas above.
    Do you ever see good ,fast swimmers "drag"dead feet& legs behind them? No. You need to work on this till it makes you go forward!

  2. #22
    Very Active Member miklcct's Avatar
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    Re: No kick

    Quote Originally Posted by JPEnge View Post
    Until I watch someone in a modern NCAA or Olympic championship final swim a 50, 100, 200, 400/500 with a dragging kick, I will continue to maintain that a strong kick should be the base of swimming fast for most people.
    Have you seen anyone in Olympic 10 km open water swimming without a strong kick?
    Michael Tsang - software developer & orienteer

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  3. #23
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    Re: No kick

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    I hate to say this, but...

    Without increasing ankle flexibility, which was posted on another thread, it won't matter much if you use a board, snorkel, etc. In and of themselves, they will not improve your kicking ability. Yes, they will improve your body position and reduce frontal drag, but without better ankle flexibility, there will be no increase in forward propulsion.

    So, if you "kick-in-place" or maybe even go backwards when you kick, find exercises to increase ankle, foot, and even toe flexibility to reduce backward drag. There are plenty of them. How successful they will be depends on your specific situation (age, swimming history, etc..). As an aside, the more I bicycle and the older I get, the more time I have to devote to stretching my ankles/toes before I swim to prevent cramps and keep my toe point.

    Good Luck Sumo - don't give up on increasing those tight ankles of yours.
    Co-sign. I am not a great flutter kicker to start with, and I have an ankle that I severely sprained about 4 years ago. That ankle is still tight. When I'm kicking, I can tell the difference between my floppy ankle and my tight ankle. Going to start back on my ankle flexibility exercises, so thank you all for the inspiration!

  4. #24
    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
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    Re: No kick

    Yeah, the ankle flexibility is a big thing. I remember I think it was my sophomore year of high school, I sprained my ankle really badly in the spring playing basketball and had trouble kicking for like half of the next summer.

    Quote Originally Posted by miklcct View Post
    Have you seen anyone in Olympic 10 km open water swimming without a strong kick?
    I'll be honest, I've never watched an Olympic 10k.
    400 IMer/200 backstroker in another life, now sprinter/breaststroker... Yeah, I don't know how that happened either!

  5. #25
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    Re: No kick

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    I hate to say this, but...

    Without increasing ankle flexibility.........
    Well, I for one am glad you did! Not sure why you said you hated to say it (other than repeating the other thread, but as someone who wasn't around back then, I like seeing things that may be "old news" to some folks. That said, I noticed that when I went from lap swimming to following the posted workouts, swimming with fins (UDK sets) KILLED my ankles. Part of that was kicking with my legs, but another part was lack of ankle flexibility. Granted, I'm an odd case in that I quit swimming for exercise over 20 years ago when I broke my ankle (took me 12 years to have it surgically repaired) because I lost all flexibility in it, and the pain was overbearing. It is still not quite as flexible as the other, but it is much better. I mention all this to say that I honestly believe that doing the UDK sets with fins has been a big component in increasing my ankle flexibility. I'll let you more knowledgeable people opine on my anecdote, but since some have argued against fins, I thought I'd bring up a counterpoint.


    Quote Originally Posted by miklcct View Post
    Have you seen anyone in Olympic 10 km open water swimming without a strong kick?
    Actually, many of the distance swimmers like Ledecky and Yang use very little kick for the first 1/2 to 2/3rds of the events. I believe it is because kicking uses a disproportionate amount of oxygen, relative to benefit. Not a problem for short races, but a notable one for purely aerobic events.

  6. #26
    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
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    Re: No kick

    Interesting now that I look - Ledecky actually does a 4-beat kick in her 400. It's a strong 4-beat but it's definitely not classical 6-beat!

    https://youtu.be/mFcDum8eCaA

    And yes, Sun Yang's legs pretty much drag for the first 1400 of his 1500s :P

  7. #27
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    Re: No kick

    67King,

    I agree that kicking with fins can be a nice gentle way to improve ankle flexibility - with one caveat. The kicking action needs to be very similar to your kicking action without fins. Too many swimmers put fins on and proceed to bicycle kick which will not improve ankle flexibility nor kicking speed. And, because they are moving forward, they think they are doing it correctly.

    Like so many of the posts, I have also sprained my ankle and noticed the difference between the feet. The worst case for me was having both ankles in a cast for 9 weeks. That does a number on ankle flexibility. It was very hard to go faster than 2 minutes per 100 when I started swimming again. Fortunately, they loosened up pretty quickly.

    Sumorunner - thanks for posting this thread. I know your ankles feel like they cannot get looser, but I am sure they can improve to some degree if you can find the right exercises/stretches for you. Even calf raisers with full flex and point will help.

    Paul

  8. #28
    Very Active Member Swimspire's Avatar
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    Re: No kick

    There are many different philosophies on the use of the kick in swimming - while some prefer to use the kick, others prefer to rely on the upper body and don't find the kick to be helpful. In my opinion, however, it's best not to rely entirely on your arms and upper body to move you through the water for a variety of reasons - including that kicking creates a good balance between your upper and lower body, you are less prone to shoulder injuries if you maintain both good technique and shift the burden from the upper body and the legs, and finally - if you do have an injury to the upper body, you can focus on your kick while you heal (you don't have to rely exclusively on your upper body to move you through the water).

    I'd encourage everyone to try to learn and develop a winning kick. If you don't practice kicking (correctly and with purpose), you're unlikely to improve. Sumorunner, you should dedicate a portion of each and every practice to kicking. This does not necessarily mean kicking with a board, which at times can be less effective than other kicking drills that help you better improve your kicking technique and better integrate your kick into your fullstroke. There are many drills that emphasize the kick that also include the upper body as well. In terms of ankle flexibility, land exercises and stretches are great, but they may or may not be sufficient to develop increased efficiency in the water - you have to practice in the water to really see improvement in developing your kick.

    You should also get a coach to take a look at how you're swimming and how you're kicking and to provide you with guidance on how to incorporate kicking into your practices in such a way that you actually can see improvement. You should expect that this improvement will come gradually and with consistent practice and the correct use of kicking drills that work for your particular needs. Here is some additional information on why kicking is important: https://www.swimspire.com/to-kick-or...ntial-dilemma/

    Good luck!

  9. #29
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    Re: No kick

    https://swimswam.com/biomechanics-st...yTzsfm0nnx0G8A

    I'm throwing this link out there without fully digesting the study. It may be complete BS. Apologies if it is. I'm just grasping at straws right now.
    Current PRs: 25m-:16.8/50m-:36.5/100m-1:21.0/200m-2:55.5/400m-6:15/800m-12:50/1600m-26:37.

    My main swimming goal: Sub6min 400m by the end of 2019.

  10. #30
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    Re: No kick

    Quote Originally Posted by Skuj View Post
    https://swimswam.com/biomechanics-st...yTzsfm0nnx0G8A

    I'm throwing this link out there without fully digesting the study. It may be complete BS. Apologies if it is. I'm just grasping at straws right now.
    Unless I am missing something, I'd call it complete BS. I read the study. The word "kick" appears 0 times, as in zero, nada, zilch, none, in the paper. And in one of the methods, they adapt a system used for ships with propellers, where the props are a propulsive force component. This study used the arms as that propulsive force.

    The editorializing by Swimswam appears to only focus on the drag component. Well, of course the legs create drag, and as any body moving through a fluid, that drag is squared relative to speed. However, if the propulsive force added by the legs exceeds the drag, then kicking is beneficial. Unless I am missing something, that is not brought up at all.

    Swimswam published another article a few months ago where someone was speculating similar things. It was complete speculation, and the person was from a smaller country not really known for swimming (only mentioned because I doubt there were resrouces available to help said person test said theory). I had a problem with it because there was no data to support the speculation. Seems there are some folks at that site who have an aversion to kicking. Wonder why?

  11. #31
    Very Active Member Swimspire's Avatar
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    Re: No kick

    I also found what appears to be video footage of some of the participants from the study (http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201807160003.html)

    The snapshots below show a knee bend in the kick, which could cause considerable resistance, thus slowing them down the more they kick. A poor kicking technique would certainly affect the rate of speed, and the technique of these swimmers could skew the study against the use of the kick.




  12. #32
    Very Active Member Sumorunner's Avatar
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    Re: No kick

    Result: ankle tendontitis
    I guess I tried too hard. I was kicking a little better by mid July, but combining bike & run too was an overload. I'm not so young any more. Masters team training begins again this week after a summer hiatus. I'll go, but must be cautious.

  13. #33
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: No kick

    As we age the only “trying” we can do in workouts is to try not to injure ourselves

  14. #34
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: No kick

    I do toe raises on a step or the edge of some gym equipment to strengthen my ankle and calf muscles. I do sets of 25 x 3 to do this.

  15. #35
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    Re: No kick

    Hi! I'm very new to this whole swimming thing My daughter is doing high school varsity swim. Here's my question... she flies past everyone, and laps most when doing kicking drills with a kickboard and snorkel. The coach speechless. Her speed is kind of freaky, actually. Then, when it's time for a stroke, she's in the bottom half of finishers. What is the deal?? How can we fix this?

    Thanks everyone!
    Sue

  16. #36
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: No kick

    Does she do well in sprinting events?

  17. #37
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    Re: No kick

    Quote Originally Posted by OLEYNEK View Post
    Hi! I'm very new to this whole swimming thing My daughter is doing high school varsity swim. Here's my question... she flies past everyone, and laps most when doing kicking drills with a kickboard and snorkel. The coach speechless. Her speed is kind of freaky, actually. Then, when it's time for a stroke, she's in the bottom half of finishers. What is the deal?? How can we fix this?

    Thanks everyone!
    Sue
    Have you talked to her coach? A lot of kids don't put forth as much effort on kick sets as they do on normal ones. That may be a factor. And since it is just a HS team, the USA swimmers who are less likely to take it easy on the kicking are probably not practicing with the HS team, but rather their club teams. She may just have a really, really strong kick, which may be another. Of course, she may not be coordinating her kick with her pull when the whole stroke comes. So there are three things that pop into my mind that may answer the "what is the deal??" part of your post. As for fixing it......only one of those would require fixing. Which brings me back to.....have you talked to her coach?

  18. #38
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    Re: No kick

    Quote Originally Posted by 67King View Post
    Have you talked to her coach? ....have you talked to her coach?
    That might be useful but the OP notes:
    Quote Originally Posted by OLEYNEK View Post
    ... The coach speechless.
    You might want to speak with another coach.

    Also, the forumites here might be able to give more insight with some times, age, years swimming, etc.
    For example, if you daughter is doing repeat 100s kick sub 1:30 on the 2:00 send-off while her teammates are barely making the interval that's one thing, but if she is taking 1:30 to kick a 50 while her teammates are taking 1:45 that's another thing. (In the first case you have a truly good kicker on your hands, in the second the difference isn't especially radical.)
    Next, if we know her swim times relative to her kick times it will be easier to guesstimate whether there is actually a problem with her swimming, or just an anomalously fast kick relative to her team.

    I don't see that a fast kick is ever a bad thing though! Sounds like fun!

  19. #39
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    Re: No kick

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_S View Post
    That might be useful but the OP notes:
    I inferred that to mean that the coach was impressed with the kicking ability of the subject swimmer?

  20. #40
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    Re: No kick

    So, tonight I went to a coached session. Part of the session involved a hard 400m followed by, a few minutes later, a hard 200m. I obliged with a surprisingly pleasant feeling 6:20, followed by a somewhat tired/messy 3:04.

    And then, there was a 100m kick portion. I went absolutely nowhere. Maybe I went backwards? We agreed to just skip this part of the session for me. The coach seemed....surprised.

    What will it take for me to actually move forward on kicking-only, and how much does it really matter?

    I was a hardcore runner for 45 years before taking up swimming this year. Did all of that running guarantee my current "kicking" situation?

    I want sub 6min 400m by the end of this year. What % of importance is the "kick"? Does it merely stabilize me? Some comments in this thread regarding some world-class swimmers dragging their feet for most of a 1500m gives me some (false?) hope.

    Thanks for any imput you may provide.
    Current PRs: 25m-:16.8/50m-:36.5/100m-1:21.0/200m-2:55.5/400m-6:15/800m-12:50/1600m-26:37.

    My main swimming goal: Sub6min 400m by the end of 2019.

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