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Thread: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

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    Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Hi i counted my dolphin kicks after flip turn and i took 11 dolphin kicks to reach the 15m mark. Is that a good number? those dolphin kick were swift and fast ones. Should i dolphin kick after walls or just flip turn and freestyle?
    I am aiming for 5-6 dolphin kicks for a 200m freestyle race.
    Also is there any advantage for dolphin kicking off walls instead of just transitioning to normal freestyle?

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedoRocks View Post
    Hi i counted my dolphin kicks after flip turn and i took 11 dolphin kicks to reach the 15m mark. Is that a good number? those dolphin kick were swift and fast ones. Should i dolphin kick after walls or just flip turn and freestyle?
    I am aiming for 5-6 dolphin kicks for a 200m freestyle race.
    Also is there any advantage for dolphin kicking off walls instead of just transitioning to normal freestyle?
    You counted your dolphin kicks after flip turn and took 11 dolphin kicks to reach the 15m mark.
    Is that a good number?

    Maybe, it's all a matter of SPEED, FATIGUE, and the need to breathe.

    those dolphin kickS were swift and fast ones.
    Should i dolphin kick after walls or just flip turn and freestyle?

    It depends, you should do what helps you do the fastest overall time in your race
    I"ve written a lot about SDKing in Swim Faster Faster and recommend you experiment with different kick counts, test and time
    Come up with a kick count strategy for each race.
    also test your times for SFK (streamline flutter kick)


    I am aiming for 5-6 dolphin kicks for a 200m freestyle race.
    that's a lot and difficult to do on your 6th, 7th & 8th length

    Also is there any advantage for dolphin kicking off walls instead of just transitioning to normal freestyle?
    Possibly, which is why I suggest test your SDK vs your SFK and figure out what works best.
    Some swimmers SFK faster than they SDK

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    5-6 kicks on a 200m free is a lot..... just do 2-3 and get up and get moving. Phelps does that many kicks off the last wall ..... which is very demanding.

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by Average John Smith View Post
    5-6 kicks on a 200m free is a lot..... just do 2-3 and get up and get moving. Phelps does that many kicks off the last wall ..... which is very demanding.
    Phelps did that many kicks
    not sure he's in shape to do that now but there's no doubt he could regain that ability with a little training

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    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    11 kicks to get to 15 meters is pretty good DPK; I need 11-12 usually.

    Although he's the expert on the 200 free, I'll disagree with AJS in principle. I do 5 kicks off every wall in the 200 free and don't think it hurts me (quite the opposite); I do more than that (usually 7) on the 200 back.

    Whether it is a good idea or not depends on how well conditioned you are for it and how fast your kick is. It is not something you should do out of the blue, you should test it (extensively) in practice under conditions that mimic your race.

    One nice thing about masters: you've got some time to test the waters, so to speak. Try upping your kick by 1 for a year and see if it changes anything, for better or worse. Then continue as needed.

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Though an old clip and a 100 free, popov just coasted off the wall starting flutter kicks at breakout to win in 96. Maybe conserving his energy since he was even with HallJr for the lead

    @6:10.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...6r3XU4SY#t=380

    Just thought it was kinda interesting

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    Very Active Member Swimspire's Avatar
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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedoRocks View Post
    Hi i counted my dolphin kicks after flip turn and i took 11 dolphin kicks to reach the 15m mark. Is that a good number? those dolphin kick were swift and fast ones. Should i dolphin kick after walls or just flip turn and freestyle?
    I am aiming for 5-6 dolphin kicks for a 200m freestyle race.
    Also is there any advantage for dolphin kicking off walls instead of just transitioning to normal freestyle?

    Hi SpeedoRocks,

    Lately, dolphin kick has become the better option off of the walls during races. However,from what I saw in your freestyle video (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...reestyle-video), you need to work more on improving the efficiency of your dolphin kick before you can try for 5-6 kicks out of each wall in a 200m freestyle race.

    For now, I would suggest not worrying so much about how many dolphin kicks you take out of each wall, as much as I would concentrate on how efficient your dolphin kicks are (however many or few they may be). In the video, you are taking 2 dolphin kicks off of the wall - I think given your level, 5-6 kicks at this point would be more of a disadvantage than a benefit. If you continue to improve the strength and speed of your dolphin kick, you can try taking more kicks during practice. Its better to experiment and work on technique issues in practice than in a race. Bringing any new element into a race without trying it in practice first throws in the additional variable of uncertainty.

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson View Post
    . ..... I do 5 kicks off every wall in the 200 free and don't think it hurts me (quite the opposite); ......
    That is impressive. I would blow apart with that much time underwater on a 200 free ..... :-)

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by Average John Smith View Post
    That is impressive. I would blow apart with that much time underwater on a 200 free ..... :-)
    I was lucky to witness this impressive perspective of UW capacity last year (both 2 bk and free scm). He would disappear then pop up 15M down at the other end for the brief 10m swim before doing it again. Easy to loose sight of where he was at each point in time.

    He is a human porpoise

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    ...He is a human porpoise
    I believe it was ande who coined the phrase, "hung in the lung" to describe Chris.

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    I was lucky to witness this impressive perspective of UW capacity last year (both 2 bk and free scm). He would disappear then pop up 15M down at the other end for the brief 10m swim before doing it again.
    Thanks for the praise, however exaggerated; it sure would be nice to go 15m in 5 dolphin kicks (instead of 11-12)! But realize that John is the real expert here in the 200 free, though too modest (and out of shape) to admit it. I just dabble. He is right to think about the effect that early kicking does on the last 50, which is painful enough as it is.

    The bottom line is that the "proper" number of kicks is going to vary from person to person based on how good a kicker you are and your conditioning level (and habits in practice). I think it is a good idea to experiment and see what works best, and also to revisit the issue if you work hard on improving your underwater kicking and conditioning.

    I seem to remember someone in another kicking-related thread claiming that kickers are made, not born. While certainly one can always improve any aspect of swimming, I would have to disagree with that statement (putting aside false modesty: I was a better kicker at 8 years old than some ever get to be). Some people are natural-born kickers and others aren't. For example, if your ankles can't hyperextend a lot then I wouldn't worry too much about dolphin kicking and just get up to the surface and start swimming.

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson View Post
    I was a better kicker at 8 years old than some
    As for my UW speed I'm not much of a kicker there but I'll still practice and try to improve, then (like you mentioned) experiment to see what might work best though.
    Last edited by __steve__; October 9th, 2013 at 10:27 PM.

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson View Post
    Thanks for the praise, however exaggerated; it sure would be nice to go 15m in 5 dolphin kicks (instead of 11-12)! But realize that John is the real expert here in the 200 free, though too modest (and out of shape) to admit it. I just dabble. He is right to think about the effect that early kicking does on the last 50, which is painful enough as it is.

    The bottom line is that the "proper" number of kicks is going to vary from person to person based on how good a kicker you are and your conditioning level (and habits in practice). I think it is a good idea to experiment and see what works best, and also to revisit the issue if you work hard on improving your underwater kicking and conditioning.

    I seem to remember someone in another kicking-related thread claiming that kickers are made, not born. While certainly one can always improve any aspect of swimming, I would have to disagree with that statement (putting aside false modesty: I was a better kicker at 8 years old than some ever get to be). Some people are natural-born kickers and others aren't. For example, if your ankles can't hyperextend a lot then I wouldn't worry too much about dolphin kicking and just get up to the surface and start swimming.
    SpeedoRocks, I just wanted to add to my last post and let you know that your drive and desire to improve your swimming, to work hard and to experiment with different techniques is really inspiring.

    The point of this forum is to help and encourage our fellow Masters swimmers, to be a positive force, and to give them hope in the pursuit of their dreams, as opposed to claiming that some are just "born" with it and encouraging them to just settle for less.


    You have to believe that anything is possible and that you CAN improve your strength and speed at any age and at any level, while keeping realistic expectations as to how quickly that improvement will come.


    Keep up the great work and never settle for less!

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimspire View Post
    The point of this forum is to help and encourage our fellow Masters swimmers, to be a positive force, and to give them hope in the pursuit of their dreams, as opposed to claiming that some are just "born" with it and encouraging them to just settle for less.
    Sometimes settling for less is faster and for me , less than 11 kicks definately is. Everyone has strengths and weeknesses and using them in a manner to maximize performance I think was the point.

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    Sometimes settling for less is faster and for me , less than 11 kicks definately is. Everyone has strengths and weeknesses and using them in a manner to maximize performance I think was the point.
    Steve, the number of kicks was not my point. You may have missed my first post. Here it is, for your convenience:

    Hi SpeedoRocks,

    Lately, dolphin kick has become the better option off of the walls during races. However,from what I saw in your freestyle video (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...reestyle-video), you need to work more on improving the efficiency of your dolphin kick before you can try for 5-6 kicks out of each wall in a 200m freestyle race.

    For now, I would suggest not worrying so much about how many dolphin kicks you take out of each wall, as much as I would concentrate on how efficient your dolphin kicks are (however many or few they may be). In the video, you are taking 2 dolphin kicks off of the wall - I think given your level, 5-6 kicks at this point would be more of a disadvantage than a benefit. If you continue to improve the strength and speed of your dolphin kick, you can try taking more kicks during practice. Its better to experiment and work on technique issues in practice than in a race. Bringing any new element into a race without trying it in practice first throws in the additional variable of uncertainty.

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimspire View Post
    ..........The point of this forum is to help and encourage our fellow Masters swimmers, to be a positive force, and to give them hope in the pursuit of their dreams, as opposed to claiming that some are just "born" with it and encouraging them to just settle for less. You have to believe that anything is possible and that you CAN improve your strength and speed at any age and at any level, while keeping realistic expectations as to how quickly that improvement will come........
    Chris and Ande are correct. Great kickers are usually born ..... (as are breast strokers). You can certainly improve your abilities ....... but genetics rule in the end. It's just life.

    Back to the issue..... Chris is an exception in my opinion ..... Unless you are in GREAT shape, don't spend too much time underwater on a 200 free. For old people, it isn't worth the trade off in terms of lost oxygen by the end of the race. You'll crater the last 50.
    Last edited by Average John Smith; October 10th, 2013 at 01:03 PM.

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by Average John Smith View Post
    Chris and Ande are correct. Great kickers are usually born ..... (as are breast strokers). You can certainly improve your abilities ....... but genetics rule in the end. It's just life.
    Back to the issue..... Chris is an exception in my opinion ..... Unless you are in GREAT shape, don't spend too much time underwater on a 200 free. For old people, it isn't worth the trade off in terms of lost oxygen by the end of the race. You'll crater the last 50.
    Keep your kick counts high and crater in your races
    It's an excellent way to entertain your friends at meets

    Death by 200 fly seems to work the best



    http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...What-to-NOT-do

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by Average John Smith View Post
    Chris and Ande are correct. Great kickers are usually born ..... (as are breast strokers). You can certainly improve your abilities ....... but genetics rule in the end. It's just life.
    And I remember Gary Hall touched on this here a while back. To paraphrase--if I'm remembering correctly--he said the kick is a dangerous weapon and you should work on it, BUT if you're not a good kicker you're probably never going to be a great kicker, so concentrating on it too much is probably a waste of time.

    I think many swimmers, and maybe masters swimmers especially, need to keep this in mind. Just because some people can swim faster by doing a lot of SDKing doesn't mean everyone can. If you're faster on the surface then swim on the surface! You've got to remember that the goal is to swim is as fast as you can, not to look like Ryan Lochte.

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by knelson View Post
    And I remember Gary Hall touched on this here a while back. To paraphrase--if I'm remembering correctly--he said the kick is a dangerous weapon and you should work on it, BUT if you're not a good kicker you're probably never going to be a great kicker, so concentrating on it too much is probably a waste of time.

    I think many swimmers, and maybe masters swimmers especially, need to keep this in mind. Just because some people can swim faster by doing a lot of SDKing doesn't mean everyone can. If you're faster on the surface then swim on the surface! You've got to remember that the goal is to swim is as fast as you can, not to look like Ryan Lochte.
    Gary Hall actually appears to take the opposite view, from the articles that I have read. In his Finis blog from December 7, 2012, he debunks the myth that "kicking is overrated". (http://www.finisinc.com/blog/events/...ths-debunked-6).

    In another article from Triathlete magazine in May 2013, he says "The good news about kicking is that if you don’t have good flexibility in your ankles, you can develop it very quickly (within weeks) and increase your propulsion without swimming harder." He encourages swimmers to improve their kick and emphasizes the importance of the kick in swimming. (http://triathlon.competitor.com/2013...wim-kick_75540)

    It's a huge discouragement to tell new swimmers that they may as well give up if they don't have a strong kick from the outset. It's true that you can be born with specific physical attributes that may give you an edge over the competition, but that does not mean that someone else can't surpass you through hard work and smart coaching.

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    Re: Dolphin kick off walls - freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by Average John Smith View Post
    Great kickers are usually born ..... (as are breast strokers). You can certainly improve your abilities ....... but genetics rule in the end. It's just life.
    I always get lapped by my team mates during flutter kick, but i was faster than them at the dolphin kick. So what is that suppose to mean?

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