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Thread: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

  1. #1
    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    I am slow, and when I mean slow, I mean slow. I can do a 26 sec 50 with fins, but without I come in just under 1:20! I think a big part of it is just taking the fins off and doing a lot of kick sets to learn to feel the water better with my feet. I have a good breaststroke kick so I don't think my problem is an overly weak pair of legs, although they could be in better shape. Also, myankles are fairly flexible as I can point my toes and make my feet bend backwards past an even position with my shins. However, I do think that I need to loosen up my ankles when I kick. I feel like I get more out of my kick for those brief moments when I allow my ankles to snap back and forth with my kick. I think I actually need to relax more to kick faster as weird as that sounds.

    I suppose the answer to my question is that I simply need to take of the fins and do kick set after kick set until I learn to feel the water better with my feet and become more efficient.

  2. #2
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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    I've written about kicking in Swim Faster Faster
    Kicking fast is the key to swimming fast.
    http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4229

    You need to
    STOP USING FINS
    STOP saying and believing you can't kick fast


    The big problem is the coach assigns a kick set, the "bad kickers" move to the back of the lane, then proceed to plod through the kick set. (I used to be a bad kicker then I became one of the best kickers on the team.)


    Begin by improving your 25 kicking speed

    Time yourself for
    an all out 25 kick from a dive in streamline position with no board
    find out where you are

    Then time yourself once a week or every other week


    Train and Improve
    Start doing sprint kick sets with lots of rest between each fast kick

    do sets like:
    4 x (3 x 25 swim easy on :45 or 1:00, followed by one 25 FAST kick for time)
    YOU'VE really GOT TO GO FOR IT on the fast kick.
    Pretend it's a LIFE or DEATH MATTER,
    put forth THAT kind of effort.
    Pay attention to your times and work on improving them from one week to the next.
    (Also do half length sprints,

    learn how to:
    1) move your feet fast and
    2) catch and feel water with your feet )

    I swear this WILL WORK
    You'll see remarkable improvements in your kick.

    Also you might not have that great of a toe point
    it helps to stretch your ankles / feet and improve your feet flexibility. generally the more flexible your foot is
    the faster you can kick

    once you have speed then start working on speed endurance
    start doing 50's, 75's and 100's
    ALSO Start learning how to use your new and improved kick when you swim, especially swimming.

    Come up to Austin some time and I'll work with you in person
    or if I ever go down to the coast we can meet at the Aransas Pass pool or where you practice.

    Ande



    Originally posted by Blue Horn
    I am slow, and when I mean slow, I mean slow. I can do a 26 sec 50 with fins, but without I come in just under 1:20! I think a big part of it is just taking the fins off and doing a lot of kick sets to learn to feel the water better with my feet. I have a good breaststroke kick so I don't think my problem is an overly weak pair of legs, although they could be in better shape. Also, myankles are fairly flexible as I can point my toes and make my feet bend backwards past an even position with my shins. However, I do think that I need to loosen up my ankles when I kick. I feel like I get more out of my kick for those brief moments when I allow my ankles to snap back and forth with my kick. I think I actually need to relax more to kick faster as weird as that sounds.

    I suppose the answer to my question is that I simply need to take of the fins and do kick set after kick set until I learn to feel the water better with my feet and become more efficient.
    Last edited by ande; March 8th, 2006 at 03:11 PM.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member Sam Perry's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    Originally posted by ande
    I've written about this in Swim Faster Faster

    you need to STOP USING FINS
    STOP saying you can't kick fast


    begin by improving your 25 speed

    time yourself for an all out 25 kick from a dive in streamline position with no board
    find out where you are

    then time yourself once a week or every other week


    to train and improve
    start doing sprint kick sets with lots of rest between each one

    Like
    4 x (3 x 25 swim easy on :45 or 1:00, on 25 FAST for time)
    YOU'VE really GOT TO GO FOR IT on the fast kick.
    Pretend it's a LIFE or DEATH MATTER, put for that kind of effort.
    pay attention to your times and work on improving them from one week to the next
    I swear this WILL WORK

    Also you might not have that great of a toe point
    it helps to stretch your ankles / feet and improve your foots flexibility. generally the more flexible your foot is
    the faster you can kick

    once you have speed then start working on speed endurance
    50's, 75's and 100's

    come up to austin some time and I'll work with you in person
    or if I ever go down to the coast we can meet at the aransas pass pool
    Ande,

    I am going to take you up on that offer (even though it wasn't for me!) this summer. I am still trying to build my legs back since surgery and need someone who actually knows to watch and give me feedback. As we get closer to the summer (i.e. make plans for our trip to Lake LBJ) I will get in contact with you

    Good luck this weekend...
    These amino acids are awesome, now I need a new Speedo.

  4. #4
    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    Thanks Ande. If I get the chance this summer, I will definitely take you up on your offer. I have a trial at the end of April so things are really nuts right now.

    One quick question: your workout says swim easy, but I assume you meant kick?

    I have been adding a practice where I do the following kick sets these past 4 practices.

    20 x 25 with 10 seconds rest. I have already gotten my 50 time down to 1:09 from 1:20. But that isn't an all out kick. It is a sustained kick going workout speeds. Then I do a 10 x 50 (kick 25 fast, swim 25 easy) All of my kicking I do with a center mount snorkel in stream line so that I focus as much on my kick as possible.

    Thanks again for all of your help. Maybe one day this old breststroker will finally develope a decent freestyle.

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    congratulations
    keep tracking it
    you've got a LOOONG way to go
    You'll be making remarkable improvements for weeks
    if not months

    ande


    Originally posted by Blue Horn
    Thanks Ande. If I get the chance this summer, I will definitely take you up on your offer. I have a trial at the end of April so things are really nuts right now.

    One quick question: your workout says swim easy, but I assume you meant kick?

    I have been adding a practice where I do the following kick sets these past 4 practices.

    20 x 25 with 10 seconds rest. I have already gotten my 50 time down to 1:09 from 1:20. But that isn't an all out kick. It is a sustained kick going workout speeds. Then I do a 10 x 50 (kick 25 fast, swim 25 easy) All of my kicking I do with a center mount snorkel in stream line so that I focus as much on my kick as possible.

    Thanks again for all of your help. Maybe one day this old breststroker will finally develope a decent freestyle.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    Blue Horn - tell us about your progress !

    Right now my barefoot flutter kick for a 25y full blast on a board is about a minute and I'm wrecked at the end. That includes a long streamlined glide off the wall pushoff until I slow to "kicking speed". Without the board, its worse as breathing stops all forward progress. My ankle flexibility is good and I can hyperextend my knees 10 degrees. I have relatively big feet, women's size 11W, and relatively long legs for my height.

    I have been trying to figure out the kick for 15 years. That includes some years when I was in good condition as well as now. I am guessing that part of "good kicking" is just the geometry of the feet and legs. I have big lower legs and ankles and a high arched foot, which I theorize is not as good as thin lowerlegs and ankles with a flatter foot top. Even though my feet are large, when I point my toes it doesn't really extend the leg that much. Any merit to the theory ?

  7. #7
    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    I have noticed that the more I do of these kick sets the more I learn to feel the water with my feet and the more I relax my legs. I will try to do an all out kick in the next few days and set a base like ande said by diving and kicking for 25. Thanks for all of your encouragement.

  8. #8
    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    Ok, I did a dive and all out kick for 25 yards and hit 24. During my work out I did 4 x ( 5 x 25 on 1:00 last one all out with centermount snorkel in stream line) I held 35 on my regular kick lap and on my all out lap I was hiting 27. I am starting to feel the water now and I AM ACTUALLY GOING SOMEWHERE!

    Hopefully I will keep making these types of improvements over the next month or so.

    Thanks again.

  9. #9
    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    Originally posted by nkfrench
    Blue Horn - tell us about your progress !

    Right now my barefoot flutter kick for a 25y full blast on a board is about a minute and I'm wrecked at the end. That includes a long streamlined glide off the wall pushoff until I slow to "kicking speed". Without the board, its worse as breathing stops all forward progress. My ankle flexibility is good and I can hyperextend my knees 10 degrees. I have relatively big feet, women's size 11W, and relatively long legs for my height.

    I have been trying to figure out the kick for 15 years. That includes some years when I was in good condition as well as now. I am guessing that part of "good kicking" is just the geometry of the feet and legs. I have big lower legs and ankles and a high arched foot, which I theorize is not as good as thin lowerlegs and ankles with a flatter foot top. Even though my feet are large, when I point my toes it doesn't really extend the leg that much. Any merit to the theory ?
    You might want to try kicking with a centermount snorkel in the stream line position. I really takes your focus of of everything but the kick. At least it has for me.

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    OK great
    Do the kick set at least 3 x a week

    Start a chart to track your best performances
    ie:


    25 sprint times


    03/04/06 :24


    When you go under 20 for a 25 kick
    start testing 50's as well

    When you go under 45 for a 50 kick
    start testing 75's and 100's

    you can also test different kinds of kicking

    fly
    with and without a board,
    belly, back, or side

    breast with and with out

    indicate if your start was
    from a push or a dive,
    if from a dive was it from a roll start or coaches go

    did you time it or someone else?

    Keep us posted

    Ande


    Originally posted by Blue Horn
    Ok, I did a dive and all out kick for 25 yards and hit 24. During my work out I did 4 x ( 5 x 25 on 1:00 last one all out with centermount snorkel in stream line) I held 35 on my regular kick lap and on my all out lap I was hiting 27. I am starting to feel the water now and I AM ACTUALLY GOING SOMEWHERE!

    Hopefully I will keep making these types of improvements over the next month or so.

    Thanks again.

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    i just updated my original reply and added more info

    Ande

  12. #12
    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    I did my regular kick sets from a push off and my one all out timed set from a dive timed by myself. My breast stroke kick is by far my fasts kick. I can pretty much slap the bottoms of my feet together so I am set up to do that kick genetically.

  13. #13
    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    Update

    I am officially sore. My yardage is down, but my legs are really getting a workout doing a 500 to 1000 kick set a day. I can see that a few months of effort now will pay off in the future.

    Anyway, I am down to under 35 seconds per 25 and even hit a 28 or 29 a few times on my regular sets. I will do an all out 25 from a dive this next weekend.

    What would be a reasonable 3 month goal? What would be a reasonable 6 month and 1 year goal?

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    Active Member ljodpundari's Avatar
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    I'd like to thank Blue Horn for starting this thread. I didn't start swimming competitively until I was 58, and have never been able to kick worth anything. I was doing more like 1:20 per 25 than per 50.

    Anyhow I thought, here's this guy who at least isn't going to lap me in a kick set. What works for him might help me out too. I've now got it down to 45-50 seconds for 25 meters after working on it every practice for ten days. That's all I can do right now (the last 10 meters are sheer pain), but at least I don't die of boredom before the end of the length.

    And I just keep the zoomers around for fly drills and cooldown.

    Tom

  15. #15
    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    I am glad the thread helped and to hear that your kick is improving. keep us informed of your improvements.

  16. #16
    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    Update

    Ande,

    I am still not blazing along, but I am averaging 33 to 32 on regular pace and 26 on my fast 25. I did a dive from the blocks and fast kick and came in around 22 to 23.

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    Re: Update

    Hi Blue Horn,

    great to hear from you

    Are your times yards or meters?



    you should have a coach time you for your test 25's with a stopwatch to measure get your times in 10th's of a second

    add the latest results to your chart


    Blue Horn's times for an
    all out 25 streamline flutter kick

    03/18 :22
    03/04 :24


    To go from 24 to 22 is remarkable improvement
    way to go!

    Ande

    P.S. Pretty soon you'll be ready to start testing 50's as well


    Originally posted by Blue Horn
    Ande,

    I am still not blazing along, but I am averaging 33 to 32 on regular pace and 26 on my fast 25. I did a dive from the blocks and fast kick and came in around 22 to 23.

  18. #18
    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    Unfortunately it is yards. Thanks for all of your help and encouragement!

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    for grins and to walk my talk, today I tested my 25 kicking speed and here were the results


    25 streamline flutter kick from a dive side off the pool roll start with coach timing, I went
    13.1

    then swam easy and rested about 5 minutes then did a

    25 streamline fly kick from a dive side off the pool from a roll start with my coach timing and I went
    11.2
    (I dove in and rolled over on my back)

    both were no breath underwater I broke streamline 2 yards from the wall to touch the wall with one hand


    I believe if I trained to improve my 25 kicks
    hopefully I could get the
    25 flutter kick down to 10 high / 11 low and my
    25 fly kick down to 10 low


    READERS I ENCOURAGE YOU TO:

    + TEST YOURSELF FOR A 25 ALL OUT KICK THEN

    + TRAIN to IMPROVE YOUR KICKING ABILITY AND GET CLOSER TO YOUR TRUE LIMITS THEN

    + RETEST then

    + learn how to apply your new improved kicking ability to your freestyle while you swim

    ande
    Last edited by ande; March 26th, 2006 at 06:58 AM.

  20. #20
    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    Wow, that is some serious speed. Heck your dolfin kick would smoke my whole stroke. If I can ever get below 20 I will be happy. BTW, what would be a realistic goal 3 months from now?

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