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Thread: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

  1. #41
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    geo,

    I disagree with you, while the arm stroke is most important, swimmers can make dramatic improvements by improving their kick

    ande

    Originally posted by geochuck
    Why don't we call it the way it is, the kick is the least important part of having a great swim time. Make all the splash you want it won't help if you cannot kick properly. When I was a kid one of the best age group crawl swimmers I knew had one leg that had been removed at the hip.

  2. #42
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    blue

    I'll be at aransas pass this weekend
    where do you train in corpus
    what times
    i'd like to hit an a.m. practice

    ande
    AndeRasmussen@aol.com
    512-217-2728 cell

  3. #43
    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ande
    blue

    I'll be at aransas pass this weekend
    where do you train in corpus
    what times
    i'd like to hit an a.m. practice

    ande
    AndeRasmussen@aol.com
    512-217-2728 cell
    I will be surfing this weekend (good surf is expected), but Monday is a different story. Surfing and swimming tend to pu too much strain on my shoulder. Tuesday night I was beat from doing both that day. Then again I did surf for 3 hours straight.

    Will you be in town Monday?

    My mobile phone is (361) 816-2245

  4. #44
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    i'm in aransas pass today through sunday
    guess I should have made that more clear

    where does bill barton coach

    ande

  5. #45
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Ande if you catch up to Bill Barton ask him about the shark at the Blocke Island swim.
    Keep it simple George Park
    Swimsuit Sale http://www.swimdownhill.com/index.html

  6. #46
    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    Bill Coaches at the Corpus Christi Natatorium in the afternoons and Greenwood pool in the mornings. However, we do not have practice on the weekends.

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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    A lot of discussions about the kick training. But it seems no one here explains how to kick correctly. Could someone explain it please? I am a beginner and have no idea on what is a right kick.

  8. #48
    Very Active Member Muppet's Avatar
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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    Quote Originally Posted by ande View Post
    swimmers can make dramatic improvements by improving their kick
    I can agree with this statement... Spent the last two falls with a different broken wrist. Worked with a good coach on doing a lot of legwork (there was a thread from a few months ago about this), and my last two SCY Nats have been incredibly successful, especially considering I spent 3 months each of the year prior to the meet with a cast.

    I liken a strong kick at the end of a long race to that bottle of Nitrus in your car...

  9. #49
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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    Quote Originally Posted by tree View Post
    A lot of discussions about the kick training. But it seems no one here explains how to kick correctly. Could someone explain it please? I am a beginner and have no idea on what is a right kick.
    Kick from the hips/waist; pointed toes, straight legs. only need to move your legs up and down a foot or so (1/3 meter for Tree's metric benefit)

  10. #50
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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    it's kind of hard to describe correct kicking technique with words

    watch someone who does it well and copy them

    ask an expert swimmer or coach to watch you and
    give you specific instructions on how to improve
    then have them watch you as you make adjustments
    when you get it most correct
    repeat that over and over till you lock it into your technique

    ande

    Quote Originally Posted by tree View Post
    A lot of discussions about the kick training. But it seems no one here explains how to kick correctly. Could someone explain it please? I am a beginner and have no idea on what is a right kick.

  11. #51
    Back is faster than Fly poolraat's Avatar
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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    Ande,
    Whe flutter kicking without a board, how do you breathe? I find that when I roll to the side to breathe, I lose my momentum. By the time I get to the other end (25y) I'm so out of breath that it takes 30 sec to a minute to recover enough to do another. I seem to do better with the back (obviously), breast and fly kick and don't have any problem breathing when doing those.

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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    Quote Originally Posted by Muppet View Post
    Kick from the hips/waist; pointed toes, straight legs.
    Thanks. Muppet. I need to work on this KICK FROM HIP thing. Not sure what exactly it is. But really straight legs? no knee bending at all?

  13. #53
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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    you asked "How do you breathe?"
    (when you're doing flutter kick in streamline position, SFK)

    1) develop your ability to do an entire length without a breath,
    without breaking streamline

    2) if the above is not possible, here's 2 options

    take small hand scull up to a half breastroke stroke,
    breathe
    then get back in streamline position

    or

    drop one arm, keeping the other out front
    do a freestyle stroke,
    breathe
    then resume streamlining


    you could also flutter kick on your back

    ande

    Quote Originally Posted by poolraat View Post
    Ande,
    When flutter kicking without a board, how do you breathe? I find that when I roll to the side to breathe, I lose my momentum. By the time I get to the other end (25y) I'm so out of breath that it takes 30 sec to a minute to recover enough to do another. I seem to do better with the back (obviously), breast and fly kick and don't have any problem breathing when doing those.
    Last edited by ande; June 20th, 2007 at 11:29 AM.

  14. #54
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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    no do NOT kick with your legs perfectly straight
    when flutter kicking, in one part of the kick cycle
    there is a slight knee bend

    here's my attempt of describing what happens with one leg during a flutter kick cycle

    the upper leg goes down from the hip (slightly) and the knee bends up (slightly)
    then the upper leg reverses direction as lower leg fully extends downward then quickly pops back up for the next kick

    (the other leg is doing the opposite, toes should be pointed, but you're not straining to hold the point, it's just set in point position)
    your legs should be relaxed, and moving up and down rapidly
    you should feel water pressure on the top of your foot and your shins.

    (it's way better to watch and copy a good kicker than to follow this)

    work on improving feel for the water with your feet
    improve your distance per kick
    count how many kicks it takes you to kick a 25

    the more flexible your feet and ankles are the better kicker you are likely to be, it helps to have big floppy feet.

    you can also do the
    "slap tap kick drill"
    to improve your kicking speed
    you do it by kicking with your feet out of the water, as soon as you feel your foot hit the water
    immediately reverse it
    you do this in 5 or 10 second bursts attempting to move your feet as fast you can

    hope this helps

    ande


    Quote Originally Posted by Li View Post
    Thanks. Muppet. I need to work on this KICK FROM HIP thing. Not sure what exactly it is. But really straight legs? no knee bending at all?

  15. #55
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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    Quote Originally Posted by ande View Post
    no do NOT kick with your legs perfectly straight
    when flutter kicking, in one part of the kick cycle
    there is a slight knee bend

    here's my attempt of describing what happens with one leg during a flutter kick cycle

    the upper leg goes down from the hip (slightly) and the knee bends up (slightly)
    then the upper leg reverses direction as lower leg fully extends downward then quickly pops back up for the next kick

    (the other leg is doing the opposite, toes should be pointed, but you're not straining to hold the point, it's just set in point position)
    your legs should be relaxed, and moving up and down rapidly
    you should feel water pressure on the top of your foot and your shins.

    (it's way better to watch and copy a good kicker than to follow this)

    work on improving feel for the water with your feet
    improve your distance per kick
    count how many kicks it takes you to kick a 25

    the more flexible your feet and ankles are the better kicker you are likely to be, it helps to have big floppy feet.

    you can also do the
    "slap tap kick drill"
    to improve your kicking speed
    you do it by kicking with your feet out of the water, as soon as you feel your foot hit the water
    immediately reverse it
    you do this in 5 or 10 second bursts attempting to move your feet as fast you can

    hope this helps

    ande
    Just came back from pool and experimented the flutter kick. Not sure if I did it correctly.

    It seemed quite hard to integrate a six beat into my swimming. When I just did the kicks, I can kick quite quickly and move forward. But it was another story when I tried to incorporate my kicks into my freestyle swimming. I think what I did was at most a four beat kick, not kicking quick enough. Need more practise.

    Another thing is, should my foot completely kick out of water surface, or just the heels slightly break the surface, or completely submerge in the water while swimming? My feeling was that:
    1, if my foot completely kicks out of water surface, I need to exert very large force to keep my foot out of surface.
    2, if my foot completely submerge in the water, I feel very strong water resistance force, which requires me to kick very hard to maintain the beat.
    In either way, I was forced to kick very hard and become fatigue very soon.
    3, several times I felt relatively easy and comfort. I did not know if it was because my heels just slightly broke the surface( I cannot see them when I swam). Two possible reasons I can think of are: a, I did not kick deep enough as Muppet suggested. The water resistance therefore was less. b, I did kick deep enough. But my heels were out of water, which reduced the water resistance.

    Any thoughts?

  16. #56
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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    bump for syd

    ande

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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    Thanks Ande. I shall get onto those drills immediately. In fact I am going to the pool in 3 hours time and, already, I can't wait to try. I think I have a better idea now of how to kick i.e. from the hip (not from the knee) & with toes pointed.

    Is it okay for your legs to cross over when kicking? Quite frankly I have never seen any of the top swimmers do this and it is worrying me. Last week, on Tuesday, I went my whole 500 warm up without crossing my legs over and concentrated on a consistent side by side flutter kick. At first it felt very awkward and upset my entire rhythm. Later it got to feel a bit better but it was exhausting. I tried a sprint 50 with it but it slowed me down horribly. Am I giving up too quickly? Should I just perservere in the hope that I will eventually find the rhythm?

    Also what are your views on kicking with or without a board. I find holding a board unnatural and when I start swimming again I never kick like that anyway. Or do you still think it worth it to use the board to build up the muscles in the legs?

    I am glad you don't reccommend fins or "flippers" as I call them. They always give me a false sense of speed and then there is that terrible let down when you take them off and start swimming normally again. Do you not reccommend 'hand paddles' for the same reason? I use the hand paddles and I feel they have helped build up muscle but I don't use flippers and anyway they are not allowed at the pool I swim at.

    Finally, who in the world of swimming has a really good kick? The part I am most interested in is how to integrate the arm movements with the leg movements. Whose videos can I watch to help me with this? Thorpe, Hackett? I am much more of a visual person and so when people start to talk about hand entry, catch, etc my mind starts to 'mist' over.

    Thanks for all your help Ande. You are a star. How do you find the time to be a parent, swim train and coach others on the sideline? I am inspired! When you publish that book I will be first in line.

    Sincerely Syd

  18. #58
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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    I have a result! With a push off the wall and four SDK's, body in the streamline position and kicking as if my life depended on it (as Ande suggested)! I went 25.84 for 25m. I did 5 of them and swam 3 easy 25's between each. 25.84 was my fastest time. It was also the last in the set. Ironically my slowest was the one I did with a dive: 27.62. It was the first one. Now I am not sure if that reflects very poorly on my dive or if it was because it was the first and I had not developed a 'feel' for the water yet.

    But I have to admit, even though my time was not great, it felt good and there was a certain exhilaration that I felt when I started to feel that water with my feet. Normally I hate kicking. Today it was a challenge and fun!

    Syd

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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    Congratulations
    25.84 is your starting point

    keep following the plan I outlined at:
    http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=54996&postcount=2

    do this kick set each day:
    8 x 25 flutter kick on 1:00
    odds easy working on feel for the water with your feet and DPK (distance per kick)
    evens blazing fast like your life depended on it for time

    also work on your SDK
    do the same set

    do a 25 all out for time kick once a week
    let us know what those times are

    also work on 10 meter kicks and 15 meter kicks
    you will become a faster kicker


    good luck
    keep us posted

    Ande


    Quote Originally Posted by Syd View Post
    I have a result! With a push off the wall and four SDK's, body in the streamline position and kicking as if my life depended on it (as Ande suggested)! I went 25.84 for 25m. I did 5 of them and swam 3 easy 25's between each. 25.84 was my fastest time. It was also the last in the set. Ironically my slowest was the one I did with a dive: 27.62. It was the first one. Now I am not sure if that reflects very poorly on my dive or if it was because it was the first and I had not developed a 'feel' for the water yet.

    But I have to admit, even though my time was not great, it felt good and there was a certain exhilaration that I felt when I started to feel that water with my feet. Normally I hate kicking. Today it was a challenge and fun!

    Syd

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    Re: Help My Flutter Kick is Horrible!

    A week later and today I went 24.10 off a dive for 25m of flutter kick. I can't imagine that my legs have gotten that much stronger in a week so it must be my technique.

    Are there any dryland exercises that would strengthen kicking muscles? Riding a bike perhaps. Funny I don't really associate swimmers with large calf muscles - not like a bikers anyway. Is that because the kick is supposed to come from the hip?

    I must confess my legs ache like hell when I do these sprint sets and I am as out of breath as if I had swum a 50 at full pace. As a kid kicking was always rest time for me. I never realised it should be hard work as well.

    Thanks Ande!

    Syd

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