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swimust 10-19-2011 08:03 AM

Two questions about the kick
Hi, I started to take breaststroke seriously about two weeks ago and I am learning "the trade".. its (much)more technical than what I expected.
I have 2 questions please:
1) I noticed that I can recover the legs in two ways. I can "sink" and move the thighs vertcially while bringing the heels up, or I can try and keep the thighs as horizontal as possible while bringing the heels up. I tried both ways.
The way I see it, keeping the thighs horizontal is the better way. Thats because you have a better streamline and less drag, and you dont use the thighs muscles which need a lot of energy and strength. The disadvantages are a longer recovery time because the heels need to travel further, and the kick may start upwards instead of backwards and downwards.
I noticed that Kitajima also needs a vertical "half sink" of the thighs during recovery. He is doing both. A bit vertical thighs and a bit horizontal.
I am new to breaststroke. Have I just invented a new kick style (the "horizontal thighs" kick) or is it a well known issue?
As I said, I tried "horizontal thighs" in the water and it feels better for me. This way I dont need to use the thighs during the recovery, and I get a much better streamline and less drag. Maybe its a speed issue because it needs more time to bring the heels up (more distance to cover). Maybe keeping the thighs horizontal cant work at all because it doesnt create enough power? I am still trying that.
I found that issue only yesterday. What do you say?

2) Second question: I noticed that Kitajima is pointing the sole in 45* to the sky (and inwards) while gliding after the kick (on the lateral axis of the sole). Anyone saw that? I guess that its his rest time between the "action". He must be doing it to rest the legs muscles. This means that he keeps the sole lose and relaxed while gliding. He doesnt stretch the feet during the glide. Is that correct?
Many thanks for your help

swimust 10-19-2011 02:12 PM

I am just back from the pool after trying the Kitajima "duck legs" kick, and its the easiest thing to do if you glide with the feet (sole) in the position I described in previous post! Thats the secret!
There is no need for "special ability" with the legs. Of course that I dont claim that I have his kick effect. not yet, ;) but the technique is easy!
He always has the "duck legs" position and he doesnt need to switch this position at all, and thats why its easy.
I also found this kick very powerful and it gives a better propulsion. The recovery is done well (inside the torso lines), and is effortless because the legs are already in duck position before the recovery started (during the glide phase).
Try it. Its easy and effective.
Now, if I could only sort out my hands movement.. I am still "lost a bit" about that. Modern style, clasic style.. etc. I dont master both styles well enough. I need to work on that.

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