Originally Posted by anjaswim
I've been practicing for a few months now (thanks for the last tips, they were very helpful)
I'm struggling with my legs. I just can't get the right feel for them. I realized that I do more like a breast stroke kick (knees too much bent). (I guess that comes from 35 years of breast stroke and never really doing any free style.)
So I have started to not use my legs at all, just to get a feel for how my legs and back move while I stroke. What happens is that then I seem to drag my legs behind me like a happy piece of seaweed, right below the surface but I still can't really figure out how to use them a bit more productively. It's quite amazing that I can still swim with such ease, since i have no upper body strength to speak of (and I could never do free style at all before learning a bit of TI). but I'm of course slow and my legs get a bit bored (and it must look very silly). And most importantly I want to get it right!!
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Dave's advice is good. You might want to try the two beat kick. It's fairly minimalist but its the preferred TI kick. It does require a good bit of coordination but after you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. I learned by doing underswitches. The basic methodology is that kick on the same side that you pull or the opposite side that you spearl. Just do an underswitch drill and everytime you pull flutter kick that leg. The flutter is a simple flick. Practice without breathing so that you can get your timing. It will feel funny at first but it will become more natural. Its important that you flick lightly and with little or no knee bend. If you kick to heavily you will generate more drag than propulsion. The idea is to initiate hip drive and keep your leg in streamline position. Your legs are still not doing a whole lot but they are keeping time with your pull. Don't get too frustrated if you get off on the wrong leg. Just start over. It may take a couple of weeks but you'll get it.