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  #1  
Old 03-08-2017
notatall notatall is offline
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Default How to kick, when to kick

Iíd found my kicks very unhelpful while I was doing freestyle. And, I got a pull bouy between my thighs to immobilize my legs through the swimming, I had less stroke counts than I did without the tool. It indicates that my kicks did not work for me.
Just donít know how to kick to improve my skill.
Look forward to your advice
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2017
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi notatall,

It's not so much your kick is off, but imbalance, hips are very low - and why you swim easier with a pool buoy. Pull buoy lifts the back end like picking up a wheelbarrow from the handles. Thing of your legs as the handles and your lungs as wheel of wheelbarrow. We all pivot about our lungs. Excessive and/or poorly timed kicking can drive hips even lower too.

Learning balance and core stability, making your legs and hips light without the aid of artificial buoyancy (pull buoy, wetsuit, neoprene pants) is your #1 priority.

Ditch the pull buoy, it's only masking a balance issue you need to address.

Stuart
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Old 03-09-2017
notatall notatall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Hi notatall,

It's not so much your kick is off, but imbalance, hips are very low - and why you swim easier with a pool buoy. Pull buoy lifts the back end like picking up a wheelbarrow from the handles. Thing of your legs as the handles and your lungs as wheel of wheelbarrow. We all pivot about our lungs. Excessive and/or poorly timed kicking can drive hips even lower too.

Learning balance and core stability, making your legs and hips light without the aid of artificial buoyancy (pull buoy, wetsuit, neoprene pants) is your #1 priority.

Ditch the pull buoy, it's only masking a balance issue you need to address.

Stuart
Stuart, Thank you. I think you are right. When I am kicking only, leaving my hands immobilized, no move happens. The cause could be lower hips and legs. So, the thing is imbalance. Achieving the balance between lungs and legs should be the point, right?
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Old 03-09-2017
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notatall View Post
Stuart, Thank you. I think you are right. When I am kicking only, leaving my hands immobilized, no move happens. The cause could be lower hips and legs. So, the thing is imbalance. Achieving the balance between lungs and legs should be the point, right?
Hi notatail,

Yup - that will happen with kicking legs, lots of action and little to no forward movement - often the swimmer will actually move backwards.

Balance is primal/instinct not a cognitive choice Humans will try to solve imbalances with hands and feet first. It takes time to turn off those primary instincts and balance from the middle/core which allow the arms and legs to be soft and fluid.

Think of the middle/core is shoulders to hips. I sometimes refer to it as "your kayak" or the vessel. Build the kayak and balance your vessel - the kayak remains level and tone - doesn't twist or yaw.

Any of the TI books and videos begin with balance as priority - and a progression to "right your vessel" that any human can achieve in a short period of time.

Good luck and enjoy your journey!

Stuart
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Old 03-09-2017
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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Newbie here, so take this or leave it! LOL!

If you are studying Total Immersion swimming, then you will learn to use the kick primarily as an assist to rotation and not so much for propulsion, if I may.

Learning proper balance, or body position, comes first, of course. You absolutely need to minimize the drag that sinking hips and legs creates. As Coach McDougal pointed out, the pullbuoy was correcting your body position and eliminating drag. That is why it took fewer strokes per lap. Without the pullbuoy, legs and hips sank and drag was increased.

But even if you do correct body position it sounds like you are expecting to get a degree of propulsion from your legs/kick.

If you look at the elite swimmers who have a propulsive kick, you will notice two things, namely they have huge feet and they have exceptional foot/ankle flexibility, both of which allow the foot to act more effectively as a flipper.

If you are like me and have more limited ankle flexibility, your feet are just not going to be in a position to propel you all that much.

Last edited by novaswimmer : 03-09-2017 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 03-10-2017
notatall notatall is offline
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I thank Stuart and Nova. Balance is needed first to be achieved. Pullbouy is good tool for correcting my stroke after the balance is achieved. I think it is still a long road to make all things right, thank you both again.
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Old 03-10-2017
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Hi Notatall,

You're welcome. Once you feel balance and stability from the middle, you will feel like a bird riding on a cushion of air.

Re: pull-buoy. The only thing I find them useful for nowadays is tossing like a nerf-ball (from the deck) to get a swimmer's attention. It's takes some skill to bounce one off a moving swim cap :-)

Stuart
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Old 03-28-2017
notatall notatall is offline
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Default kicking is only way to solve the problem of sinking lags when you do freestyle?

Now, I can do balance between my chest and legs and keep all my body flat on the water surface. Itís great. But it happens only when I do nothing with my arms and legs. Iíd tried an experiment by only doing strokes while immobilizing my legs, I found my leg sank that dragged my lower body and slow down my
My question is if kicking is only way to solve the problem of sinking lags when you swim?
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Old 03-29-2017
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notatall View Post
Now, I can do balance between my chest and legs and keep all my body flat on the water surface. It’s great.
Not sure what you are saying. Are you saying you are able to float, face-down in the water for an extended period of time without kicking at all? I could never do that. I'm not that buoyant and have a way-off center of buoyancy, so my legs sink almost immediately when trying to float with no motion. So GOOD FOR YOU! You are blessed with an asset that will help you a lot!

Quote:
But it happens only when I do nothing with my arms and legs. I’d tried an experiment by only doing strokes while immobilizing my legs, I found my leg sank that dragged my lower body and slow down my
If you have good natural buoyancy and a naturally-horizontal body position in the water, but then sink when stroking, perhaps your recovery arm is positioned or 'stacked' above your body as it moves forward. This can push you down. Or you are trying to lift your head for breath?. I think if you could get a video for the coaches to see, that would help ID the problem.

Quote:
My question is if kicking is only way to solve the problem of sinking lags when you swim?
Not the only way. Proper arm positions during recovery, proper spear depth for the underwater arm, and proper head positions (looking down at pool floor), all play a role in obtaining good balance and horizontal buoyancy. Also, look up 'front-quadrant swimming'. Hopefully coaches can elaborate. I don't know all the TI terms.
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Old 03-29-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novaswimmer View Post
Not sure what you are saying. Are you saying you are able to float, face-down in the water for an extended period of time without kicking at all? I could never do that. I'm not that buoyant and have a way-off center of buoyancy, so my legs sink almost immediately when trying to float with no motion.
I probably have heard this from you before, but as someone who rarely encounters anyone with as dense lower body as myself, I am always eager to compare notes.

I find that my heavy legs situation seems to contribute to my lack of balance. As a result I haven't focused on getting good balance as much as I should have. Somewhat belatedly I am finally learning better balance, and it really helps to compensate for lack of leg buoyancy.

When I achieve good horizontal balance, as a consequence my head goes down, and it becomes a real technical problem to get air smoothly with a minimum of bobbing or excessive rotation. Rather than being able to breath with my face facing 90 degrees to the side (like "normal" people), I find it's more like 120 or 135 degrees from 0 degrees straight down, despite all attempts to breath with half the face covered, to breathe with only half the mouth out of the water, to breathe out of the trough of the wave created by your head, etc, etc. I also struggle in achieving the right balance between the slow trickle of air released out of the nose for relaxation, and keeping in enough air above the diaphragm between breaths to avoid total trunk sinkage. (BTW, I should emphasize that my excessive face rotation is purely to reach the surface to get air; I am trying to minimize any extra rotation or mouth elevation more than barely enough to get air, and even then I often fail to get air. My recovery elbow is not stacked above my body, and I make it a point to have my fingers skimming the surface or only just above the surface in a wide arced recovery).

What happens to you, and how do you cope?

Last edited by sclim : 03-29-2017 at 08:49 PM.
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