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  #1  
Old 07-06-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Default Kicking from the knee

Found some interesting footage that shows a possible problem with kicking from the knee and why its so hard to cure.
I believe the inside-out action happens between knees and shoulders.
So whats happening between knees and shoulders determines the foundation of your stroke.
Now, with exttreme kicking of the knee, the timing of the upperleg relative to the rest of the bodymovement is often the opposite as is wanted.
Watch the upperleg timing relative to the pull and spear of the first swimmer and compare with the two other swimmers.
The upperleg moves UP when same side pulls and other side spears, when it should move DOWN.
So the internal timing is totally off, even if the kick on itself as a whole could be well timed.
With this kind of extreme kneebending the upward thrust of the lowerleg must overcome the downward thrust of the upperleg.
Lower and upperleg are working agianst each other, where the lower leg wins because its ampliude and speed are bigger, but they are still battling each other.

Shinji also has some kneebend, but here the upperleg moves DOWN when he pulls and spears, and the lowerleg action is more an extension of that movement finishing it off like a whip.
The last swimmer arguably has the best kick in my opinion. Looks the most streamlined and aquatic. Could be only people with flexible ankles and hip flexors can kick efficiently this way.

So , dont watch only for the kneebend on itself, or the timing of the whole leg, but watch for the timing of the upperleg.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwc4zTXb8iI#t=62.634937

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BJCxP6RcjE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icUsOIrXO1Y

To show an example of someone who seems to have a good kicktiming, but has essentailly almost the same legtiming as the first swimmer.
Not going tro make friends now, but Luisas upperlegtiming is 180 degrees off.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-UApi0Dr1U

Dryland kicking and pulling on a mattrass with a firm pillow under the knees can expose this timing fault in your stroke.
Arms next to body. Kick in the vertical direction and move shoulders in the horizontal direction forward and rearward.. Keep all the conscious action between shouilders and knees. Arms are dragged over the mattrass by ths shoulders as dead meat.
Right knee down (left knee up) when right shoulder moves back to pull (and left shoulder moves forward to spear).
Change right for left and ciontinue. Keep it fluid. Does this internal timing feel like what you do in the pool?
Its no rocket science.

This upperlegtiming is a common threat for all good swimmers using hip-legsnap to power their stroke
Anchoring the leg in the water and snap the hips from this anchor.
The irritating thing is that you can also get a powerful snapping feeling from thrusting with the lower leg like the first swimmer is doing.
Once you have ingrained this timing, which seems to work also, its damn hard to get rid of it so dont start with it in the first place.
Anyway, look at Katie Ledeckys left upperleg action how it enhances her stroke in the most effective way.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUtde_vtmIQ
Ledecky is half shoulder driven, so is this kick more usefull in a shoulder diven style compared to a TI style?
Manadou is full shoulder driven and has ledeckys left leg kick on both sides
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbelgVrdsSk
Why is it called shoulder driven when the kcik-hipsnap is obviously a big part of the stroke?

Last edited by Zenturtle : 07-08-2016 at 10:26 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Joel has basically a very nice stroke.
Very good at skating and gliding from edge to edge, but watching carefully he also has a wrong kneetiming, so the wrong internal clock timing.
When the hip goes up, his knee goes up relative to the hip, when it should go down or move up togwether with the hip. Its not much, and the long lowerleg with what seems to be a big foot surface overruling the relatively small oppositte direction of his upperleg.
Looks to me one of his biggest anchor in the water is his lower leg from knee to toe.
This surface is synced up nicely with his underwaterpull.
Kicking from the knee is always a relative short and snappy movement compared to whole leg kicking from the hip.
IF you link your arm movement to that movement its bound to be short and snappy too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA-IsUxvX8U
So my theorie is that the cause of Joels slightly ripping pull is linked to his kneekicking technique with the wrong internal timing. If he kicks hard, he pulls hard.
A good kneetiming puts the whole body on a stretch that gives a long and slow rebound (especially with a 2BK). Connecting the anchor at the front with that total body rebound automatically gives a smooth and long pull.
Thats real full body swimming.
Opposite timing kneekicking will never release this potental and you will get stuck on a certain level.
In Joels case its a high level already, but he can do better.

I am experienting with this stuff myself, so I see I am exagerating when looking at Sun Yangs kick wich is the most close to some of the TI swimmers.
He doesnt have a kick like Ledecky, but he never moves his knee up relative to his hip when the lower leg kicks downward either.
His upper leg is more like a rod that transfers the force of the lowerleg kick right to his hip, pushing the hip up and around. Very much like Shinjis kicking technique.
He has some stretch from fornt to rear at his catch but its released early in the pull and when the kick is done he still has to do a whole push phase so here a short kick is combined with a very long pull/push.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvM3JYC--hM
Personally I am more into Ledecky style, so thats the context to place all this rambling in.
Still, kneekicking is better avoided in any style I guess.

Looking at Luisa again I think a lot of it can be explained by the TI focus on spearing instead of pulling.
She pushes herself forward with the lower leg into the opposite side spear rather than stretching out the lower side to contract again at the pull.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 07-08-2016 at 10:32 AM.
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  #3  
Old 07-08-2016
Penguin Penguin is offline
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From time to time over the last couple of years, I have been trying to focus on bending my leg backwards at the hip joint. I had seen some youngsters on a local swim team swinging their lags back as part of their dry land loosening up, hyper-extending the hip joint without bending the lower back. This made sense to me, but I never stayed with it for very long because I felt like I was generating drag with the back of my leg when kicking up and not getting enough extra out of the down phase of the kick to make up for it.

Your comments here got me trying that again this week.

This time around, I am starting to feel the hip of the upkicking leg drop a little. Previously, the rotation of my lower body was felt mainly in the hip on the other side coming up. This feels much smoother all around.

So far, this is just me experimenting once again with some new twist. Maybe it will lead to some long term improvement.
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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One could ask, is it important to get rid of kneekicking?
It is a method to create propulsion.
Kneekicking itself is very restricet to the limb only. Its a powerfull stretching of the knee using the lower leg as a paddle.
The problem is that its an action that is weakly connected to the core.
There are variations in this core connection. You can kick from the knee without any connection to the core, Thats a bending and stretching movement of the leg where there is no connection of the upperleg to the torso.
Sort of a babies leg movement:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-VGuDQOQzM.
When doning this in the water while stretching the leg fast end bending back slow you already get a propulsive movement, but its obviously this movement has limited speed potential. Its effective at slow speed, but rapidly starts to lose efficiency when you want to swim faster. Creates lots of drag. IIs not the most effective techniqie to bring the legs up either.
On top of that. Is a powerfull knee stretching movement with a weak core connection what we want?

Not all people are the same. Possibly she has very strong knee stretching muscles and is limited in spinal flexibility, stability , strength or whatever.
If thats the case, maybe this is the best compromise. She is very buoyant and can get away with it.
But it shows a weak core/strong kneebend style of swimming agains a almost mo kneebend/all core action style.
Most of us are best off somewhere in the middle of these extremes.
(By the way, except for the kneekicking she looks like a pretty good swimmer with pleasant looking smooth moves and good general feel for the water. Its not against TI, only against excessive kneebending)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ4ehRYV938

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuI8ksTpP-o

Last edited by Zenturtle : 07-10-2016 at 05:21 PM.
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2016
lloyddinma lloyddinma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
Found some interesting footage that shows a possible problem with kicking from the knee and why its so hard to cure.
I believe the inside-out action happens between knees and shoulders.

Shinji also has some kneebend, but here the upperleg moves DOWN when he pulls and spears, and the lowerleg action is more an extension of that movement finishing it off like a whip.
The last swimmer arguably has the best kick in my opinion. Looks the most streamlined
I always thought his upperleg moving down was incidental. Are you saying it is consequential? How would you elucidate the effectiveness of the scissors-kick within this context of analysis?

(BTW, do you still have a link for that interview on Shinji's "pushes" ? I left you a request on that thread for it.)
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Quote:
I always thought his upperleg moving down was incidental. Are you saying it is consequential? How would you elucidate the effectiveness of the scissors-kick within this context of analysis?
The center of the sximming engine is all the powered action between knees and shoulders. You could add a fin on the knee and a paddle on the shoulder and you could still swim freestyle.
So the lowerleg is an effective extension of the upperleg, magnifying its effectifeness.
Same with the arms, but the shoulderjoint itself gives the arm extra range of movement, helped by pecs and lats.
The source and sequence that steers the movment of the extremities is barely negotiable in my view. So that includes the movement timing of the upperleg.
Scissor kicks are a reaction on imbalanced body actions. Usually crossing the center with the arms or big breathing actions.

Quote:
(BTW, do you still have a link for that interview on Shinji's "pushes" ? I left you a request on that thread for it.)
I dont know of an interview with Shinji. as far as I can remember it was a small remark of Shinji in the thread itself about short strong pushes in his underwateraction.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 07-10-2016 at 05:26 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-17-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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A nice and relaxed kicking technique clip
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J_FhM-ZBDI

This guy knows what he is doing. Nice smooth example, also with nice smooth pulling action.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJi3478iKKY

Last edited by Zenturtle : 07-18-2016 at 07:51 AM.
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  #8  
Old 07-20-2016
johynr]]] johynr]]] is offline
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In this practice (as in the water) are both legs moving or is just one?


Arms next to body. Kick in the vertical direction and move shoulders in the horizontal direction forward and rearward.. Keep all the conscious action between shoulders and knees. Arms are dragged over the mattress by the shoulders as dead meat.

Right knee down (left knee up) when right shoulder moves back to pull (and left shoulder moves forward to spear).
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  #9  
Old 07-20-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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I prefer one leg moving up and the other down.
This double lever creates double the torque compared to a single lever, so they can deliver the same effect with a smaller amplitude.
And the one that is moved up is already set up nice and high for the downkick, stretched out all the way to the extended arm on that side to make a powerful propulsive contraction, kicking under an angle that actuaslly delivers propulsion.
But...
If your stroke rate is low, and your legs tend to sink, trying to move a leg up tends to bring something else down.
Its hard to get that leg up in this case, certainly if you have tight hipflexors and stiff ankles that also suck the legs down.
I see a lot of beginner swimmers in TI clips that have a reasonable kneebend flutterkick before TI lessons and start to develop a big kneebend kick if their strokerate is slowed down and they are kickstarting their stroke forward.

Sadly I dont see an easy solution either for this problem.
People who learned swimming as kids have developed an effective kick usually, be it connected or not connected to the rest of the stroke.
For adults to learn an effective (2b or 6b)kick will take a lot of time and effort.
Easiest way out is to make your balance as good as possible in the first place, so the bad legs stay behind the body as much as possible.

I see the kneekick and shoulder driven spearing action as a short term solution. Its not really inside out swimming, but hopefully a sort of intermediate state. A stepping stone to true inside out swimming (whatever that nay be), but how long should swimmers ingrain these wrong actions before they are replaced by better ones?
The swimming internal connection clock doesnt only involve actions that support balance but also propuilsion, and the internal clock that drives kneekicking is in conflict with the optimal fast swimming clock.

Better not to let them develop in the first place, but that could involve using swimming aids until the internal clock combined with swimfitness is strong enough to do the work on its own.
Well I guess this is moving away a bit from the TI method.
No idea whats the better path, but I tend to stop kneekicking as soon as possible. Looks horribly unaquatic in my eyes even if some elites still have some of it.

You have to be aware of what you asre doing.

This swimmer is slowed down and develops a good pattern. This will develop into a nice kick.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoP3dFgpUWY

THis swimmer suddenly develops a kneekick. She has to be corrected right away in my view.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1GK0dPuq3s
Looks to me this is possible at this stage.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 07-20-2016 at 08:02 PM.
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  #10  
Old 07-23-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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How much drag does a deep knee produce?
Look at the 5min 30 mark to see the drag difference between a straigh body and a body with downward angled upper legs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa-4jgjS6sY
An extreme example, but usable as a rough guide.
2 very deep knees, drag goes from 48 to 81 Newton, a 68% increease.
In more realistic, less extreme cases I guess a 20 -30% drag increase is still possible.
Rather remove that drag source than give 20-30% higher force to hold the same speed without that upperleg/kneebend disturbing horizontal line.
For some swimmers its better to not kick at all from a drag perspective.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 07-23-2016 at 08:18 AM.
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