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  #1  
Old 09-13-2013
tinoletzner tinoletzner is offline
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tinoletzner
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Hi everyone!
My Total Immersion journey goes on and it is so much fun! I have been trying to incorporate the two-beat kick into my freestyle for the last couple of swimming sessions and it is coming along slowly. I realized that when I use the two beat kick, my left leg is ok, but on my right leg kick I tend to bend my knee too far, with all the negative consequences following (losing streamlined position, balance issues, etc.). Since I haven't seen myself swimming I would guess that even on my left kick I don't drive enough from the hips.
Now my question:
What are good exercises to work on my kick in general (kickboard probably not a good idea, right?) and on the two-beat kick in particular? I understand that for longer distances the kick's purpose should mainly be to keep balance and initiate the rotation, but on quicker laps I feel I don't get a whole lot of forward propulsion from my kick (I keep my ankles flexed and unless it is a two-beat kick I can also drive from the hip, my legs are not too far apart when kicking, yet it doesn't feel very efficient).
Thanks for your help!
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2013
helixfairweather helixfairweather is offline
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Hi Tinoletzer!

I started my two-beat kick journey by following a tip from Coach Mat on his Swim Smooth blog. When doing Superman Glide, I tighten my right shoulder - just enough to be aware of it. At the same time I wiggle my left foot, just barely. By doing those two things simultaneously, I was able to become aware of the cross-connection.

Following Coach Mat's advice, I did this right-shoulder-left-foot-flex about 10 times down one length of SG and then about 10 times down the other length using the opposite cross-connection. I repeated this in a few sessions.

Then, I began using the kick in my Skate practice - and only there. SG > Skate - I would use the correct foot-flick as I pushed into Skate. That kept me from trying to be too rushed about using it as the left-foot-flick was well-separated in time from the right-foot-flick. This allowed me to really focus on the flick part of kicking. I am not there yet adding it into whole stroke but I am gaining confidence in using it in Skate AND seeing the fantastic glide!

I don't know if that helps you or not. Bottom line: I would suggest working your way towards the two-beat kick in small steps.

Coach Mat's two blogs (with suggested exercises) are here:

http://smoothstrokes.wordpress.com/2...at-kick-steps/

http://smoothstrokes.wordpress.com/2...-and-learning/

Helix Fairweather
Keizer, OR
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  #3  
Old 09-13-2013
tinoletzner tinoletzner is offline
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Thanks Helix!

Very helpful links! I will integrate the exercises into my next swim session.
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  #4  
Old 09-13-2013
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinoletzner View Post
Hi everyone!
My Total Immersion journey goes on and it is so much fun! I have been trying to incorporate the two-beat kick into my freestyle for the last couple of swimming sessions and it is coming along slowly. I realized that when I use the two beat kick, my left leg is ok, but on my right leg kick I tend to bend my knee too far, with all the negative consequences following (losing streamlined position, balance issues, etc.). Since I haven't seen myself swimming I would guess that even on my left kick I don't drive enough from the hips.
Now my question:
What are good exercises to work on my kick in general (kickboard probably not a good idea, right?) and on the two-beat kick in particular? I understand that for longer distances the kick's purpose should mainly be to keep balance and initiate the rotation, but on quicker laps I feel I don't get a whole lot of forward propulsion from my kick (I keep my ankles flexed and unless it is a two-beat kick I can also drive from the hip, my legs are not too far apart when kicking, yet it doesn't feel very efficient).
Thanks for your help!
here is a good video by Coach Todd Erickson:

http://youtu.be/GXMYGAgppRo

However, you can also start by doing Laser Lead Glide which is Superman Glide but with arms at your side, and kicking one side at a time to feel the kick's energy imparted to driving the opposite side/shoulder into the water. Then you can move to SG with 2BK drilling as in above video.

here is a good video discussion by Coach Mandy and Coach Stuart MacDougal on 2BK:

http://youtu.be/FiPpiC0629I
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  #5  
Old 09-13-2013
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinoletzner View Post
On my right leg kick I tend to bend my knee too far, with all the negative consequences following (losing streamlined position, balance issues, etc.).
Tino
You're making the right association between excess flexion of the knee and balance and stability issues, but--albeit with the handicap of not seeing you swim--I'm fairly certain you've put the cart before the horse.

In the vast majority of swimmers I've directly observed and/or coached who flexed or splayed the legs excessively, that occurred as a result of the body trying to control balance errors or instability in the torso--such as excess rotation, itself often caused by errors in recovery.

Get balance and stability right and you have a far better chance of being to effect and maintain good form in the 2BK.
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2013
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Does TI advocate kicking in two directions? i.e. using muscle to bring the leg up as well as kick down?

I find it easier to keep my thoughts on the same side so just sync my leg 'lift' with the spearing arm on the same side.
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2013
tinoletzner tinoletzner is offline
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tinoletzner
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Thank you Coach David for the links! Just seeing Coach Mandy swim here I realize that I am still far from a perfect form regarding my body position in the water.
Terry, I guess you are probably right. Sometimes I fear I try to force the issues a bit and maybe I should keep working on balance and body position more before worrying about the two beat kick.
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2013
cpa_pfs cpa_pfs is offline
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During my swim today I worked on my kicking. I recall reading that the left leg kicks when the left arm right arm pierces forward ... which to me is when the left arm pulls thru.

Here is the problem for me. I am a marathoner. I run lots. I run almost everyday. My right arm and left leg work in unison. I don't have to even think about how they work. So I find that when I pull with my left arm I naturally kick with my right leg, not my left.

Does that matter? A kick should be a kick.
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2013
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpa_pfs View Post
During my swim today I worked on my kicking. I recall reading that the left leg kicks when the left arm right arm pierces forward ... which to me is when the left arm pulls thru.

Here is the problem for me. I am a marathoner. I run lots. I run almost everyday. My right arm and left leg work in unison. I don't have to even think about how they work. So I find that when I pull with my left arm I naturally kick with my right leg, not my left.

Does that matter? A kick should be a kick.
yes it matters a lot. the kick drives rotation of the body. if you kick the wrong leg, you are actually stifling the full potential power generated by that rotation. don't get me wrong - you can complete the rotation but you will not be able to engage the full power of the kick into the body rotation, which will also drive more power in the spear as well as the stroke back.
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  #10  
Old 09-14-2013
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
Does TI advocate kicking in two directions? i.e. using muscle to bring the leg up as well as kick down?

I find it easier to keep my thoughts on the same side so just sync my leg 'lift' with the spearing arm on the same side.
I'll take a crack at this:

when swimming at relatively low tempos, say 1.1s or above, you can do a 2BK kick and have time for the leg to float back up to straight by itself before you have to do the next stroke/spear.

when you are swimming at higher tempos, you cannot wait for the leg to float back - you'll have to bring it back and hence working the rear of the leg (ie. glutes, hamstrings) to bring the leg back to straight and ready for the next kick.

so that's the 2BK.

when you flutter kick, you will be bringing the other leg back into position after kicking because the rhythm requires it.

if you do 6BK, the tempo of the kicking will be too fast and you'll also have to bring the leg back to position.

in freestyle, if you actually kick "up", you may be imparting a downward force to your hips which is bad. so just work the hips and move the legs but keep the kicking action focused downward if you have to kick with fast tempo.

in backstroke, i learned that you actually do have a kick in the reverse direction in addition to kicking forward or up (now that you're on your back). this really helps you keep your hips high during backstroke. so here's a case where you do kick in both directions.
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