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  #1  
Old 03-24-2010
hillsterr hillsterr is offline
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hillsterr
Default Kicking issues

Hi, I'm a newbiw to swimming but not a newbie to the water. I am a Master Scuba Diver and a Scuba instructor, so have logged hundreds of hours in the water, lately I have decided I wanted to be a more efficient swimmer and have started the Easy Freestyle DVD and the book.

I feel like I have the stroke mechanics but for some reason have a real problem with the kick. When concentrating on my body roll and my hand entry my legs feel like they do nothing and start to sink bringing me out of balance making my arms feel tired after a few strokes. If I concentrate on my legs I tend to kick too much and feel my legs give out after a few strokes. Can someone explain the 2 beat kick to me as for me it does not seem to come natural.

Also a problem is my breathing. I am used to being underwater having access to air anytime I want it and have learned to breath extremely relaxed underwater, when swimming the timing is off and I just can't seem to find the rythem where I am not hurrying to breath or feeling out of breath after a few strokes. When I roll my body to the air I feel like 1. I do not have the time to take a normal long relaxed breath, and 2. that when I roll I often have water from the wave over my head entering my nose and mouth throwing me off a bit. If I try to swim slower to breath better, the problem with my kick becomes more evident as my legs start to sink.

One final question, in regards to stroke count. In scuba diving we use fin kicks as a measure of distance and count fin kicks as each right fin pushed downward, is this the same with strokes or is each arm counted when it enters the water?
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2010
daveblt daveblt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillsterr View Post

[I feel like I have the stroke mechanics but for some reason have a real problem with the kick. When concentrating on my body roll and my hand entry my legs feel like they do nothing and start to sink bringing me out of balance making my arms feel tired after a few strokes. If I concentrate on my legs I tend to kick too much and feel my legs give out after a few strokes. Can someone explain the 2 beat kick to me as for me it does not seem to come natural.]


Try not to concentrate too much on your kick . In fact try not to kick at all. Lean into and relax into the water and just let the legs trail behind you as you swim and then as you roll just enough to each side feel the natural rhythm it brings to your legs and just give your bottom foot a little flick each time you go to kick .Right hand pulls right leg kicks down and vice versa.Or you can think of it as left hand spears right leg kicks down .It's also possible you could be over rolling which could be causing you to sink.Roll just enough




[ When I roll my body to the air I feel like 1. I do not have the time to take a normal long relaxed breath, and 2. that when I roll I often have water from the wave over my head entering my nose and mouth throwing me off a bit. If I try to swim slower to breath better, the problem with my kick becomes more evident as my legs start to sink.]


1. Breathe early in the stroke. As soon as your hand starts to pull follow your shoulder around to the air and keep the inhale until your recovery hand is about to enter the water.
2.Be patient as you roll to air , don't push your head down but keep it in line with the spine with the head and neck relaxed.Blow out the exhale through to the surface before you inhale .When you go to breathe try to stretch out just like you do in non breathing strokes without slowing down.


[One final question, in regards to stroke count. In scuba diving we use fin kicks as a measure of distance and count fin kicks as each right fin pushed downward, is this the same with strokes or is each arm counted when it enters the water?]
Each time the hand enters the water is one stroke.



Dave
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  #3  
Old 03-24-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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The two-beat kick takes time although I would say months rather than years. I learned it by consciously 'switching off' my legs (or trying to) while swimming. As I practised correct arm entry and spearing, I found that the two-beat kick arose naturally.

So my suggestion is to treat it like swinging your arms when you walk. It will happen automatically with one beat per arm entry.

The difference with walking is of course that those new to freestyle often have a very hurried kick, which needs to be unlearned. That takes concentration but the same is true of TI freestyle generally, and it's surprising how quickly the new stroke becomes 'normal'.

When I began learning freestyle in Jan 09 I was convinced I would never learn the two-beat kick. My kick now is very efficient and quiet, and two-beat. This didn't come right away. When I first tried switching off my legs I felt I would sink - and my legs definitely drifted towards the pool bottom. Later, I found they kicked in a more relaxed fashion but the timing was wrong. The reason was that I was concentrating too much on what they were doing and my arm action wasn't quite right. With further practice I became more relaxed and less hurried, and began to understand what skating on wide tracks means. At that point the two-beat kick suddenly appeared. Perhaps significantly, it appeared when I stopped thinking about my legs and instead concentrated on finding the correct place for the recovering arm to re-enter the water and spearing on wide tracks. If the arm action is wrong the legs tend not to cooperate.
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Old 03-24-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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As to breathing, my feeling is that the source of breathing problems is often a flaw somewhere else in the stroke. In my own case there was a long period during which I thought breathing was the one remaining issue to fix. But I couldn't fix it. Then I wondered whether I was really as far advanced in learning the stroke as I had thought. So I went back to basics and practised the stroke without breathing. To make a long story short, I wasn't skating on sufficiently wide tracks and my arms weren't consistently spearing forwards on their respective tracks.

Once I fixed this, breathing suddenly became easy.

In my view understanding what skating on wide tracks means, then doing it, is the central feature of TI freestyle. Once you get that right everything else gets much easier.

The reason many of us fail to skate on wide tracks is, I think, that while swimming and looking down, it can feel like one's arms are on wider tracks than they in fact are. Spending time making sure is, in my view, something worth practising and checking frequently.
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2010
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Lawrence makes a very valid and important point with the wide track focal point and breathing. I too had to go back and focus on the skating and wide tracks plus other basic balance drills especially lengthening through the whole body. This is a piece of the puzzle you may have difficulty with due to your years of scuba. I know that when diving it is a much different feel and movement than swimming. Study the difference between how you kick while diving and what a good two beat kick while practicing TI is. Diving the kick is used for propulsion while in TI it is more for balance and initiating core rotation. There is a significant difference.

Westy
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2010
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westyswoods View Post
There is a significant difference.

Westy
I think the difference is just in intention not in the technical construction. If done correctly, or efficiently, there shouldn't be much difference in kicking while diving or while swimming, actually the use of large fins should force you into flexed feet movements.

I think the point here is to find the middle way between not kicking at all and constant, uncoordinated kicking, which probably is what hilsterr is doing when he kicks.

I learned freestyle with TI and the 2bk was the easiest part of it. I never paid a lot of attention on the 2BK and it came on it's own when I went through the basic drills.
hillsterr, I would recommend the basic drills from the DVD, here particularly the Superman glide (as your balance doesn't seem to be good), and the spear switch, always initiated by a kick. Once you go through that and pass the possibly following balance issues you will end up with a nice, smooth 2BK.
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  #7  
Old 03-24-2010
splashingpat splashingpat is offline
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splashingpat
Default i said the lifeguard...

i said the lifeguard... like listenin' to these guys...
i was n't going to reply
BUT I can n't just listen

your mouth breathing is a different set of problems
you do not get air until you roll for it...and that is your #1 PROBLEM

I took SCUBA and failed ( i believe )
I could not finish at the finish line because of an ear infection!
I don't know how many can equalize your ear pressure so much...
that when i surface up ^ my ears bubble up so much!

swimming under the water is so much easier than on top of it!
You my lad have a whole NEW SET OF PROBLEMS NOW!

and these guys are your best source of INFORMATION!
and I can be too, but the are much better with words than this lifeguard has!

good luck through
and I jump in and save Ya's
if i can do any better job than these DUDES (BUT i am quite limited in my skills

GOOD LUCK
and
welcome to the surface !
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2010
splashingpat splashingpat is offline
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Posts: 589
splashingpat
Default can you post and say it well...well i try too! hi guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveblt;9804

Each time the hand enters the water is one stroke.

Dave
with kickin' issues or facts it's
every time the foot flicks and the opposite arm spears in!
smilin, dancin, laughin...
and Best of all getting to hear what you guys say when you are not swimmin

i luv these guys!
well
some of 'em

NOT ALL
(as we all know that very well)
P.S> please do n't talk to the lifeguard...

simple put...i save 'em only when they are drownin'
SO SWIM THE WAY YA WANT TO!
only CPR when i got too and i really do n't want to do that either!

and some of yas
expect more from us?
Y?

Last edited by splashingpat : 03-24-2010 at 04:17 PM.
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2010
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
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DesertDog
Default 2 Beat Kick with Pull Buoy

I found that trying to kick with a pull-buoy helped me figure out the timing. The idea came from

http://badig.com/2009/02/improving-your-flutter-kick/

where the author writes: “If you can’t keep the pull buoy in place while you kick then you have something new to work on. Once you get it down, it may help isolate things a little better.”

You can see it on you tube here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-RPVBZpsEw
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  #10  
Old 03-28-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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I guess my reservation with using a floatation aid is that it means you learn the two-beat kick in a completely artificial buoyancy environment. What happens when you take away the buoy?

But if it works, it works.

I would be more tempted to put an elastic band around my thighs if I were struggling to learn the two-beat kick. That should limit leg movement without providing buoyancy support.
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