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  #1  
Old 10-21-2012
caronis caronis is offline
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caronis
Default To Kick or Not to Kick . . . This is the Question?

Over a long period of time I have trained myself to swim freestyle by kicking much less. This has been a big improvement because I now realize that I save much more energy and am more efficient. I believe that if I was to go back to a 6-beat kick that I would go faster, but the increased amount of energy required, would not make it worthwhile unless it was for a short distance.

Here's the dilemma . . . I find that the timing of my left foot kick to my right hand spear (and vice versa) is not contributing really anything worthwhile to my speed. In fact the somewhat awkward coordination of the movement and the energy to kick seems to be a negative factor. I find that just allowing the legs to move in a natural, relaxed way is best. For the most part, that means letting the legs follow and kicking to be the occasional light tap.

I am wondering what the opinion is of others. I read a book by Sheila Taormina a while back where she mentions that for a 2 beat kick, the idea is really to just let the legs follow and flow along without getting in the way of your stroke. I'm finding that to ring true for me. . . I know there is strong philosophical disagreement between her and Terry. I side favorable with Terry nearly 100%, but I am finding that the timing of the two beat kick espoused by Terry (spear right hand, kick left foot) is not doing more for me than letting the legs follow with very light movements.

I feel that it's two primary things. I think it's because it's so critical that the legs follow without creating extra turbulence, and two, because kicking (even 2-beat) does require more energy than just relaxing the legs.

Again . . . I'm not suggesting that my legs are completely static. But it's more along the lines of letting them move lightly and naturally.

Please chime in on this. Also . . . I am 5' 6" with a stocky build. I tend to believe that people with different physiques respond differently in the water to these types of stroke nuances.
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Old 10-21-2012
borate borate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caronis View Post
I am wondering what the opinion is of others. I read a book by Sheila Taormina a while back where she mentions that for a 2 beat kick, the idea is really to just let the legs follow and flow along without getting in the way of your stroke. I'm finding that to ring true for me. . . I know there is strong philosophical disagreement between her and Terry. I side favorable with Terry nearly 100%, but I am finding that the timing of the two beat kick espoused by Terry (spear right hand, kick left foot) is not doing more for me than letting the legs follow with very light movements.
Though the kick exerts a relatively minor propulsive force in the overall TI stroke, folks who I presume have good ankle flexibility get a boost from a "toe flick" with limited knee bend.

They appear to be kicking into final streamline - with the kinetic chain rippling from the leg through the core and out the leading arm - as demonstrated here by Shinji beginning at 42'.
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Old 10-21-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caronis View Post
I side favorable with Terry nearly 100%, but I am finding that the timing of the two beat kick espoused by Terry (spear right hand, kick left foot) is not doing more for me than letting the legs follow with very light movements.
I'll be honest with you. I know a thing or two about swimming, but I would probably fail at listing all pros and cons of using a perfectly timed 2bk (ie, as described and recommended by Terry) and a reversed sort of action where you'd basically go left hand left leg, right hand right leg.

I'm saying this because every once in a whilst I teach 2bk to some people, and obviously their first execution is usually reversed. Normal, the brain process all left side components altogether and same for right side. Quite honestly, it's not as if the Earth did stop rotating when they do. So I donno, could it be that it could become very detrimental at higher rate?

For sure I could play parrot and repeat what the theory usually states: "Better to use the proper timing to achieve perfect left-right balance, to avoid scissor kick, to synch left leg kicking with left arm pulling (not left arm entering)"

I could also quote Maglischo who found out that a carefully 6bk had a leg kick occurring in the same time as every one of the 3 pulling phases (3 kick for 3 phases per arm stroke)... A 2bk is really a 6bk minus the 2 minor kicks right?

But based on anecdotal evidence, which is very very limited in my case since I usually end up convincing my athletes to go the extra miles.... Based on this experience, I did not find a 2bk stroke with reversed timing *that* bad to look at...

As for Shinji, he would probably confirm that in his case, reversing this kicking would be a big NO-NO since he's claimed using a bit this flick kick to favor body rotation. Obviously, if you're being reversed, then you can no longer do this. I'm assuming Terry would agree to this. It's unclear as to if it's really mandatory to use the kick to favor body rotation, but I can definitely confirm that it's not a bad idea to think or feel so; especially when comes the time to increase the rate.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 10-21-2012 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 10-21-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Again . . . I'm not suggesting that my legs are completely static. But it's more along the lines of letting them move lightly and naturally.
This is what we strive for in TI...absolutely no disagreement on that.

If your current kick feels awkward, then there is a lot of room for improvement. The light foot allows you to obtain natural leverage in the stroke to allow rotation which drives propulsion, not the kick driving propulsion
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Coach Suzanne, I think that his confusion also lies in the fact that he can not do "Left hand enters whilst Right foot kicks". He's wondering if it's really necessary to learn this pattern, which is not the most natural one admittedly.
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  #6  
Old 10-22-2012
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hi Charles,

but when you try to reach out to a ceiling just a little too high, don't we stand on our left toes, when reaching with out with right hands? Maybe that could be a better thought for it than focusing on stroke and kick on the same side.

Regards,
Werner

PS: Sometimes even 2cts might be too expensive...
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  #7  
Old 10-22-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borate View Post

They appear to be kicking into final streamline - with the kinetic chain rippling from the leg through the core and out the leading arm - as demonstrated here by Shinji beginning at 42'.
This for me is a great way to describe it in one sentence. I have also found it much easier to perform the opposite co-ordination when you allow the legs to be slightly ahead of the arms rather as in the ripple you describe above rather than together.
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Old 10-22-2012
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
This for me is a great way to describe it in one sentence. I have also found it much easier to perform the opposite co-ordination when you allow the legs to be slightly ahead of the arms rather as in the ripple you describe above rather than together.
I used to do it the 'ripple way' but changed it recently after reading here in the forum something about Shinji explaining a slighty change kick timing which is to straighten the spearing arm and the leg at the same time. So the opposite for me and I find that 'at the same time' extremely helpful to maintain gliding particularly at higher turnover rates.
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Old 10-23-2012
caronis caronis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post

If your current kick feels awkward, then there is a lot of room for improvement. The light foot allows you to obtain natural leverage in the stroke to allow rotation which drives propulsion, not the kick driving propulsion
Perhaps awkward is not the best word I can use. I think that it doesn't feel natural. I have to focus on keeping the kick timing in mind, or else I go back to letting the legs lightly follow along. I'm still tapping away with my foot when I do this, but it's not an exactly timed 2-beat kick. Perhaps some of the time, the right arm and left leg coincide, but not necessarily every stroke.

Also . . . can you re-explain what you meant by this quote, "The light foot allows you to obtain natural leverage in the stroke to allow rotation which drives propulsion, not the kick driving propulsion". I'm not sure I understand what you mean.
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  #10  
Old 10-23-2012
caronis caronis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Hi Charles,

but when you try to reach out to a ceiling just a little too high, don't we stand on our left toes, when reaching with out with right hands?
I appreciate the comment Werner. It's worth more than 2 cents to me! . . . I disagree with it, though I think it's an important point to distinguish between what feels natural to one person versus another. . . . When I reach way up high on a bookshelf, I actually tiptoe with my left foot and reach with my left hand. This is what is natural to me, but I guess what is natural for you is the opposite.
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