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  #1  
Old 05-05-2016
plee12 plee12 is offline
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plee12
Default Need Help with Dolphin Kick on Back

Hello,

I'm trying to master the dolphin kick on your back, either along the surface of the water or underwater.

When I'm doing the dolphin kick on my back along the surface of the water with my hands extended above my head (hand lead), I can't seem to keep the water out of my face. Water keeps splashing into my face. When I do it with my arms alongside my body (head lead), keeping the water out of my face is much less of a problem. What do I need to change to keep water out of my face in the case of hand lead?

In addition, I'm trying to master the underwater dolphin kick on my back. For some reason after kicking for a short distance, I either migrate up to the surface of the water or migrate down to the very bottom of the pool. What's the trick for keeping my body between the bottom of the pool and the water surface?

Thank you,

Peter
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2016
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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I'm wondering why you're posting this under butterfly, since I'm not aware of any reason for butterfliers to practice dolphin kicking on their backs.

Is your goal to improve your starts and turns when doing backstroke? If so, be aware that the dolphin kick used in backstroke is not exactly the same as the body dolphin which constitutes the core body movement of butterfly. Simply put, the butterfly body dolphin is initiated by pressing down with your chest and letting the water push your chest back up again, thereby creating a ripple that travels down your body to your toes. But the dolphin kick used for backstroke starts and turns is initiated by thrusting your hips up and down, and the result is that there is very little up and down movement in your body above your belly button.

If your goal is to improve your backstroke starts and turns, then I'm not sure why you're practicing it on the surface (since this isn't how you'd do it in a race) or why you're concerned that water is splashing in your face.

For underwater dolphin kicking, remember that your body will tend to follow your arms. The natural tendency of your body will always be to surface (because of the air in your lungs), so you will stay under by countering this. But if you overdo it, you can end up gliding toward the bottom of the pool.


Bob
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  #3  
Old 05-06-2016
plee12 plee12 is offline
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Hello CoachBobM,

Thanks for your prompt reply.

Yes, I can understand what you're saying about the dolphin kick being different when used for backstroke starts.

However, I've come across many articles talking about how to improve the dolphin kick for butterfly where they suggest practicing dolphin kicking on your back and on your side.

For example, refer to the paragraph, "Position Kick Exercise" in this article:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/55...the-butterfly/

Even this article by Ryan Lochte says to practice on your back. Refer to the paragraph, "Practice on Your Back":

http://www.swimoutlet.com/guides/how...r-dolphin-kick

So, now I'm somewhat confused. Am I misinterpreting what they're saying in these articles?

Here's a video of a swimmer doing the dolphin kick on his back:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndpkx-DYiyg

This is what I would like to accomplish. Notice that his face is completely free of water. In my case, I seem to be moving down the length of the pool at a reasonable pace, so I think my technique should be alright. What I don't understand is why I can't get water out of my face.

Thank you,

Peter
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  #4  
Old 05-08-2016
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plee12 View Post
Hello CoachBobM,

Thanks for your prompt reply.

Yes, I can understand what you're saying about the dolphin kick being different when used for backstroke starts.

However, I've come across many articles talking about how to improve the dolphin kick for butterfly where they suggest practicing dolphin kicking on your back and on your side.

For example, refer to the paragraph, "Position Kick Exercise" in this article:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/55...the-butterfly/
This article seems to describe a body dolphin. I'm not sure what the value is supposed to be of doing it other than on your breast, and they don't explain it. Since the buoying up of your lungs is an inherent component of the body dolphin, I don't see the value of doing it on your side or back where that's not going to happen. You're going to be trying to practice an inherently different movement than the one you will be executing in butterfly.

Quote:
Even this article by Ryan Lochte says to practice on your back. Refer to the paragraph, "Practice on Your Back":

http://www.swimoutlet.com/guides/how...r-dolphin-kick

So, now I'm somewhat confused. Am I misinterpreting what they're saying in these articles?

Here's a video of a swimmer doing the dolphin kick on his back:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndpkx-DYiyg
Both of these are a dolphin kick - not the body dolphin that is central to butterfly. I think the purpose of doing it on the surface in the youtube video may actually be to give you feedback about whether you are doing it correctly, since your body should only be moving from your belly button down, and if the upper part of your body is moving, your head will be bobbing up and down, making it impossible to breathe part of the time.


Bob
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  #5  
Old 05-08-2016
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Further note:
Ryan Lochte is somewhat famous for dolphin kicking on his back due to a disqualification (DQ) he received doing it on the freestyle leg of an individual medley (IM). The DQ has aroused a lot of controversy, because what he did would have been perfectly legal in a freestyle heat.

The essence of the ruling was that the freestyle leg of an IM is inherently different from a freestyle heat because the rules require that the stroke used in the freestyle leg of an IM not be any of the other strokes used in the IM (i.e., butterfly, backstroke, or breaststroke). Since the competition rules for backstroke say only that you have to be on your back except during a turn, dolphin kicking on your back constitutes a legal backstroke, and it was therefore ruled that Lochte was doing backstroke during part of the freestyle leg, which would be illegal.

The reason that it's legal to dolphin kick on your back coming out of a turn in a freestyle heat is because freestyle is (as the name implies) freestyle - i.e., any style you want, and it is therefore legal to do backstroke for all or part of the heat.


Bob

Last edited by CoachBobM : 05-10-2016 at 06:23 PM.
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  #6  
Old 06-02-2016
ScoopUK
 
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Do you have any tips for dolphin kick on your back as in backstroke / Lochte freestyle turn? I don't have the most flexible ankles currently but I'm also a runner/cyclist. I've thrashed around a few times and felt like my movements have actually slowed me down. I had a play with some fins on and feel that has helped me learn the movement somewhat (and helps loosen the ankles up) but I'm still struggling without fins.
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2017
plee12 plee12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachBobM View Post
This article seems to describe a body dolphin. I'm not sure what the value is supposed to be of doing it other than on your breast, and they don't explain it. Since the buoying up of your lungs is an inherent component of the body dolphin, I don't see the value of doing it on your side or back where that's not going to happen. You're going to be trying to practice an inherently different movement than the one you will be executing in butterfly.



Both of these are a dolphin kick - not the body dolphin that is central to butterfly. I think the purpose of doing it on the surface in the youtube video may actually be to give you feedback about whether you are doing it correctly, since your body should only be moving from your belly button down, and if the upper part of your body is moving, your head will be bobbing up and down, making it impossible to breathe part of the time.


Bob
Hello Coach Bob,

Here's an update on my progress with doing the dolphin back on my back. After much perseverance, I've made a lot of progress.

Coach Bob, to answer your previous question, the reason I'm doing dolphin back on my back is to train myself to kick from the hips, not from the knees. Doing it on my back instead of face down relieves me of having to worry about breathing. In addition, I like doing dolphin kick on my back just for the purpose of exercising.

I'm at the point of where I can very comfortably dolphin kick on my back in the head lead position. :-)

Now I can also dolphin kick relatively comfortably on my back in the hand lead position without splashing water in my face all the time.

However, when I dolphin kick on my back in the hand lead position, for some reason, I seem to slow down quite a bit. I thought it should speed me up (compared to head lead), because the hand lead position provides a more streamlined position.

So, starting from a dolphin kick head lead position, as I extend my arms into a hand lead position, I feel myself slow down a lot. Then from the hand lead position, as I retract my arms back into a head lead position, I feel myself speed up a lot.

My question is, is the hand lead position supposed to slow down, speed up, or have no effect?

Thank you,

Peter
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2017
plee12 plee12 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 13
plee12
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachBobM View Post
This article seems to describe a body dolphin. I'm not sure what the value is supposed to be of doing it other than on your breast, and they don't explain it. Since the buoying up of your lungs is an inherent component of the body dolphin, I don't see the value of doing it on your side or back where that's not going to happen. You're going to be trying to practice an inherently different movement than the one you will be executing in butterfly.



Both of these are a dolphin kick - not the body dolphin that is central to butterfly. I think the purpose of doing it on the surface in the youtube video may actually be to give you feedback about whether you are doing it correctly, since your body should only be moving from your belly button down, and if the upper part of your body is moving, your head will be bobbing up and down, making it impossible to breathe part of the time.


Bob
Hello Coach Bob,

Here's an update on my progress with doing the dolphin back on my back. After much perseverance, I've made a lot of progress.

Coach Bob, to answer your previous question, the reason I'm doing dolphin back on my back is to train myself to kick from the hips, not from the knees. Doing it on my back instead of face down relieves me of having to worry about breathing. In addition, I like doing dolphin kick on my back just for the purpose of exercising.

I'm at the point of where I can very comfortably dolphin kick on my back in the head lead position. :-)

Now I can also dolphin kick relatively comfortably on my back in the hand lead position without splashing water in my face all the time.

However, when I dolphin kick on my back in the hand lead position, for some reason, I seem to slow down quite a bit. I thought it should speed me up (compared to head lead), because the hand lead position provides a more streamlined position.

So, starting from a dolphin kick head lead position, as I extend my arms into a hand lead position, I feel myself slow down a lot. Then from the hand lead position, as I retract my arms back into a head lead position, I feel myself speed up a lot.

My question is, is the hand lead position supposed to slow down, speed up, or have no effect?

Thank you,

Peter
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