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-   -   How to kick, when to kick (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=9124)

notatall 03-08-2017 03:03 PM

How to kick, when to kick
 
Iíd found my kicks very unhelpful while I was doing freestyle. And, I got a pull bouy between my thighs to immobilize my legs through the swimming, I had less stroke counts than I did without the tool. It indicates that my kicks did not work for me.
Just donít know how to kick to improve my skill.
Look forward to your advice

CoachStuartMcDougal 03-08-2017 07:09 PM

Hi notatall,

It's not so much your kick is off, but imbalance, hips are very low - and why you swim easier with a pool buoy. Pull buoy lifts the back end like picking up a wheelbarrow from the handles. Thing of your legs as the handles and your lungs as wheel of wheelbarrow. We all pivot about our lungs. Excessive and/or poorly timed kicking can drive hips even lower too.

Learning balance and core stability, making your legs and hips light without the aid of artificial buoyancy (pull buoy, wetsuit, neoprene pants) is your #1 priority.

Ditch the pull buoy, it's only masking a balance issue you need to address.

Stuart

notatall 03-09-2017 04:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal (Post 62025)
Hi notatall,

It's not so much your kick is off, but imbalance, hips are very low - and why you swim easier with a pool buoy. Pull buoy lifts the back end like picking up a wheelbarrow from the handles. Thing of your legs as the handles and your lungs as wheel of wheelbarrow. We all pivot about our lungs. Excessive and/or poorly timed kicking can drive hips even lower too.

Learning balance and core stability, making your legs and hips light without the aid of artificial buoyancy (pull buoy, wetsuit, neoprene pants) is your #1 priority.

Ditch the pull buoy, it's only masking a balance issue you need to address.

Stuart

Stuart, Thank you. I think you are right. When I am kicking only, leaving my hands immobilized, no move happens. The cause could be lower hips and legs. So, the thing is imbalance. Achieving the balance between lungs and legs should be the point, right?

CoachStuartMcDougal 03-09-2017 03:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by notatall (Post 62029)
Stuart, Thank you. I think you are right. When I am kicking only, leaving my hands immobilized, no move happens. The cause could be lower hips and legs. So, the thing is imbalance. Achieving the balance between lungs and legs should be the point, right?

Hi notatail,

Yup - that will happen with kicking legs, lots of action and little to no forward movement - often the swimmer will actually move backwards.

Balance is primal/instinct not a cognitive choice Humans will try to solve imbalances with hands and feet first. It takes time to turn off those primary instincts and balance from the middle/core which allow the arms and legs to be soft and fluid.

Think of the middle/core is shoulders to hips. I sometimes refer to it as "your kayak" or the vessel. Build the kayak and balance your vessel - the kayak remains level and tone - doesn't twist or yaw.

Any of the TI books and videos begin with balance as priority - and a progression to "right your vessel" that any human can achieve in a short period of time.

Good luck and enjoy your journey!

Stuart

novaswimmer 03-09-2017 07:02 PM

Newbie here, so take this or leave it! LOL!

If you are studying Total Immersion swimming, then you will learn to use the kick primarily as an assist to rotation and not so much for propulsion, if I may.

Learning proper balance, or body position, comes first, of course. You absolutely need to minimize the drag that sinking hips and legs creates. As Coach McDougal pointed out, the pullbuoy was correcting your body position and eliminating drag. That is why it took fewer strokes per lap. Without the pullbuoy, legs and hips sank and drag was increased.

But even if you do correct body position it sounds like you are expecting to get a degree of propulsion from your legs/kick.

If you look at the elite swimmers who have a propulsive kick, you will notice two things, namely they have huge feet and they have exceptional foot/ankle flexibility, both of which allow the foot to act more effectively as a flipper.

If you are like me and have more limited ankle flexibility, your feet are just not going to be in a position to propel you all that much.

notatall 03-10-2017 02:00 PM

I thank Stuart and Nova. Balance is needed first to be achieved. Pullbouy is good tool for correcting my stroke after the balance is achieved. I think it is still a long road to make all things right, thank you both again.

CoachStuartMcDougal 03-10-2017 04:59 PM

Hi Notatall,

You're welcome. Once you feel balance and stability from the middle, you will feel like a bird riding on a cushion of air.

Re: pull-buoy. The only thing I find them useful for nowadays is tossing like a nerf-ball (from the deck) to get a swimmer's attention. It's takes some skill to bounce one off a moving swim cap :-)

Stuart

notatall 03-28-2017 03:27 PM

kicking is only way to solve the problem of sinking lags when you do freestyle?
 
Now, I can do balance between my chest and legs and keep all my body flat on the water surface. Itís great. But it happens only when I do nothing with my arms and legs. Iíd tried an experiment by only doing strokes while immobilizing my legs, I found my leg sank that dragged my lower body and slow down my
My question is if kicking is only way to solve the problem of sinking lags when you swim?

novaswimmer 03-29-2017 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by notatall (Post 62177)
Now, I can do balance between my chest and legs and keep all my body flat on the water surface. It’s great.

Not sure what you are saying. Are you saying you are able to float, face-down in the water for an extended period of time without kicking at all? I could never do that. I'm not that buoyant and have a way-off center of buoyancy, so my legs sink almost immediately when trying to float with no motion. So GOOD FOR YOU! You are blessed with an asset that will help you a lot!

Quote:

But it happens only when I do nothing with my arms and legs. I’d tried an experiment by only doing strokes while immobilizing my legs, I found my leg sank that dragged my lower body and slow down my
If you have good natural buoyancy and a naturally-horizontal body position in the water, but then sink when stroking, perhaps your recovery arm is positioned or 'stacked' above your body as it moves forward. This can push you down. Or you are trying to lift your head for breath?. I think if you could get a video for the coaches to see, that would help ID the problem.

Quote:

My question is if kicking is only way to solve the problem of sinking lags when you swim?
Not the only way. Proper arm positions during recovery, proper spear depth for the underwater arm, and proper head positions (looking down at pool floor), all play a role in obtaining good balance and horizontal buoyancy. Also, look up 'front-quadrant swimming'. Hopefully coaches can elaborate. I don't know all the TI terms.

sclim 03-29-2017 08:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by novaswimmer (Post 62186)
Not sure what you are saying. Are you saying you are able to float, face-down in the water for an extended period of time without kicking at all? I could never do that. I'm not that buoyant and have a way-off center of buoyancy, so my legs sink almost immediately when trying to float with no motion.

I probably have heard this from you before, but as someone who rarely encounters anyone with as dense lower body as myself, I am always eager to compare notes.

I find that my heavy legs situation seems to contribute to my lack of balance. As a result I haven't focused on getting good balance as much as I should have. Somewhat belatedly I am finally learning better balance, and it really helps to compensate for lack of leg buoyancy.

When I achieve good horizontal balance, as a consequence my head goes down, and it becomes a real technical problem to get air smoothly with a minimum of bobbing or excessive rotation. Rather than being able to breath with my face facing 90 degrees to the side (like "normal" people), I find it's more like 120 or 135 degrees from 0 degrees straight down, despite all attempts to breath with half the face covered, to breathe with only half the mouth out of the water, to breathe out of the trough of the wave created by your head, etc, etc. I also struggle in achieving the right balance between the slow trickle of air released out of the nose for relaxation, and keeping in enough air above the diaphragm between breaths to avoid total trunk sinkage. (BTW, I should emphasize that my excessive face rotation is purely to reach the surface to get air; I am trying to minimize any extra rotation or mouth elevation more than barely enough to get air, and even then I often fail to get air. My recovery elbow is not stacked above my body, and I make it a point to have my fingers skimming the surface or only just above the surface in a wide arced recovery).

What happens to you, and how do you cope?

Zenturtle 03-29-2017 08:58 PM

Some additional possible causes for leg sinking.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7ETlhaMsEk

personally I found the reduced hiprotation and increased shoulder rotation has improved balance a bit too. Hips overrotated and kicking to the side is not helping balance.(exagerating to make the point clear)

novaswimmer 03-30-2017 12:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sclim (Post 62190)
I probably have heard this from you before, but as someone who rarely encounters anyone with as dense lower body as myself, I am always eager to compare notes.

I find that my heavy legs situation seems to contribute to my lack of balance. As a result I haven't focused on getting good balance as much as I should have. Somewhat belatedly I am finally learning better balance, and it really helps to compensate for lack of leg buoyancy.

When I achieve good horizontal balance, as a consequence my head goes down, and it becomes a real technical problem to get air smoothly with a minimum of bobbing or excessive rotation. Rather than being able to breath with my face facing 90 degrees to the side (like "normal" people), I find it's more like 120 or 135 degrees from 0 degrees straight down, despite all attempts to breath with half the face covered, to breathe with only half the mouth out of the water, to breathe out of the trough of the wave created by your head, etc, etc. I also struggle in achieving the right balance between the slow trickle of air released out of the nose for relaxation, and keeping in enough air above the diaphragm between breaths to avoid total trunk sinkage. (BTW, I should emphasize that my excessive face rotation is purely to reach the surface to get air; I am trying to minimize any extra rotation or mouth elevation more than barely enough to get air, and even then I often fail to get air. My recovery elbow is not stacked above my body, and I make it a point to have my fingers skimming the surface or only just above the surface in a wide arced recovery).

What happens to you, and how do you cope?

I'm right there with you sclim! It's a real b@#$tch being slim and dense and have a poor 'aquatic signature'. I also have a small lung capacity, so have less of a 'buoy' than others as well. I'm convinced that is why Boomer did his 'aquatic signature' analysis of swimmers to help them find a stroke or event that fits their body type (among other things). He got it. And if you look at most people who swim the English Channel, what is their body type? They look like seals with fairly even fat distribution. Have you ever seen a skinny Channel swimmer?

Breathing has never come easy to me. I aim to swim about a mile when I get to swim these days, and going slowly is the best way to do that. I'm sure I rotate my head more than 90 degrees to get air. But it compromises my streamline a bit. I use a hybrid 2 / 6 beat kick with the down-kick that assists rotation being the strongest and the other two kicks being having much less amplitude. But i feel this kick helps to keep my hips higher. I am improving over time, but may never achieve even average speed because of my inherent built-in drag.

I practice front-quadrant swimming. All helps to a degree I guess. I do find, for me, that a slow trickle of air actually helps me stay more horizontal, than if I were to hold more air in. But i have to plan my exhale and breath very carefully so that I empty my lungs about 80% just before turning my head to breath, and exhale the last bit forcefully AS I TURN, to prevent water coming in my mouth. This usually works.

Believe it or not, I tend to breathe easier in water when I close my eyes. I can feel the water move down across my face as I rotate my head and then breathe at just the right moment. Unfortunately I usually have to share a lane with someone, so I can't keep my eyes closed for very long!

notatall 03-30-2017 03:16 PM

Nova [QUOTE= I could never do that.




I can make it, almost every time. For only horizontal balance I can share my experience.
Through some practice, I’ve realized that the difficulty of making the balance comes from the human nature. You need to go against it when seeking front-to-back balance at the water surface. At the beginning, you are lengthening whole your body like a stick, with your arms and legs straight. Besides of having proper head position, you need to bring your hip up (down your belly), then your leg up. The water will help you float horizontally.(Now, your body is still hard). After your balance is made by the water, relax all “parts” of your body without compromising the position you already have too much. Then you will float with no motion.
This method can work for me, I hope it can work for you.

WFEGb 03-31-2017 01:26 AM

Hello notatall,

think you pointed out one of the "secrets" of high hip-legs: Relaxation (Our heads are more or less of the same density and it should feel relaxed "weightless" all the time, even when turning to breathe...) I didn't find a swimmer who could not hold a relaxed SG for 2sec before the legs start to sink, and two seconds is longer than a our usual SR...

Every movement of the arms (especially in FQ) should happen on it's individual wide "rail-tracks" as relaxed as possible. Missing the tracks will result in sinking most times... or to uncontrolled movements avoiding that...

Terry writes you may use your lead-arm as trim tab (... if it's really necessary).

Don't use your kick for pushing legs up. Just use it as support for your rotation and spear. If tuned right it will result in a feeling as horizontal, straight, long screw doing an eighth (or quarter) turn... And your legs should stay parallel to surface by itself...

Best regards,
Werner

sclim 03-31-2017 04:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by novaswimmer (Post 62194)
I'm right there with you sclim! It's a real b@#$tch being slim and dense and have a poor 'aquatic signature'. I also have a small lung capacity, so have less of a 'buoy' than others as well. I'm convinced that is why Boomer did his 'aquatic signature' analysis of swimmers to help them find a stroke or event that fits their body type (among other things). He got it. And if you look at most people who swim the English Channel, what is their body type? They look like seals with fairly even fat distribution. Have you ever seen a skinny Channel swimmer?

Breathing has never come easy to me. I aim to swim about a mile when I get to swim these days, and going slowly is the best way to do that. I'm sure I rotate my head more than 90 degrees to get air. But it compromises my streamline a bit. I use a hybrid 2 / 6 beat kick with the down-kick that assists rotation being the strongest and the other two kicks being having much less amplitude. But i feel this kick helps to keep my hips higher. I am improving over time, but may never achieve even average speed because of my inherent built-in drag.

I practice front-quadrant swimming. All helps to a degree I guess. I do find, for me, that a slow trickle of air actually helps me stay more horizontal, than if I were to hold more air in. But i have to plan my exhale and breath very carefully so that I empty my lungs about 80% just before turning my head to breath, and exhale the last bit forcefully AS I TURN, to prevent water coming in my mouth. This usually works.

Believe it or not, I tend to breathe easier in water when I close my eyes. I can feel the water move down across my face as I rotate my head and then breathe at just the right moment. Unfortunately I usually have to share a lane with someone, so I can't keep my eyes closed for very long!

It's good to know one is not all alone in this world lol!

As it turns out I have a large lung capacity relative to my small body size, and a good thing too, as it makes a huge difference as to how fast I sink (yes, I still sink). But it turns out this is also a factor for people of "normal" buoyancy, too. See Coach Stuart McDougal's post on this topic, and particularly his reference to Mandy McDougal's SwimVice video, where she visibly drops a couple of inches when she exhales too much!

http://www.totalimmersion.net/blog/breathing-overrated/

Incidentally, I was actually searching for Mandy's Video when I found Coach Stuart's post, so I'm glad to have this thorough treatment of the subject which I will now review in depth myself.

notatall 04-21-2017 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WFEGb (Post 62208)
Hello notatall,

think you pointed out one of the "secrets" of high hip-legs: Relaxation (Our heads are more or less of the same density and it should feel relaxed "weightless" all the time, even when turning to breathe...) I didn't find a swimmer who could not hold a relaxed SG for 2sec before the legs start to sink, and two seconds is longer than a our usual SR...

Every movement of the arms (especially in FQ) should happen on it's individual wide "rail-tracks" as relaxed as possible. Missing the tracks will result in sinking most times... or to uncontrolled movements avoiding that...

Terry writes you may use your lead-arm as trim tab (... if it's really necessary).

Don't use your kick for pushing legs up. Just use it as support for your rotation and spear. If tuned right it will result in a feeling as horizontal, straight, long screw doing an eighth (or quarter) turn... And your legs should stay parallel to surface by itself...

Best regards,
Werner

Werner
Thank you, Werner. But I still donít know what SQ, FQ or SG stand for. I donít read anything except something said in the forum. Anyway, your words are very enlightening. Yes, kicking is not used to push legs up only. Like Coarch Stuartís great metaphor ďThing of your legs as the handles and your lungs as wheel of wheelbarrow.Ē I think Kicks must be something of importance to generate my core power. The problem is that kicks consume a lot of efforts, and people said swimming is a syncing thing. My question is what the kick should be timed with and when should I start kicking and which leg I should kick on.
I am not young, I hope everything is economical. Thank you again.

borate 04-21-2017 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by notatall (Post 62527)
My question is what the kick should be timed with and when should I start kicking and which leg I should kick on.

The two-beat kick advocated by TI is more for balance than propulsion. It's favored for distance events, as it minimizes leg muscle effort.

Kick down with the opposing leg at about the time the hand enters the water, as demonstrated in this classic clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC8ZZZhabp4

The kick helps to propel the body into a streamlined position.

Tom Pamperin 04-21-2017 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by notatall (Post 62527)
Werner
Thank you, Werner. But I still donít know what SQ, FQ or SG stand for.

I think you mean "SR" and not "SQ" in Werner's post.

SR = stroke rate

FQ = front quadrant swimming (i.e. keeping lead arm patient and not starting to pull until the other arm is almost ready to enter the water; that way you have the weight of both arms in front of your body for part of the stroke)

SG = Superman Glide drill, which is pushing off in balance on your stomach with arms outstretched to spear point

bujanglokal 04-22-2017 02:55 AM

So efficient swimming equation = streamline pose + FQ + 2BK + EVF (early vertical forearm) ? 😎

notatall 04-22-2017 11:28 AM

Thank Borate and Tom for your attention to my questions. I am happy today. I myself have proved your sayings to be true. Kicking with the right leg at the right time is big help for my rotation, making my strokes a little bit more efficient. I think I can get it better soon.

ssimpson 04-22-2017 11:19 PM

Trunk Sinkage
 
Just a comment about trunk sinkage when you breathe out. You sound like you're expanding your rib cage and contracting it to empty air and breathe out.

You don't need to do that. You can breathe in and out while keeping your rib cage expanded. As someone who is currently taking singing lessons, that's a core part of what you're taught, supporting the breath by keeping your rib cage expanded. You work on that kind of breathing in yoga too.

WFEGb 04-23-2017 07:01 PM

Hello notatall,

Quote:

...But I still donít know what SQ, FQ or SG stand for. I donít read anything except something said in the forum...
Sorry for the late answer... Think all questions are answered while my PC was down... But time for a little promotion work for my acryonyms list, hope I didn't miss to many...

Best regards,
Werner

notatall 04-24-2017 04:11 AM

Thanks, Werner, The list is very helpful.

ivette.carlier 05-02-2017 08:43 AM

To be honest, I'm just here to read you guy, the way you're discussing the topic is just amazing. Great!


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notatall 05-02-2017 03:52 PM

I myself am amazed by thier dedication to the question.


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