View Single Post
Old 03-27-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,453

Originally Posted by jriley View Post
Discovered tonight that my kick makes me go backward.

Just to see how little kick I could use and remain flat (balanced), I started a workout at the wall, put fingertips on the wall, got in Superman position, and began a compact, gentle, 1 foot radius kick, about equal to a 2-beat at 45-50 stroke rate tempo.

Stayed flat as a ferry, relaxed - balance is not a big problem for me. No scissoring, and I don't "bicycle" or "ball kick". I was kicking minimally, just "flick of the foot" stuff, again just to see how little I needed to stay balanced.

What I noticed in this little experiment was that I slowly and steadily moved away from the wall - backward. Wonderful to see the tiles going by in reverse . . .

How's THAT for drag . . .

Not a big surprise for me. I knew I had a weak kick - I go nowhere in non-stroking drills without using fins. Just didn't realize that it was negatively propulsive. My feet have high arches, and toes naturally arc up from the forefoot - basically the opposite of flat, flipperlike feet.

I've been stretching my ankles and doing extra skating laps with fins to try to improve the kick for weeks. Lots a good that has done. ;-)

If it helps, I average 14-15 SPL per 25, swim golf score for 50 scy is in the 75-80 range typically.

Is this fixable? If so, how?
Kicking involves 3 joints, the hip, the knee & the ankle. Guaranteed there is some "flaw" in the movement of one or all of them combined making you move backwards. A common problem is flexion-flexion of the hips & knees at the same time. The hip should travel to the rear by squeezing the glut so that the thigh spends as much time behind a vertical axis of the body as it does in front. Knee should be supple and straighten when moving rearward (the pressure of the water should allow the knee to straigthen, and likewise when moving forward the pressure of hte water should allow the toe to point and the ankle to straighten. The whole leg should remain supple and flowing. This means that the 2 hinge joints, the knee and the ankle will be in both a straight position and a flexed position at opposite parts of the kicking motion.

Of course, the other answer is to just not kcik. You've got a nice low SPL without it, so adding it will only slow you down, creating drag as you've noted. Use it for rotation, but not for propulsion. that's a short term solution though. :)
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

Reply With Quote