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  #1  
Old 12-26-2008
Willem Willem is offline
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Willem
Default How to practise a good kick?

Okay folks,

my kick is very poor and this causes a lot of other problems too! In the TI philosophy a kick board is a banned tool!

So how can I practise on developing a good kick?!?

Are there excercises which isolate 'the kicking technique'?
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2008
daveblt daveblt is offline
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A poor kick can come from poor ankle flexibility or not being able to coordinate it correctly such as kicking from the knee.Slipping on a pair of fins can help you learn to get the feeling of a proper flutter kick under control.First try vertical kicking in the deep end of the pool while holding a kickboard and once you get the feeling then try it in Sweet spot and skating positions.The more you can relax into the water to feel the water carry you and balance without struggle so your hips feel free to move the easier the kick will come .The legs should bend only a little on the upbeat and should feel as if originates in your core and not from the knee down.


Dave
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2008
Willem Willem is offline
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Willem
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Getting better ankle flexibility will take years I think.
When I practise with fins my kick feels a lot better, but as soon as I remove them, my legs sink and I my kick isn't good enough to keep my balance, however I keep my head straight down and my leading arm quite steep for my balance. So I suppose my weak kick is the main problem.
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  #4  
Old 12-31-2008
chiswimmer chiswimmer is offline
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chiswimmer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willem View Post
Getting better ankle flexibility will take years I think.
When I practise with fins my kick feels a lot better, but as soon as I remove them, my legs sink and I my kick isn't good enough to keep my balance, however I keep my head straight down and my leading arm quite steep for my balance. So I suppose my weak kick is the main problem.
Maybe the problem is not so much about your kicking, but rather with your balancing awareness. You mentioned that your kick feels a lot better with fins, because fins do provide better forward momentum and also a bit more buoyancy. If you are solely practicing your drills and swimming with fins, I would suggest that you take off your fins and begin doing those basic drills again, specifically those deal with balancing issues.

I too experience exactly the same as you did -- feet sink last year. Also your ankles could be stiffer than you think, so when you are doing flutter kicks, make the motion of the kicks come from the rotation of your core through your hips rather than kicking like you are running in the water. Problems with using leg muscles is that, you tend to dorsiflex your foot, which then acts as a water scooper which can cause your feet to sink or swim backwards!
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  #5  
Old 01-01-2009
Willem Willem is offline
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Willem
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Thanks for the good suggestions to excercise my kick.
Chiswimmer, you can be right too. I'll try the balancedrills without fins again!

'The kick must come from the hips and not from the legs.': It's strange but I don't seem to memorise this in my motoric memory. I didn't had the "aha-expierence"... Hope this will come one day!!
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2009
chiswimmer chiswimmer is offline
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chiswimmer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willem View Post
Thanks for the good suggestions to excercise my kick.
Chiswimmer, you can be right too. I'll try the balancedrills without fins again!

'The kick must come from the hips and not from the legs.': It's strange but I don't seem to memorise this in my motoric memory. I didn't had the "aha-expierence"... Hope this will come one day!!
Think of a rubber band. Your core is the rubber band and the movement from hip is the after-effect of the core unwinding as you spear your hand into the water. Let your legs as loosy loose as you possible can. The more tense your legs muscles are on the quads, glutes and hamstrings, the harder it is to allow the hip to actuate the 2 beat kick.

I find that the TI 2 beat kick easy to implement because I am a Chi-runner as well, which uses core rotation and hip extension much in a same way as a TI freestyle swimmer.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2008
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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First, make sure you are kicking up - using the hamstrings and gluteal muscles - as well as down. Then, make sure you aren't kicking too much, as a really wide splayed-out kick creates a lot of drag. Finally, make sure you are kicking from the hip, with the rest of your leg loose and relaxed.
If your balance is good you really don't have to do much kicking at all. Using the kick to bring the hips up burns up a lot of energy and doesn't really do much for forward momentum. Work a lot on the Superman glide from a wall or standing pushoff. Focus on getting a lot of distance out of each glide, with just a little light kicking.
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  #8  
Old 12-28-2008
AWP AWP is offline
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Hi Willem,

Some really good suggestions especially vertical kicking and Superman glide.
If you are swimming whole stroke predominantly maybe do some lengths of 'no kick' swimming. That is just focus on keeping your legs quiet allowing them to move with your hip/core rotation yet concentrate on keeping your feet close together.
Become hyper-aware of how your legs/feet behave as you swim. As you develop a rhythm add a snap to (one) downbeat and continue 'not' kicking. A few more strokes and maybe snap with the opposite downbeat leg. Mental notes.
Now perhaps two simultaneous snaps, rhythm, rhythm, snap snap. What do you feel? Be deliberate in your movements yet always use light pressure. As mentioned loose legs but keep "tone" (not tension) to your posture especially your core.
If your balance is great this will develop smoothly.
If you're working on breathing maybe try lengths of taking 3 - 5 strokes then sweetspot breathing and so on to maintain a rhythm without too much interruption or awkwardness.
Soon you'll incorporate the breathing exercise with the kicking focus and may discover the 'new' kick ( together with smooth hip/core rotation) will enable 'easier' breathing overall.
Play with your x/y coordinates. You may find as your kick develops, together with great balance, that you'll be able to raise your lead arm a bit also allowing for a smoother rotation to air.
Much luck.
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  #9  
Old 09-29-2012
swimqueen swimqueen is offline
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swimqueen
Default Slowest kicker in my lane

I can swim faster and longer than the other three swimmers in my lane - I'm with a new club this year - but they all blow me out of the water on kick sets. I have been using the newer Zoomers for years and will soon need to replace them . Is there a better swim fin for me ? Kicking without fins - almost going backwards.
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  #10  
Old 09-29-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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CharlesCouturier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swimqueen View Post
I can swim faster and longer than the other three swimmers in my lane - I'm with a new club this year - but they all blow me out of the water on kick sets. I have been using the newer Zoomers for years and will soon need to replace them . Is there a better swim fin for me ? Kicking without fins - almost going backwards.
Well not that I affectionate fins (truth being that I hate them, as they torture my ankles), but recently I saw a paper which was about how to choose fins. To my big surprise, Zoomers were not recommended as they are too short for providing enough propulsion for most of you having difficulty to kick without fins.

It's believe that a model that is a bit longer be preferable.

Can't speak on my own behalf here, as last time I wear fins I got injured once again.

Hope this helps.
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