Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Learn How To Swim 101 - Breaststroke - Improved kick



As you get stronger in your breaststroke and you have established a reasonable breaststroke action there are some minor kicking improvements that will significantly improve your stroke efficiency.

These are:
  • Pointing your toes at the end of your kick
  • Bringing your feet together at the end of your kick
I've waited till now to discuss them because, I find that if I introduce these concept too soon the swimmer does them too soon in their stroke.

The pointing of the toes for example:
Because most swimmers learn the freestyle first they are used to pointing their toes and so they try and do the frog kick with pointed toes. Whereas the kick must be done with, what I call a flat foot. That is the swimmers toes need to be pointing towards the torso of their body during the main kick.

So why introduce them now? Because once the frog kick has become established the student is able to add another element without compromising the main kick. Also because their are minor but significant efficiencies to be gain by pointing your toes at the end of the kick.

Basically by pointing your toes at the end of your kick you increase you streamline and move easier and often a little faster through the water.

Bringing your feet together as an example:
Because most students are concentrating on the stroke as a whole, to introduce the concept of bringing their feet together too early in their practice, only gives them too much to think about. The result is the swimmer gets confused and has trouble mastering the main kick.

So again why introduce bringing your feet together now? Because again there are minor but significant efficiencies to be gain by bringing your feet together at the end of the kick.

So how to do these two? Both are very simple to implement.

Bringing your feet together
Bringing your feet together at the end of your kick is just that. At the end of your kick make sure you have your feet touch. This causes an eddy in the water and the eddy is forced out between your feet thus giving the swimmer a small but sometimes significant boost in their forward motion.


Pointing your toes
Pointing your toes at the end of your kick again is just that. Making sure that you complete a full frog kick first the swimmer then straightens their legs and points their toes just as they begin their stroke. The result will be an improvement in your streamline and thus movement through the water.

The two work in unison. They are both performed at the same time at the end of the kick.

I know that I've said at the end of the kick a lot of times, but I can't over emphasize that element. If you try to do these things too soon in your kick you will muck it up and loose the advantage.

On the other hand do this right and you will gain improvements in your stroke efficiency.

If you haven't already you should now be developing yous freestyle or backstroke.

Enjoy
Richard

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