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Triathlon Swimming Kick To Make Swimming So Much Easier

Triathlon Swimming Kick To Make Swimming So Much Easier


– Basically, don’t kick. Dedicated little rascal. Hello trainiacs. I thought that I was
sneaking in here for a little bonus Thursday morning swim,
which we don’t normally do and it looks like the contraband pool box Pat’s stuff isn’t in there either. So maybe Pat’s here. I dunno if that’s more
shocking to me or if I showing up here would
be more shocking to him. I need a coffee. Gonna be trying something
a little bit new today. Pat there? Pat Pat Pat Pat. Yup, there’s Pat. That dedicated little rascal. As I mentioned last week
because of these long swims, I wanna be trying an
underwater MP3 player. I tried the audio flood
last week, not good, my ears didn’t accept it. So we’re gonna try that
Finesse Duo or Neptune. There’s Pat. How good does this look, eh? Got enough stuff on your face, Taren? I dunno if you can hear
me, I can’t hear myself. (relaxed music) Thought I’d kick in clinic here. So far so good. They worked. I’m probably yelling right now. Can hear really clearly, had to get these as close to
my little ear dangly bump– Had these waterproof earplugs. And then there’s a little bit of tugging that kept the goggles from
suctioning really well, but…worked. I just listened to like
one sixth of a book. Now once I take this
off, lessons in kicking from a horrible kicker. Now according to that coaching survey that we just wrapped up, about half of 515 of you
who have taken that survey, have the hardest time with swimming. One of the most common questions
that I get about that is “Do you have any tips on kicking?” And my answer is typically something that you might not expect. It’s like yeah, basically, don’t kick. That’s weird to say, because… And we do a fair bit of kick sets, and we just did a fair bit of kick sets but that’s basically
just to keep us honest. It’s not necessarily to improve our kick. It’s to activate the kick
muscles so that your kick doesn’t completely go away. Why I don’t focus a whole
lot on improving the kick is because as far as all
the factors that go into making you go fast, at
most, for elite swimmers the kick comprises like 10 to 15 percent. For non-elite swimmers,
it’s maybe like seven to eight or nine percent. So if I were to improve
my kick by 50 percent, which would take tens of
thousands of kilometers, tens of thousands of meters, I’m maybe only getting
about three percent faster. Things like your catch, your
body position, your body roll, how streamlined you are,
how balanced you are, all of that makes so
much more a difference. That said, there are some
ways to approach your kick that you should keep in mind
to at least get the most out of doing the least. (whispering) I think, you know what,
I’m gonna do this on deck. I’m gonna pretty myself up and then we’ll pick this back up in a sec. Alright, I’m gonna preface
everything that I say here with a big caveat that
I am an awful kicker. As far as our swim group
goes, I am probably second or third slowest kicker out there. And it takes a ton of
oxygen out of my legs because I have really big legs. So the more I kick, the more tired I get, the worse I get in like
400 meter time trials and anything longer. So I have to work really
hard on getting at least a proper amount of kick, so that I wasn’t completely
ignoring my kick, but I also wasn’t tiring myself out. So as opposed to doing all those thousands of meters of
kicking, I approach kicking as what is the least amount that
I can do to conserve oxygen, not make myself have to breathe hard, not lose a ton of ton
of energy, and basically how can I be the most
efficient with the energy that I put into my kick. And here are, I dunno,
three, four, maybe five tips on what I figured I can do
in the max, or whatever. We’re gonna start from
the bottom of the legs up. So as far as the feet go, you want your toes pointed but loose. So you’re like this,
water’s gonna be coming, and it’s going to be creating
drag on the top of your foot, it’s just like this. And then straight. You’re not gonna be whipping
and it’s gonna be creating tension here which is gonna
cause your legs to set. So keep your ankles slightly
pointed but nice and loose. Then you also want your toes
to kind of come close to passing each other. You don’t want your feet way wide. So as your toes are kind of pointed down and you’re doing your kick, as you’re starting to build your kick, almost have your toes brush
up against each other. The idea is that– you’re way wide– You’re way wide like this,
water’s gonna be coming, and creating drag down
the side of your legs. You want your toes and legs
to basically just scissor past each other. Not scissor and kick out. Just straight kicking past each other. Moving up, what you want with your knee, is to not have a big snap
to it, like not a high kick. I’ll just show you. That is not what you want. What you don’t want is that
kicking from the knee motion. We can have a little bit
of flexibility in your knee to have that same whip that
you’ve got in your toes, which transfers all
the way up your leg and starts from your hip. But you don’t want the
kick coming from the knee. Don’t keep your knee
stiff, but at least keep it streamlined so that it’s kind of not… If your knee is bending,
and your thigh isn’t moving, you’re kicking from your knee. A good way to practice
kicking from your hip is doing dry land kicks so
that you get the feeling of it. So you can lie on your
back or in kind of a V sit. And just practice kicking
with almost straight legs. So yeah, the simplest way to describe it is that the kick starts from basically right at the bottom of your stomach, right above your pelvic bone
and then it transfers down like a whip all the way down your leg. Most age group athletes are
probably gonna have a tough time getting that true whip and
getting a ton of propulsion, like you see professional
swimmers and swimmers over here. So your best bet is to basically
just keep your legs loose and straight enough so
that they’re not creating a ton of drag at the back of
your calf by bending your knee a lot or by flexing your foot up a lot. You kinda want…your safe
bet is to have straighter legs but still make them loose. And then as far as how much
you kick, a six beat kick, a four beat kick, a two beat kick, do you kick really hard,
do you kick really slow, I would say kick only
as much as you need to to make sure that your
feet come up to the surface of the water. That’s gonna keep you nice and streamlined and make sure that water
isn’t coming across your feet as drag. And that is what the typical
triathlete who doesn’t come from a swim background and
doesn’t have an incredibly strong kick should do for kicking. It’s gonna conserve oxygen
and probably make you about as fast as you can get
yourself through the kick. That’s gonna save your
lungs and oxygen like crazy. When I start kicking less,
swimming, all of a sudden, very enjoyable. Who knew? Okay, on that note, I
have a mondo busy day and I’m gonna probably end the vlog there.

18 thoughts on “Triathlon Swimming Kick To Make Swimming So Much Easier”

  1. but this technique is the kicking technique elite swimmers use, too, right? 😀

    Would have liked it, if you had touched on 2 vs. 4 beat kick (or even 6 beat kick) and timing of the kick in relation to body rotation.
    I always hear how 2 beat kicks are supposed to be more efficient, but as a sinker I just can't get a 2 beat kick to work without sinking (a bit).
    Additionally my swimming style is focused on long smooth strokes which is the 4 beat kick (3+1) on longer distances and 6 beat on shorter work so much better for me (like non triathlon short :D)

  2. Had a massive calf cramp on Monday about a 1000m into my swim. It put me out of training for two full days. I find that my calves just don't do well with swimming. Yesterday, I did 2000m trying to kick as lightly and loosely as possibly and got through the whole swim without seizing. I found this video well timed for me and extremely helpful. Thanks a bunch! BTW…training for the 70.3 Coeur d'Alene in June.

  3. I want to be able to swim SOOO badly, but I have to learn to float effectively first.

    Translation: It is my extreme desire to learn to swim efficiently and effectively.

  4. So how can you possibly recommend kick techniques to athletes if you, even admit yourself, that you're no good at kick? and where does 10-15% for elite swimmers come from? Since the majority of triathletes issue with swimming is having sinking legs, besides form buying a wetsuit with the correct buoyancy like Huub do, how can recommend to people that they shouldn't try and improve their kick? Surely, to improve their swim stroke overall, the ideal would be for them to work on their kick so that their stroke is more balanced, their legs come up to the surface and therefore they improve a hell of a lot more than just "do the bare minimum kick possible"???

  5. One thing I read that was a revelation was that being more horizontal in the water was to push your core down in the water instead of trying to raise your legs. If you do so your legs will naturally go up. I think it helps me get less tired especially from my shoulders because I'm not fighting the water to move. But man there are so many things to concentrate on when swimming it's overwhelming.

  6. This is the kind of advice that works for me, especially as a new swimmer whose lower half sinks. Both a private swim coach I saw for assessment before my focused lessons and my masters swim prep coach now gave me the same info you did–less than 15% of your movement is generated by kicking. We spend more focus on finding ways to keep us horizontal on the water, and for me, that means kicking just enough and engaging my core. This past week, for the first time in all my lessons, I managed to swim a whole 25 yards without losing my pull buoy from between my legs. I did a couple hundred yards with it, and it was amazing how much faster I was just with that buoyancy even though my arms were flailing around every few strokes like I was riding a bucking bronco; the feeling of being right on top of the water and having an entirely new sense of balance made me feel like a crazy person, but they were the fastest laps I've ever swum.

  7. My problem with not kicking is still keeping my feet in a good position. So I do a minimalistic kick to keep my legs up and in a better form. Not that i'm succeeding, but I'm getting there eventually with the help of the coach.

  8. Ive been using H20 Audio for a bunch of years now. I love it! ITs a little case for an ipod. I use it in the sauna and steam room which isnt good for it and about once every year – year and a 1/2 I have to replace it because I short out the chord to the ear bud.

  9. The guys back there in the water watching you talk to your camera and laughing at 2:55 do. Btw Thank’s for making these videos we love ya

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