Kick Faster in Freestyle and Dolphin Kick

Part II: The Importance of the Up Kick

One of my pet peeves is when coaches refer to the up kick on freestyle (or dolphin kick) as the ‘recovery phase’ of the kick. While the biomechanical strength of the down kick is at least double that of the up kick, the up kick also creates propulsion. A stronger up kick not only creates more propulsion, but it also creates a bigger vortex behind the foot, which leads to even more propulsion on the following down kick. To become a fast kicker, there is no recovery phase. By working the kick in both directions, just like a fish does, you can learn to kick faster.

The propulsion generated by the foot is highly influenced by the vortices caused by the swimmer’s body and moving feet. The foot on the up kick, for example, never moves backward relative to a fixed point in the pool. It moves upward and forward. Yet, the up kick can still generate propulsion because the foot is moving through a stream of water flowing forward behind the swimmer (vortex). So long as the stream is moving forward faster than the foot, or the foot is moving backward relative to the water, the foot can create propulsion.

When you turn the swimmer over onto his back, whether doing flutter or dolphin kick, the acceleration, deceleration and velocity curves all change significantly from those seen when kicking on the stomach. When the swimmer is on his back, suddenly the weaker down kick creates as much or more propulsion as the stronger up kick. The reason is that now the down kick pushes against a much stronger stream (vortex) than with the up kick, where the foot drops below the stream. The up kick contributes to the increased strength of the vortex for the following down kick. With less biomechanical strength, the down kick will now produce the same or more propulsion than the more powerful up kick. That is the influence of the vortex.

One of our favorite drills to teach the up kick is doing dolphin kick with fins underwater and on one’s side. We teach the swimmer to not let go of the water with the fin. In other words, we want the swimmer to feel the pressure of the down and up kicks at all times, snapping the fins down on the down kick and drawing the fins up quickly for the up kick. Sounds easy to teach, but in order for swimmers to really get it and practice it, The Race Club has a methodology.

Another great drill for developing the up kick is the vertical kick. If one relaxes on the up kick doing this drill, the head will drop down under water. The only way to keep the head above water at all times is by working both the up and down kicks hard.

Yours in Swimming,

Gary Sr.

Read Part I: Increase the Speed of Your Freestyle and Dolphin Kick

Read Part III: Two Important Nuances of a Great Kicker

Read Part IV: Five Ways to Kick Faster in the Pool

4 Responses to Kick Faster in Freestyle and Dolphin Kick

  1. Sang Hwa Lee

    Kick Faster in Freestyle and Dolphin Kick
    자유형과 돌고래 차기에서 더 빠르게 차기

    Part II: The Importance of the Up Kick
    2부: 위로 차기의 중요성

    One of my pet peeves is when coaches refer to the up kick on freestyle (or dolphin kick) as the ‘recovery phase’ of the kick. While the biomechanical strength of the down kick is at least double that of the up kick, the up kick also creates propulsion. A stronger up kick not only creates more propulsion, but it also creates a bigger vortex behind the foot, which leads to even more propulsion on the following down kick. To become a fast kicker, there is no recovery phase. By working the kick in both directions, just like a fish does, you can learn to kick faster.
    자유형(혹은 돌고래 차기)에서 위로 차기를 “되돌리는 단계”라고 부르는 것을 저는 아주 싫어합니다. 생체역학적인 측면에서 아래로 차는 힘이 위로 차는 힘보다 2배 이상 강하지만, 위로 찰 때도 추진력이 생깁니다. 위로 차는 힘이 강하면 생겨나는 추진력이 더 강해질 뿐만 아니라, 발 뒤로 더 큰 소용돌이가 생깁니다, 이 소용돌이 때문에 이어지는 아래로 차기에서의 추진력이 더 강해지는 것입니다. 빠르게 차는 선수가 되려면, 차기에서 되돌리기 단계 따위는 없어야 합니다. 물고기가 하는 것과 똑같이, 양쪽으로 차는 것을 훈련함으로써, 더 빠르게 차는 법을 익힐 수 있습니다.

    The propulsion generated by the foot is highly influenced by the vortices caused by the swimmer’s body and moving feet. The foot on the up kick, for example, never moves backward relative to a fixed point in the pool. It moves upward and forward. Yet, the up kick can still generate propulsion because the foot is moving through a stream of water flowing forward behind the swimmer (vortex). So long as the stream is moving forward faster than the foot, or the foot is moving backward relative to the water, the foot can create propulsion.
    발로 일으키는 추진력은 수영선수의 발 움직임과 몸에 의해 생기는 소용돌이의 영향을 아주 많이 받습니다. 예를 들어, 위로 차는 동안 발은, 수영장의 고정된 점에 대하여, 절대로 뒤쪽으로는 움직이지 않으며, 위와 앞쪽으로 움직입니다. 그럼에도 위로 차기는 여전히 추진력을 만들어 낼 수 있습니다. 왜냐하면 수영선수의 몸 뒤에서 앞쪽으로 흐르는 물(소용돌이) 속에서 발이 움직이기 때문입니다. 그 물의 흐름이 발보다 더 빠르게 움직이는 한, 즉 발이 그 물에 대하여 상대적으로 뒤쪽으로 움직이는 한, 그 발로 추진력을 일으킬 수 있습니다.

    When you turn the swimmer over onto his back, whether doing flutter or dolphin kick, the acceleration, deceleration and velocity curves all change significantly from those seen when kicking on the stomach. When the swimmer is on his back, suddenly the weaker down kick creates as much or more propulsion as the stronger up kick. The reason is that now the down kick pushes against a much stronger stream (vortex) than with the up kick, where the foot drops below the stream. The up kick contributes to the increased strength of the vortex for the following down kick. With less biomechanical strength, the down kick will now produce the same or more propulsion than the more powerful up kick. That is the influence of the vortex.
    선수를 뒤집어 눕게 하면, 팔랑 차기이든 돌고래 차기이든, (그래프에서) 가속, 감속, 속도 곡선이 모두 (엎드려서 찼을 때의 곡선에서) 현저하게 바뀝니다. 선수가 누워있을 때, (차는 방향이 바뀌므로) 더 약한 아래 차기가 갑자기 더 강한 위로 차기보다 훨씬 더 강한 추진력을 일으키게 됩니다. 그 이유는, 발이 물 흐름 아래로 떨어지게 되어, 위로 찰 때보다 훨씬 더 강한 흐름(소용돌이)에 대고 밀기 때문입니다. 위로 차기는 뒤이어 아래로 찰 때의 발에 대어지는 소용돌이의 힘이 더 강해지는 데 기여하게 됩니다. 생체역학적으로는 더 약하지만, 이제 아래로 차기는 강한 위로 차기와 같거나 더 강력한 추진력을 일으킵니다. 이는 소용돌이의 영향 때문입니다.

    One of our favorite drills to teach the up kick is doing dolphin kick with fins underwater and on one’s side. We teach the swimmer to not let go of the water with the fin. In other words, we want the swimmer to feel the pressure of the down and up kicks at all times, snapping the fins down on the down kick and drawing the fins up quickly for the up kick. Sounds easy to teach, but in order for swimmers to really get it and practice it, The Race Club has a methodology.
    물갈퀴를 차고 하는 물속 돌고래 차기는(혹은 옆으로 누워 물속 돌고래 차기) 우리가 위로 차기를 가르칠 때 선호하는 부분훈련입니다. 우리는, 물갈퀴를 이용함으로써, 선수가 물을 그냥 보내버리지 않는 법을 가르칩니다. 즉, 아래로 찰 때는 물갈퀴를 아래로 강하게 채며서, 위로 찰 때는 물갈퀴를 위로 잽싸게 당기면서, 아래위로 차는 압력을 항상 느끼라고 선수들에게 말합니다. 가르치기 쉽다고 들립니다. 하지만, 우리 레이쓰 클럽에는 선수들이 이것을 진짜로 알고 연습할 수 있게끔 하는 훈련 절차가 있습니다.

    Another great drill for developing the up kick is the vertical kick. If one relaxes on the up kick doing this drill, the head will drop down under water. The only way to keep the head above water at all times is by working both the up and down kicks hard.
    수직 차기(vertical kicking) 또한 위로 차기를 개발할 수 있는 훌륭한 부분훈련입니다. 수직 차기 훈련을 하다가 위로 차기를 느슨하게 하면, 머리가 물속으로 내려가게 됩니다. 머리를 계속해서 물 위로 내놓기 위한 유일한 방법은 아래로 차기와 위로 차기 모두 강하게 부지런히 하는 것입니다.

    Yours in Swimming,
    당신의 수영과 함께 하는,

    Gary Sr.
    게리 홀 시니어.

     
  2. Susan Huber

    Thank you for writing this! The one thing I do extremely well is to kick and in fact, have toned it down since being a much older master’s swimmer.
    It is worth to do experiments to see how one kicks, I found out that a strong upper and down kick during drills and side kicking with dk very helpful for not only propulsion but for streamline and thus better balance. However, one has to work at this often, it does not come naturally and most swimmers neglect their kicks.

     
  3. Pingback: Increase the Speed of Your Freestyle and Dolphin Kick - The Race Club | The Race Club

Add a Comment