Dolphin Kick, otherwise known here at the Race Club as The Fifth Stroke, is used in all 4 strokes. It is imperative to develop a strong and effective dolphin kick in order to swim fast no matter what swim race you are in. We use several ways to develop the fifth stroke by engaging power from the entire body for an effective dolphin kick. In part two of this #swimisodes, Roland Schoeman shows us how kicking with an alignment board and dmc snap snorkel can both allow the undulation the body needs in the fifthe stroke while remaining as streamlined on the surface as possible.
In Olympic Gold Medalist Roland Schoeman’s kick, the upkick accounts for about 20% of the propulsion but is absolutely critical to couple a strong upkick with the down kick. The down kick accounts for about 80% of propulsion, but needs that strong upkick to utilize the vortexes created in both directions spinning off the ends of the feet. When the swimmer gets going and is using those vortexes to kick in both directions, maximum speed biomechanically is gained. When equal pressure is applied on the upkick, the subsequent down kick turns out to be even more powerful.
To kick fast, every degree of plantar flexibility matters. With more flexion, the small amount of extra flick that comes from pointing the toes, creates a relatively significant increase in propulsion. A strong core is needed to use the whole body and practice the dolphin kick everyday. The propulsion comes from the flick of the kick but it is started by all the muscles in your upper abdomen and entire core. There are many ways to practice the Fifth Stroke, and we use all of them at The Race Club. Watch how Roland Schoeman demonstrates a great dolphin kick with alignment board and monosnorkel with and without fins.