Kick off! Swim faster kicking less.
Kicking like crazy? STOP!
Swim faster doing these five things:
1. Swim better using YOUR head
It’s time to use your head by not using it! When your legs sink you automatically kick more to try to gain height in the water. If your legs are sinking you may be lifting your head to hunt for the end of the pool. Stand up straight with prim and proper posture - chuck a book on your head if that helps. That strong, straight spine and neutral neck is what you want to replicate in the water. Clock how if feels, lock it in and dive in.
2. Go hard core with YOUR swim training
If setting your head straight doesn't calm your kicking down, your core may be at the centre of your issues. You don't need a six pack and a solid core is a great start. If you don't have enough core strength, your body folds in the middle, your legs start to sink and that kicking instinct will, well, kick in.Your core is crucial to body position and being able to stabilize your strokes - that means front, back and sides... not just your abs. Without a solid core you simply won’t have the strength to keep your legs high in the water for long and you'll kick to compensate. It never hurts (metaphorically anyway) to build more core strength!
Kicking too much is often due to trying to right what is wrong. While there's nothing wrong with kicking, you save a lot of energy if you use your kick to move forward rather than to hoist yourself higher in the water.
3. Focus YOUR bottom line
This one is literal advice. Look straight down at the bottom of the pool and only stop doing that when you look directly to the side as you breathe. The bottom line is if you can see your destination you are looking up too much. If you get flashes of the bottom of the pool, the lane next to yours, then the one on the other side, you are swinging your head instead of keeping it pointing at your target. One way to improve your lap time is to reduce movement that doesn't move you forward - speed will surely follow!
4. Sort YOUR startTime to start on your start and that means working on undulation. If you watch the best swimmers, you will notice their fast underwater undulation and kicking. That is thanks to the monofin!
The stroke that gets the most benefit out from monofin training is obviously butterfly but the Evo monofin teaches the fundamentals of dolphin kick for all strokes and all levels of swimmer. It doesn't have the weight of a large monofin and helps swimmers learn to keep feet together as well as develop good undulation technique.
For swimmers wanting to build their dolphin kick, the Foil Monofin teaches the Full Body Motion developed and made popular by Coach Bob Gillett. The Full Body Motion utilizes the entire body to create a powerful and undulating dolphin kick through the water. The Foil promotes an equal use of up and down kicks for propulsion throughout the entire dolphin kick movement which also increases core and leg strength.
Here’s some serious tricks to try with the Foil:
10 x 50s Under/Overs @ 1:15 min intervals
Kick underwater for a 25 flip turn and come back turning over on your back for the 2nd 25
12 x 25s @ 45 sec intervals
No Breath Underwater dolphin kick. Focus on quick dolphin kicks and undulating. This is a great set that works your breath control off your walls while encouraging great undulation!
8 x 25s 360 Underwater Spirals @ 40 sec intervals
Push off the wall in normal streamline position, the slowly rotate to your side, then to your back, side, and then finally back to your stomach. Make 1 full rotation (hence the 360!) each 25. This practices core stability and breath control.
5. Find YOUR perfect swim fin
What is the best swim fin? Swim fins aren't one size fits all so figure out what it is you want to correct, improve or develop and find the tool to help you. Short blade Zoomers Gold are ideal to kick things up a level when lap swimming for fitness or squad training. They encourage speed and flexibility without adding too much length to the foot. Easy on the down-kick, they provide the least amount of forward propulsion on the up-kick to keep your training on target.
The Long Floating Fin will also help you kick less while shaving seconds off your lap time but beware - the length means extra buoyancy and the speed that comes with that can be addictive. With its long, hydrodynamic blade, the Long Floating Fins add propulsion to butterfly and flutter kick. Buoyancy from the fins also lifts legs to the surface, reducing drag from the rest of the body.
If you are up for a challenge and want to build leg strength rather than just kicking, Edge Fins will push you. Edge Fins are a great tool to support and improve proper kick technique. The blade angle is designed to feel like a natural extension of the foot. The open toe design allows for a snug fit and, being made of 100% silicone, Edge Fins will mold to your feet over time.
Rest assured (but only if you've finished training) that all FINIS fins are designed to deliver great results - but only if you're prepared to do the work so.... happy swimming!