DOLPHIN KICK SWIMMING TECHNIQUE
“THE DOLPHIN KICK SWIMMING TECHNIQUE” OR AS IT IS MORE COMMONLY KNOW AS THE UNDERWATER BUTTERFLY KICK. THIS IS A FAIRLY NEW TECHNIQUE WHICH REALLY DID NOT GET A LOT OF ATTENTION UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY. SINCE THEN ALL THE TOP ATHLETES HAVE USED IT TO GET A SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGE ON THE COMPETITION, ESPECIALLY MICHAEL PHELPS, THUS GAINING ITS NAME AS THE 5TH STROKE OF SWIMMING.
THE THEORY BEHIND THE UNDERWATER BUTTERFLY KICK:
With the butterfly kick it’s either you can use it effectively to win races or you know just enough to get yourself seriously frustrated. Keep in mind that the underwater butterfly kick is different from the kick used to swim the butterfly stroke. However, I’ll get into this in more detail later on.
A lot of swimmer who are new to the concept of the butterfly kick tend to use their knees to generate the motion in the butterfly kick. This is a mistake. Bending your knees too much will increase the drag force being exerted on your body and slow you down. Instead what you want to do is keep your entire body streamline like you are swimming through a tube and keep the butterfly kick in line and behind your body. Below is an example of what bending your knees to much looks like.
The leg is going too low and too high which will increase drag and slow you down. Half the battle of becoming a fast swimmer is finding new way to reduce drag so it is import to avoid any rookie mistakes that may be slowing you down right now. Keep your legs behind your body!
In essence, anything that you do in swimming that ranges outside the width of your body increase drag and vice versa.
THE APPLICATION OF THE UNDERWATER BUTTERFLY KICK :
Kicking from your hips for the first time is going to feel like a newborn baby and you are probably not going to go anywhere in the process. However, like with any new skill you have learn in the pass, as you may know by now, you have to start with baby steps. Below I have outlines 3 step process to make anyone better at underwater kicking:
You have to stretch your knee muscles. Below is a video to show you exactly what to do. This must be done after every practice. Not before.
- Get a mono-fin.
If you don’t have on as yet, GET ONE. This is the ultimate tool to help you understand and become better at swimming underwater fly kicks. You can kind this AMAZON , swim outlet , or any swim store near you. Use this when you’re doing butterfly kicks in training. And try keep you kicks as small as possible.
N.B. In the pic below the force of the kick is coming from the hips and not the knees. The knee bends because of the upward force exerted on the leg.
The first time you try this you’re probably not going to be any good at it and you’re probably not going to go anywhere. It happened to everyone. However, I am going to show you how to develop the strength quickly so you don’t have to spend months trying to get this.
Believe it or not the strength for an effective fly kick comes from your…lower back and lower core muscles. Here are 2 easy exercise you can do to strengthen these muscles quickly:
Double leg raise
Reverse leg raises
With these exercises the devil is always in the details. With the double leg raise: make sure your toes are pointed and your knees are straight. And with the reverse leg raise: make sure you keep your head in a neutral position and keep your knees straight as well. You should look exactly like what you see in the picture above.
Lastly, I will have to write another blog about the difference between the underwater butterfly kick and the butterfly kick used in swimming butterfly. However, I will let you know when it is posted. It should be completed by next week Wednesday or Thursday. Please give me some feedback so that I can give you more information specific to your situation and do subscribe. It’s the link on the top right of the screen. Bye for now.