I thought I’d share an email I wrote to one of my swimmers. Ironically, this swimmer has a beautiful stroke, very smooth, long, lean, streamlined and little drag formation. But he’s got two demons that possess his swimming. His breathing and his kick. (It would have been funny I’d written “his right side & his left side”, or “his front half and his back half”) But no, they are the common demons for many triathletes…breathing & kick.
Last month he & 2 friends came down for a dedicated 90 minute session on breathing and it was very enlightening, all three improved dramatically, and their underlying fears (YES FEARS) of the water surfaced and were driven out and replaced by positive breathing stroke thoughts. (Search the forums for my “Swim Breathing Thread)
Yet he still begged me for feedback on his kick. Since we can’t get together to swim anytime in the near future, I sent him this exercise to practice. For about 50% of the people I teach this to in groups, it’s a true “AHA” moment. Some still struggle with it and if you are one of them, don’t worry. You may simply need a different focus to make the connection. Anyway, here is the exercise, let me know if it works for you.
(Coach Ryan posted similar thoughts a while ago, but as new visitors are always coming to the website, no harm in repeating a great exercise)
The Two Beat Kick (2BK) is an efficient kick used for by both competitive long distance swimmers and triathletes that helps provide a coordinated weight shift from right side to left side used in freestyle swimming. The kick is used mainly for rotation rather than propulsion.
Here is a nice exercise to get the feel for the 2BK. Start in superman glide and pushoff without kicking. Let the legs streamline behind you. Glide until momentum stops or you need to breath. Do this a few times focusing on streamlining your legs and keepign them “quiet”
Next, start in superman glide and rotate into Skate by gently pulling one arm back to your recovery position (arm molded along your side), and the other arm extended along a wide track. Do this a few times on each side to get comfortable, reaquaint yourself with the motion.
Next, Start as above. This time as you rotate to LEFT side skate (left arm extended), simultaneously kick downward with your right leg as a flick. You should feel a connection between the right sided downbeat kick, and your body rotating to the left and ending in left sided skate.
Stand up, repeat. stand, repeat. Stand, repeat.
Try the same thing on the right side. Connect the opposite arm & leg to synchronize the downbeat kick and the extension to skate.
Start with that and let me know how it goes.