Going nowhere using kickboard

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by roger, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. roger

    roger Guest

    I never had a good freestyle stroke, mostly since my kicking is way
    off. Wanting to get a better stroke, I tried doing some laps with
    kickboard. TO MY SHOCK, when I grab the board with arms extended and
    kick, I actually stand in place and sometimes even go BACKWARDS. If I
    move the board closer to my chest, I move at incredibly slow speed.
    I'm too embarrased to get coaching at this point in my life (I'm 42).
    Are there any sites that show tips and have videos of proper kicking
    form?

    Thanks
    Roger
     
    Tags:


  2. jtaylor

    jtaylor Guest

    "roger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I never had a good freestyle stroke, mostly since my kicking is way
    > off.


    Kicking contributes little to almost all front crawl swimmers, so if you
    think you do not have a good stroke, it is unlikely to be a kicking issue.

    > Wanting to get a better stroke, I tried doing some laps with
    > kickboard. TO MY SHOCK, when I grab the board with arms extended and
    > kick, I actually stand in place and sometimes even go BACKWARDS. If I
    > move the board closer to my chest, I move at incredibly slow speed.
    > I'm too embarrased to get coaching at this point in my life (I'm 42).


    This is common.

    Kicking, to be propulsive, requires that the feet be able to bend so that
    the angle of the top surface (not the sole) of the foot is sufficient to
    move some water backwards when the foot is driven downwards. Older
    swimmers, especially older males swimmers, frequently have foot-and-ankle
    flexibility issues. You can improve this with a long period of flexibility
    exercises (long = months), but if you did not swim a lot when your feet were
    more flexible you may find significant gains difficult.

    Find yourself a masters group if you are embarrased. Most have a large
    proportion of members who will have similar kicking issues.
     
  3. congokid

    congokid Guest

    In message <[email protected]!nnrp1.uunet.ca>, jtaylor
    <[email protected]> writes
    >
    >"roger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]
    >> I never had a good freestyle stroke, mostly since my kicking is way
    >> off.

    >
    >Kicking contributes little to almost all front crawl swimmers, so if you
    >think you do not have a good stroke, it is unlikely to be a kicking issue.
    >
    >> Wanting to get a better stroke, I tried doing some laps with
    >> kickboard. TO MY SHOCK, when I grab the board with arms extended and
    >> kick, I actually stand in place and sometimes even go BACKWARDS. If I
    >> move the board closer to my chest, I move at incredibly slow speed.
    >> I'm too embarrased to get coaching at this point in my life (I'm 42).


    >Kicking, to be propulsive, requires that the feet be able to bend so that
    >the angle of the top surface (not the sole) of the foot is sufficient to
    >move some water backwards when the foot is driven downwards. Older
    >swimmers, especially older males swimmers, frequently have foot-and-ankle
    >flexibility issues. You can improve this with a long period of flexibility
    >exercises (long = months), but if you did not swim a lot when your feet were
    >more flexible you may find significant gains difficult.
    >
    >Find yourself a masters group if you are embarrased. Most have a large
    >proportion of members who will have similar kicking issues.


    I was the same only a few months ago - front crawl kicking was almost a
    stationary exercise. And I'm older than 42. However I persevered and can
    now do several sessions of 50m (two lengths of my local pool) with about
    a 30sec-1minute break to recover after each one.

    I find breast stroke kicking while holding a float and trying to move
    forward in a straight line is still nearly impossible. However I have
    been practising lengths using as few strokes as possible and have it
    down to 8 with a good push and glide from the wall.

    I think this is helping me improve my stroke - would that be the case?

    --
    congokid
    Good restaurants in London? Number one on Google
    http://congokid.com
     
  4. jtaylor

    jtaylor Guest

    "congokid" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]
    >>

    > I was the same only a few months ago - front crawl kicking was almost a
    > stationary exercise. And I'm older than 42. However I persevered and can
    > now do several sessions of 50m (two lengths of my local pool) with about
    > a 30sec-1minute break to recover after each one.
    >
    > I find breast stroke kicking while holding a float and trying to move
    > forward in a straight line is still nearly impossible. However I have
    > been practising lengths using as few strokes as possible and have it
    > down to 8 with a good push and glide from the wall.
    >
    > I think this is helping me improve my stroke - would that be the case?
    >


    It is not clear from the above whether you are referring to

    a) Front Crawl kicking (and the Front Crawl stroke); or
    b) Breaststroke kicking (and the Breaststroke);

    but assuming the latter -

    Breaststroke does often have a large contribution from the kick; and if you
    are improving in that part, you should see a corresponding improvement in
    the whole stroke, assuming you do not run into timing or co-ordination
    issues.
     
  5. roger

    roger Guest

    I'm only talking about crawl. My breastsroke kick is actually pretty
    good and in fact I often swim only using breaststroke.
    The problem is that I sometimes don't have much time to swim and doing
    crawl gets me "burning" much faster.
     
  6. Peter Booth

    Peter Booth Guest

    Now here's a radical idea. Why dont you try doing the crawl/ freestyle but
    do the Breaststroke kick with your legs. My uncle put me on to that many
    years ago as his legs were very heavy and he found the combination worked
    well for him. Pete
    "roger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'm only talking about crawl. My breastsroke kick is actually pretty
    > good and in fact I often swim only using breaststroke.
    > The problem is that I sometimes don't have much time to swim and doing
    > crawl gets me "burning" much faster.
    >
     
  7. Roger:

    When you grab the kick board with your arms extended, try to arch your
    lower back and point your toes back. Hopefully, this will help to bring
    the legs to the surface.

    Andres
     
  8. Mark P

    Mark P Guest

    Peter Booth wrote:
    > Now here's a radical idea. Why dont you try doing the crawl/ freestyle but
    > do the Breaststroke kick with your legs. My uncle put me on to that many
    > years ago as his legs were very heavy and he found the combination worked
    > well for him. Pete
    > "roger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >>I'm only talking about crawl. My breastsroke kick is actually pretty
    >>good and in fact I often swim only using breaststroke.
    >>The problem is that I sometimes don't have much time to swim and doing
    >>crawl gets me "burning" much faster.
    >>

    >


    I'm not sure which is worse, your top-posting or your suggestion. Even
    if your flutter kick gets you nowhere (and I can sympathize as that
    statement largely applies to me), the kicking motion is integral to the
    hip torsion and body roll that are essential to a good freestyle stroke.
    It's well worth putting in the effort to develop a serviceable, if not
    impressive, flutter kick.
     
  9. congokid

    congokid Guest

    In message <[email protected]!nnrp1.uunet.ca>, jtaylor
    <[email protected]> writes
    >
    >"congokid" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:p[email protected]


    >>I have
    >> been practising lengths using as few strokes as possible and have it
    >> down to 8 with a good push and glide from the wall.
    >>
    >> I think this is helping me improve my stroke - would that be the case?


    >It is not clear from the above whether you are referring to
    >
    >a) Front Crawl kicking (and the Front Crawl stroke); or
    >b) Breaststroke kicking (and the Breaststroke);
    >
    >but assuming the latter -
    >
    >Breaststroke does often have a large contribution from the kick; and if you
    >are improving in that part, you should see a corresponding improvement in
    >the whole stroke, assuming you do not run into timing or co-ordination
    >issues.


    I should have clarified - it's breaststroke that I'm doing when I'm
    counting strokes up and down the pool. I don't think I'm seeing
    co-ordination issues, though as I use a longish glide element for each
    stroke, I usually end up a bit puffed after a couple of lengths.

    --
    congokid
    Good restaurants in London? Number one on Google
    http://congokid.com
     
  10. Steph

    Steph Guest

    "roger" <[email protected]> wrote in news:1122473414.724132.219640
    @z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:

    > I never had a good freestyle stroke, mostly since my kicking is way
    > off. Wanting to get a better stroke, I tried doing some laps with
    > kickboard. TO MY SHOCK, when I grab the board with arms extended and
    > kick, I actually stand in place and sometimes even go BACKWARDS. If I
    > move the board closer to my chest, I move at incredibly slow speed.
    > I'm too embarrased to get coaching at this point in my life (I'm 42).
    > Are there any sites that show tips and have videos of proper kicking
    > form?
    >
    > Thanks
    > Roger
    >


    If you are embarrassed it is going to be hard to correct; fess up or
    accept it as-is. It is important to note that a strong kick is not
    necessary, and depending on the swiming you are doing might not be
    advantageous.

    I prefer open-water long distance swimming and have virtually no kick.
    Combined with my long legs on a 6' frame you might think I would be
    unable to stay horizontally level in the water.

    Not so, the energy I save by not working my quads so hard is
    transitioned to a much stronger pull with my arms. I can do consisdtent
    24 minute miles back to back -- all while my feet barely do more than
    dangle behind me.

    I do have a tiny kick for counter-balance.

    If you really wish to work your legs and want to go somewhere too, my
    method was to use fins. At first i used boogie fins, but for the last
    year I have switched to [finally] having some Zoomers. In my pool
    workouts I do about 1/2 mile of kicks with the board and zoomers. Not
    only do I no longer go backwards, back with the high rpm of the kicks
    and low-medium resistence my cycling has benefited as well.
     
  11. Fizzymagic

    Fizzymagic Guest

    On Wed, 27 Jul 2005 11:15:29 -0300, "jtaylor"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Find yourself a masters group if you are embarrased. Most have a large
    >proportion of members who will have similar kicking issues.


    Good advice, with one caveat: find yourself a masters group with a
    _competent coach_ who understands the difference between 40-year-old
    swimmers and teenage age-group swimmers.

    Sadly, my local team lost our great coach a few years ago, and she was
    replaced by a new one who thinks that a good workout involves 800-1200
    yards of kicking every day and will not let anyone use zoomers or
    other fins. Same one who apparently thinks that 40-something swimmers
    can do a 1000 for time the day after an all-out sprint workout.
     
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