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Swim Kick help

Ok, I apologise in advance for yet another question on swimming technique, as this forum full of them, but I have quite a specific problem that I need some help with..My kick.

I was taught how to swim as a swimmer, by that I mean, i was taught to utilise the kick more, with a 6 beat kick. Since I began to train as a triathlete I focused on making my stroke more longer and so more efficient, but I cannot seem to teach my legs to kick only twice per stroke. It has not affected me too much, as up until now I have competed in mainly sprints, either 400 or 750 meters. But as I want to step up to olympic distance this year or next I really need to sort this problem out.

So my question is, does anybody know of any drills or anything I can do to try and teach my legs to stop kicking!


  • jon_gjon_g Posts: 318
    if you are used to swimming like that it wont hinder you too much. I'm from a swimming background-was pretty good a t school level-and i use a 6 beat kick. if you are used to training like that and still put in the training for the cycle and run you'll be fine. I prefer olympic distance races and i've never swum my legs off, always felt fine during the run and ride.

    that said, if you really want to stop kicking so often, tie them together! use a bike ineer tube or some exercise bands. that way you'll be concentrating on using your arms. just be sure to keep your body long and straight in the water, dont let you're legs drag and drop below
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    you could use a pull bouy to aid with jon_g's suggestion.

    Don't worry too much about that 2 beat kick though, a lot of people use 4 too, although not necessary if you wear a wetsuit.
  • epacseepacse Posts: 92
    Hi...ironic this being on here, i was goin to post a similar question!

    I was in the water last night, and at the moment i'm using the pull bouy to do my distance!

    I find my back end down in the water, even with the PB and so i kick every now and again to kind of 'rite me' if that makes sense!

    The coach did some work with me last night on this, and so wondered waht the standard was and actually whether of not i should use the PB in the actual event?!

  • legalbeaglelegalbeagle Posts: 208
    Hi there,

    I think you might find that you are not allowed to use a pull bouy in the actual race.

    I have been doing drills using a kick board to get my leg technique to improve - there are some good ones in the last issue of 220 - maybe this would help
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I do quite alot of kicking drills, although I dont use a kickboard as i prefer to work on my balance without it.

    Dont get me wrong, I have a strong and propulsive kick, I am pretty quick over the swim leg as a result, but the problem is I really do suffer on the bike as a result. I just can't teach my legs to reduce the kicking, as they are well timed with my arm action and core rotation!!

    I just saw a few videos of triathlon swimmers in the pool, particularly TI swimmers, and they seem to kick to aid core rotation and balance, seems like they are going pretty fast, when it looks like they are taking it easy. I wanted to see if I swam more like that with a reduced number of kicks per stroke I could improve my bike times!
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    So you have the right theory TommiTri, it all makes sense.

    If only it wereaseasy to execute.

    Looks like you're on the right track there, but be warned, TI is long term results but by long term practice and error only. Just search for some TI threads on this forum and you'll meet some very differing opinionsabout it.
  • epacseepacse Posts: 92
    legalbeagle....thanks for the words, think you may wel be correct, plus there is the fact of looking like an UTTER baby splashing along with this yellow and blue thing between my legs! [:)]

    some work to do me thinks....
  • legalbeaglelegalbeagle Posts: 208
    Epacse I know what you mean! I went swimming with a non tri mate the other week and she looked at me in horror when I got the kickboard out - she thought I couldn't swim! and said - oh you have to use one of those do you - I thought you would have been able to swim without one!

  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    I love those strange looks that I get when using kick boards, pull bouys or doing drills. People seem to think you only need them when you can't swim. They look even stranger when you fly by them the first lenght you swim full stroke[:D][8D]. Love that stuff!!!
  • epacseepacse Posts: 92
    [:)] i'm sure my coach does it to make me look an ass even more than i do already.....she makes me do 30 lenghts with it!!

    And as for looks, i'll keep you posted in the next few weeks i intend to try out my new wet suit in the baths!!

    Woo Hoo....


  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Been there, done that. They'll probably call those guys who come with their white van and the vest they pull you on backwards[:D]. Should be a great experience. lol

    Don't bother about what others think, we're not normal people; we're triathletes!!!
  • epacseepacse Posts: 92
    [:D][;)][:D]....lol..i really can't wait!

  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Hehe, i was considering trying out my trisuit in the swimming pool, cos i intend to wear it for the pool based sprint coming up. I thought i would look silly, but now u have said your gonna try ure wetsuit out I am definitely gonna give it a go!

    I know wot you mean about the drill. I was doing lateral kicking drills on my side today and getting some very strange looks. I don't think anyone in my pool has ever seen anyone doing drills, or any real swimming for that matter. Its full of people doing the slowest breaststroke ever, without even putting their heads under the water. Its also full of school kids on lessons being told "you must not get your hair wet" "why is that??? (she asks to the class)...because we will get cold!" Excuse me lady, have you noticed its a heated pool? They also have these magical things called hot showers, and apparently some clever geeza has invented something called a towel? apparently its to dry ones self with so one doesnt get cold. Me personally I'm happy with this leaf.

    Oh the ranting.
  • I wouldn't worry too much Tommi - I went on a Swim4tri course recently and the coach said that a flutter kick was fine for anything up to Ironman. He is from a swimming background and hence learnt the same as you did. I think the key is that you rely on your armstrokes to provide the vast majority of the propulsion i.e. the legs can move at a fast beat so long as they're only small flutter kicks and are not taking up much effort. On the course, it was particularly interesting to see all our leg kicks on the DVD after the session - we were all kicking all over the place but, before we saw the filming, we would have sworn that our legs had barely been moving at all. One solution, as jon suggests, is to put a thick rubber band round your ankles so that they can't kick much but can still stabilise you as you rotate.


  • Oh, and on the subject of drills/kit in the pool, a couple of years ago I asked the reception at our local pool if I could wear a wetsuit in the pool and received the weirdest looks. I think they thought I was into some sort of S&M scene and was going to get in the pool with a full gimp mask on....
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Aces, thanks for that mate, thats really what I wanted to hear! I will stick to my kick for now then!
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