Sunday, July 4, 2010

Don’t be Upper Body Dominant; Add Kicking for Faster Times

Try this test. After a nice warm-up in the pool, time yourself and count the number of strokes (counting just one hand) it takes to go 40 yds.

After a brief rest period, do it again without kicking (no pull buoy either). If there isn’t a significant difference in your time along with a reduced number of strokes, what does that tell you? That you’re not using the strongest muscle group in your body!

Adding a strong kick to your stroke not only makes you quicker, but also distributes the workload throughout your entire body. Many triathletes reduce the amount of kicking towards the end of their swim to “preserve” their leg strength, but while you can, allow your whole body to participate, not certain parts to dominate.

In your workouts, don’t do a lot of lengths of kicking at one time, but kick more often during your workouts. Short powerful bursts are very handy when needing to pass someone who’s slowing you down. Keep your kick “active” with a high percentage of usage for propulsion, not just for balance.

Written by Dan Lavin
Aquatics Director, Seattle Athletic Club Northgate

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