kicking air

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kicking air

Post by s.sciame on Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:23 pm

Talking about freestyle kicking with a board or with a snorkel (or both). It's often said that you should kick water, not air. Feet and legs should always be under water, maybe only the heels could barely clear the water. Fine. However if I kick air (ie raise the entire foot and part of the leg above water and then slam down with a lot of splash) I'm way way faster than if using the "proper" technique, as much as 8 to 10s per length (!) for the same effort. Maybe it's something that happens only with poor kickers, don't know. I'm curious to know other feedbacks. When I kick air I can hold a much higher kick rate with no additional effort, feel a great body position and perhaps any possible knee bending does not create drag because the legs just stay higher.
I know this technique is not "right" and it's also hard to integrate into full swimming. However, 8-10s per length for the same effort, wow... Perhaps that's the same feeling decent kickers have when kicking normally.

What about you guys?
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Re: kicking air

Post by cottmiler on Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:33 pm

Is it that your body is much more horizontal and therefore presents a lot less drag?

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Re: kicking air

Post by s.sciame on Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:41 pm

Could be. Actually, when kicking with a snorkel, I already feel horizontal as when I swim, regardless of kicking air or not. For sure I don't feel uphill as when I kick head up with a board. When I kick air it feels like the legs are always out of the way (so less drag) and that splash in a way is more propulsive than an underwater kick action.

Although this technique is probably not right and hard to integrate with the stroke, the interesting point could be to reproduce the same feeling (and hopefully the same speed over time) with a less splashy kick. Kicking with fins produces a different feeling (more load on legs), I believe this air kicking feeling is something more similar to what a good kicker feels when he grabs a board.


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Re: kicking air

Post by Sprinter on Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:56 pm

s.sciame wrote:
I know this technique is not "right" and it's also hard to integrate into full swimming. However, 8-10s per length for the same effort, wow... Perhaps that's the same feeling decent kickers have when kicking normally.

Namely, what's the speed? Say, if it improves from 100 sec to 90 sec per 25m then, so well Razz
but if it goes from 30 sec to 20 sec per 25m, then you need to continue on this route. Exclamation
(Again and again the problem of only childish emoticons on this site, nothing sophisticated!!!)

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Re: kicking air

Post by Sprinter on Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:15 pm

My understanding is that for us late starters, for the kick the following is of utmost importance:
1. body positioning; especially for beginners, but I assume that for Salvo this shouldn't be a problem.
2. straight legs (mostly -- but that seems to mean that one really has to make an effort for straight legs).
Perhaps that's the difference? Getting the legs straight up is very important, and that seems very hard to do just stopping at the surface.

I guess most people are faster when the feet get out of the water. In this way they are more relaxed in the legs (perhaps Point 3 above), and can kind of "throw" the legs up at the recovery, rather straight.

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Re: kicking air

Post by SA on Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:59 am

And the angle of the foot relative to the water is more backwards, simulating flexible ankles.

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Re: kicking air

Post by s.sciame on Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:51 pm

Sprinter wrote:

Namely, what's the speed? Say, if it improves from 100 sec to 90 sec per 25m then, so well Razz
but if it goes from 30 sec to 20 sec per 25m, then you need to continue on this route. Exclamation


From 40s to 30s. Example: a basic set of 4x25m kick with snorkel (no kickboard, arms streamlined in front) resting 10s. So, with "clean" no splashy technique I come in 40s and restart at 50s. With splashy jacuzzi technique I come in 30s and restart at 40s. Same perceived effort. The next time I'll take heart rate too. So, it's poor kicking indeed, 40s is hopeless kicking, 30 feels like there's still some hope Very Happy

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Re: kicking air

Post by Sprinter on Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:51 pm

s.sciame wrote:
From 40s to 30s. Example: a basic set of 4x25m kick with snorkel (no kickboard, arms streamlined in front) resting 10s. So, with "clean" no splashy technique I come in 40s and restart at 50s. With splashy jacuzzi technique I come in 30s and restart at 40s. Same perceived effort. The next time I'll take heart rate too. So, it's poor kicking indeed, 40s is hopeless kicking, 30 feels like there's still some hope Very Happy
Salvo

One needed to see it. Perhaps "splashy jacuzzi technique" is exaggerated.

For the "elites", if somebody barely lifts the feet, then this is emphasised as a special feature -- but also if the opposite happens (see for example the DVD of Roland Schoeman, where the feet come out very high)!

And at least for kicking sets, it seems perfectly standard, and a good sign, to create the typical sound of a train. The feet not coming out I only know as a technical exercise, to learn to concentrate on the up-kick.

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Re: kicking air

Post by s.sciame on Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:33 am

Sprinter wrote:

One needed to see it. Perhaps "splashy jacuzzi technique" is exaggerated.


I'll make a video, I'm curious myself. The only thing I noticed today is that somebody was about to enter the lane I was swimming in, but as I started kicking he changed his mind Very Happy

And, at least, it's a good excercise to make sure I kick from the hips and not from the quads: after a 4x25 I felt hips and glutes much more fatigued than the quads.

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Re: kicking air

Post by SA on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:37 pm

Solars old kicking video also had kicking with a lot of air. Cant find it anymore.

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