Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

For the Fish: Ankle Flexibility and Kick Free vs Back
Quote | Reply
One thing I've been told over and over is that it's necessary to have flexible ankles to be able to kick quickly in freestyle. Personally, I don't have great ankle flexibility and have never been able to kick 100m in much less than 2:00 (note this is with a board and snorkel so similar body position to kicking on back). However, if I kick on my back I can kick 100m in 1:50 comfortably and could probably go 1:45 or a touch less if I really put some effort into it. I was thinking this morning: perhaps a lack of ankle flexibility is less of a detriment in backstroke than it is in freestyle. Thoughts?
Last edited by: GreenPlease: Nov 29, 18 7:14
Quote Reply
Re: For the Fish: Ankle Flexibility and Kick Free vs Back [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
When you flutter kick face down, are you using a board and is your head out of the water? If so, I would attribute your better time to body position. If you were to kick with a snorkel, I would imagine your times would be similar.

Team Zoot
2019 Sponsors: Canyon Bikes, Garmin, Smith Optics, Gatorade, Zealios Skin Care & Sun Protection, Speedfill Products, Base Performance, Ottolock, Theragun, Boco Gear, ORR Carbon Wheel Systems, Giddy Up Multisport
Quote Reply
Re: For the Fish: Ankle Flexibility and Kick Free vs Back [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
GreenPlease wrote:
One thing I've been told over and over is that it's necessary to have flexible ankles to be able to kick quickly in freestyle. Personally, I don't have great ankle flexibility and have never been able to kick 100m in much less than 2:00. However, if I kick on my back I can kick 100m in 1:50 comfortably and could probably go 1:45 or a touch less if I really put some effort into it. I was thinking this morning: perhaps a lack of ankle flexibility is less of a detriment in backstroke than it is in freestyle. Thoughts?

It's difficult to have dragging legs when kicking on your back. Just a thought.

----------------------------------
"i disagree with your analysis [or judgment], nevertheless you have the responsibility of moderating this board so i honor your authority to make the moderating decisions."
Quote Reply
Re: For the Fish: Ankle Flexibility and Kick Free vs Back [rsmoylan] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
rsmoylan wrote:
When you flutter kick face down, are you using a board and is your head out of the water? If so, I would attribute your better time to body position. If you were to kick with a snorkel, I would imagine your times would be similar.

I'll amend that. Kick with snorkel.
Quote Reply
Re: For the Fish: Ankle Flexibility and Kick Free vs Back [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
GreenPlease wrote:
One thing I've been told over and over is that it's necessary to have flexible ankles to be able to kick quickly in freestyle. Personally, I don't have great ankle flexibility and have never been able to kick 100m in much less than 2:00 (note this is with a board and snorkel so similar body position to kicking on back). However, if I kick on my back I can kick 100m in 1:50 comfortably and could probably go 1:45 or a touch less if I really put some effort into it. I was thinking this morning: perhaps a lack of ankle flexibility is less of a detriment in backstroke than it is in freestyle. Thoughts?
some of us kick 25 yards in 2 minutes.
Quote Reply
Re: For the Fish: Ankle Flexibility and Kick Free vs Back [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
GreenPlease wrote:
One thing I've been told over and over is that it's necessary to have flexible ankles to be able to kick quickly in freestyle. Personally, I don't have great ankle flexibility and have never been able to kick 100m in much less than 2:00 (note this is with a board and snorkel so similar body position to kicking on back). However, if I kick on my back I can kick 100m in 1:50 comfortably and could probably go 1:45 or a touch less if I really put some effort into it. I was thinking this morning: perhaps a lack of ankle flexibility is less of a detriment in backstroke than it is in freestyle. Thoughts?

I think it is b/c your ankles naturally have more flex when on your back vs on your front. My understanding is that all really fast backstrokers have very flex ankles though, and that the kick is a bit more important in the back events vs the same free events. IOW, you have to have a really strong kick to be a fast backstroker. I don't *think* the kick is quite as important in back as it is in breast though, where if you don't have a great kick you stand no chance of being a fast breaststroker. :)


"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."
Quote Reply
Re: For the Fish: Ankle Flexibility and Kick Free vs Back [ericmulk] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
In my mind, the down kick provides more propulsion than the up kick and there's naturally more range of motion in that direction
Quote Reply
Re: For the Fish: Ankle Flexibility and Kick Free vs Back [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Exactly. In backstroke kick, the top of your foot isn’t catching air.

Swimming Workout of the Day: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=5784860#5784860;
Favourite Swim Sets: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...m.cgi?;post=5004659;
Unattainable goals for 2019/2020 season. https://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=6944848#p6944848
Quote Reply
Re: For the Fish: Ankle Flexibility and Kick Free vs Back [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
GreenPlease wrote:
In my mind, the down kick provides more propulsion than the up kick and there's naturally more range of motion in that direction

I've heard and read that it's very important to kick hard both up and down. I worked a ton on my kicking over the past few years and have improved my ankle flex a little, i think from doing lots of kicking on the back. However, my ankle flex still pales when compared to my friend the former D1 swimmer, who went 44/1:36 for 100/200 free. We sat on the pool deck and i could only get my toes to within about 3 inches of the deck, vs he was within like 1/2 inch. His freestyle kick is like thunder. :)


"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."
Quote Reply
Re: For the Fish: Ankle Flexibility and Kick Free vs Back [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Watching people kick either while swimming or kicking alone. I see that a lot of people pick their foot up out of the water, only to slap back down on top, and also drive their knee down towards the bottom. Their kick looks a lot like riding a bike, with their feet kind of going in circles, and never really pushing against the water.

IMHO, the kick should come from the hips, and you should have body/hip rotation even when just kicking. You should be driving your hip/leg down, which should cause some bend in the knee, then you finish the kick by straightening your leg. The total vertical distance your knee and foot should travel should be small, and there should be a lot of splashing/noise.

All that being said, when you kick on your back, it makes it almost impossible to 'bicycle kick'. A lot of people would look like synchronized swimmers if they kicked on their back like they kicked on their stomach.
Quote Reply
Re: For the Fish: Ankle Flexibility and Kick Free vs Back [efernand] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I agree with that. I’d guess that being on his back puts the OP in a body position that allows him greater hip flexibility and power.
Quote Reply