We look at how to improve your kick, we’ve got a sprinting tip if you’re a 50 or 100m swimmer, and we’ll look at getting back to basics and what that can do for you. Now with kick, there’s two main mistakes that I see made.

00:16 – The Two Biggest Kicking Mistakes
00:47 – The 6 Stroke Setup
01:25 – Do You Need A Strong Core?
01:52 – Why We Still Practice The Basics
02:37 – Open Water Tips Coming Soon
02:59 – The Best Goggles For Backstroke

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The first one is not turning your feet inwards.  So if you turn your feet inwards, you’ll find that you’ll have a better range of motion to be in the right position for kicking.  And the second thing is, a lot of swimmers kick too big so that their feet and legs would come too far apart.  The best thing to do is to kick a little bit smaller and to brush your feet past each other.  Because its unlikely that you’ll go faster by kicking bigger and kicking harder.  Kicks should be done quite small and you’re not bending your legs and your knees too much.

The 6 Stroke Setup

One of the main tips I like give to our sprinters is the 6 Stroke Setup.  So the first 6 Stroke should be used to set yourself up for the rest of the race where you work on good feel and hold of the water and good technique at the start of the race and then you pick up your stroke rate after that.  And I got that tip from a National backstroker, so an Australian swim team member and I’ve used that with our sprinters and the results have been very good.  So if you’re looking to try something new with sprinting, try with the 6 stroke setup where you don’t go all out with the first six strokes instead you hold back, you go about 95% instead and you’re just using those first six strokes to set yourself up and then you accelerate after that.

Do You Need A Strong Core?

Having a strong core is the key to being a good swimmer.  So strong abdominal and strong stomach muscles.  Now that will hold everything together because if you have a strong core, then you can get the timing right with your kick and your pull and hold everything together.  If you’re doing Prone Hold or if you’re doing Pilates or an exercise similar to that, then you’ll find that your swimming will most likely improve because your core is what holds everything together and helps you find the right rhythm and the right timing for your strokes.

Why We Still Practice The Basics

When I’m doing stroke correction with younger swimmers, the main thing to work on is the basics like scull, kick, pull and body position.  So we’re not doing anything too fancy we’re just looking at getting the very basics right and then building on them from there. So that’s why programs like the Mastering Freestyle Program and Effortless Form that we start out very basic and we look at getting those things right and then progressing on to more advanced exercises and more advanced drills.  So if you’re looking at improving your technique, if you’re already doing some things to work on that, then the very best place to start is with the basics. So your scull, kick, pull and body position.

Open Water Tips Coming Soon

If you’re a part of our weekly newsletter, you know you get an email sent to you each week with this video.  Now I’m going to be starting a separate video that will be just for triathletes and open water swimmers so that’s an extra video on top of the one that I do each week. So if you are looking into improving your open water swimming, then there’ll be an email coming in the next few days where you can click the link and that will sign you up to the email list so you can get those open water swimming updates and tips. Keep an eye out for that email and I’ll send it out in the next few days for you.

The Best Goggles For Backstroke

If you find that you’re running into the lane rope with backstroke, then it might be because your goggles don’t allow you to see your peripherals, so the outside vision when you’re doing backstroke. The best goggles for this are Swedish goggles, they’re the ones with the rubber around on the outside and they’re the clear ones because they allow you to see your peripherals a bit better and you can see the lanes ropes on either side. So if you’re having troubles with backstroke because you can’t see the lane ropes, then give the Swedish goggles a try.  They’re not for everyone, some love them some people can’t really wear them but just give them a shot and you might find that you can see a lot better with your backstroke and with your other strokes as well.

That’s it for swimming news this week.  Looking forward to seeing you next week.  Keep your eye out for that email about the open water swimming too.  Catch you next week!

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Brenton and Mitch were great to work with at the clinic, Good to get video analysis to work on straight away, practice some new drills and go home knowing what you need to work on.

Alex McFadyen