How To Use Your Glutes For A Better Freestyle Kick

In this video, we’ve got a triathlete swimming in an endless pool and an endless pool will often make any flaws or areas in your stroke stand out more than they would when swimming normally.
While it does change a stroke a little bit, we can certainly see a couple of things that we want to work on.

Overall Body Position – The body position in the water is not too bad, almost horizontal on the water. You can see that the hips and the feet are occasionally sitting a little bit low but generally, the overall body position is quite good. What we would want to try and do over time would be to change the actual posture and position of the lower half of the body a bit to straighten the legs out.We also see here that there’s quite a bend in the hips and the legs don’t quite straighten enough as they kick.

One really good drill that you can do to help improve that and change that can just be instead of putting a pool buoy between your legs, put a kickboard instead because the kickboard is very narrow and thin and it can be quite slippery too, it really encourages you and forces you to engage your glutes enough, keep the knees a bit closer together to be able to maintain this nice straight and flat line through the body. That is often an easy way to develop that kind of awareness and posture in the water.
In terms of head position, you can see there, where the swimmer is looking out in front. This is different for everyone, we never say this is the one spot to look but usually between anywhere from straight down to around 45 degrees in front. The main thing that I will recommend is really extending the back of your neck.

Hands – If you look at the entry, you can see where the fingertips are inching quite close to the head. On his left side, he might be entering a little bit too close to the head really to get the most out of the recovery when the arm comes over the top. What I like to do for most triathletes is really try and get the hand entry a little bit further out in front of the head so then the last bit of reaching extension happens in the water.

Catch – You can see that he is quite doing a good job of the catch, he is tipping the fingertips down. The arm is a little bit straight and if we were looking at the front view, that hand is probably out slightly too wide. The hand is wider than the elbow in that part of the stroke. We want to keep that hand below that line of the elbow, at least below it instead of out wide. If you do that, it allows you to really engage your lats a whole lot better than if that hands out wider. If we measure the angle, the angle of the arm is at 128 degrees, we want that arm angled to be around 100 to 120 degrees.


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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