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Dolphin Kick

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Glenn Mills
BUTTERFLY - Backwards Dolphin Kick

Working on a solid dolphin kick usually requires a board, or the rigors of holding your breath and kicking under water. Here's a drill that will help you develop a stronger kick, as well as allow you to work the core muscles.

Why Do It:

Now that dolphin kick is allowed -- at least at some point -- in EVERY stroke, every swimmer needs to spend time developing good dolphin technique and strong dolphin muscles -- the abs. This drill allows swimmers to work more of their body, while not having to struggle for air. It also gives coaches a way to "check" to make sure each swimmer is getting everything they can out of the drill.

How To Do It:

1. Start on your back with your hands at your sides.

2. Right after you push off, lift your head and look BACK at your feet.

3. Start dolphin kicking, and make SURE your head stays above the water.

4. Focus on the UP kick, which means that your feet should POP out of the surface, and create a SPLASH.

How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):

While you're GOING to use your hands, try not to push too hard with them. Allow them to follow and to scull just enough to stabilize your body.

Focus on kicking the water ABOVE the surface. But BE CAREFUL. You don't want to simply kick your feet out of the water. The goal is to carry enough water UP, so that the splash is higher than the toes. This means you'll be connecting with the water, rather than over kicking, and just trying to make a good show.

Keep looking at your feet and have your head up ALL the time. After a few laps, your mid-section and thighs will let you know why this is so important.

This drill is intense. So when you first try it, you can alternate one length of the drill and one length of underwater -- or more relaxed -- dolphin kicking. Don't overdo the drill. It WILL get tough.

Glenn Mills

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