Flying Pigs

Coach Doug Russell, Austin Trinity, Austin Texas

We got this base set for under-waters from the women’s program at the University of Arkansas several years ago and we use it often with variations. We call it Soo-E-Pig.

We almost always use it as a fin set. We train in a 25 meter pool. The basic set is 4 under – 1 recovery (we call it “over”) , 3 under – 1 recovery, 2 under – 1 over, 1 under – 1 over. We usually repeat it 4 times though. Today we went with a variation to work our butterfly and up tempo our Freestyle.


1 6 dolphins – 3 strokes Fly – if not at wall back under water and work finish.

2 5 dolphins – 4 strokes Fly – same

3 4 dolphins – 5 strokes Fly – also

4 3 dolphins – 6 strokes Fly – again

As they work through the set they drop a round in sequence.


Round 1 Soo-E-Pig > :40

Swim 6 x 50 Free > :40 (Descend 1 – 3, 4 Negative Split, 5 Build, 6 Faster than first three)

Round 2 Soo-E-Pig > :35

Swim 6 x 75 Free > 1:00 (Descend 1 – 3, 4 Ez-Ez-Fast, 5 Ez-Fast-Ez, 6 Fast-Ez-Ez)

Round 3 Soo-E-Pig > :30

Swim 6 x 100 Free > 1:20 (Descend 1 – 3, Descend 4 – 6)

Round 4 Soo-E-Pig > :25

Swim 1 x 200 Free > Goal Time for 200 Free LC minus 3 – 6) They have fins on!

Total 2650 meters SC

Editor’s note: This set was first posted to this blog in June 2014.

The Dolphin Maker

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg  YMCA

Want to have a killer underwater kick in your arsenal for the end of a race? You had better practice kicking hard and fast under fatigue! Try this one:

5x through:

4 x 100 free w/ fins 1 @ 1:10, 1 @ 1:05, 2 @ 1:00

This initial set of 100s is intended to put the athlete in a fatigued state. Then immediately go into:

6 x 25 @ :30  First 2 with fins, last 4 no fins: #1 All UW dolphin kick, #2-6 Max UW kick and then sprint

:30 extra rest to put fins back on.

Editor’s note: This set was originally published to this blog in 2010


Underwater Kicking Power & Lightning Speed Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We did this set at the end of a long practice that included dryland that was heavy on the legs and a long kick set. The goal was to work some underwater power and then get some “lightning speed” underwater kicks at the end of each round. It worked well, with a few of our swimmers setting personal bests & team records at the 25m underwater kicking distance.

For the part written in green, one athlete wore the belt/cord and a partner stood on the deck and held the cord to provide the resistance.

Loved this kick set today.

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

It was challenging but well-executed. Swimmers increase their distance over the five rounds of 4:00. 4 X 25 were done with #1 from a dive and 2-4 from push. We set our standards at 15m underwater on #1 and 4, 10m underwater on 2 & 3.


Competitive Kick Set

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

Swimmers partnered up.  For the first part of the set, they push their partner (who is in a streamlined position) with one hand.  Then they race their partner in an all out 100 flutter kick. The 100 was handicapped based on a “best average” kick set earlier in the week, meaning that one partner got a head start over the other.

Poor Man’s Power Tower Dolphin Kicks

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We do this set in a SC pool, but it could work in a LCM pool as well. Have swimmers partner up, with each partnership getting a stretch cord. One person wears the belt and is in the water.  The other person stands on deck and holds the cord, letting it out gradually to provide resistance.  It is sort of a “poor man’s Power Tower.” The person in the water does:

4 fast underwater dolphin kicks (then gets towed back to the wall) then immediately pushes off into:
6 fast underwater dolphin kicks (same)
8 fast underwater dolphin kicks (same)
10 fast underwater dolphin kicks (same)
12 fast underwater dolphin kicks (unhook the belt) and immediately push off into
1 x 25 all out sprint choice with max underwater kicking (at full speed, not necessarily max distance)
1 x 25 ez and trade places.

Repeat as many times as you wish.