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.

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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.

Backstroke Challenge Set for Underwater Kicking Habits

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA
 

The purpose of this backstroke set is for athletes to challenge themselves to hold near race pace while performing an increasing number of dolphin kicks off each wall.  In this case, on the first round swimmers were aiming for a time within 3.0 seconds of their 200 race pace (as shown on their pace cards) while doing at least 6 kicks off each wall for each of the two 50s.  If they were successful at that, they tried to hit the same pace while doing 8 or more kicks.  Third round… 10 or more kicks. Continue until nobody in the group can hit that pace while doing that many kicks.  Swimmers who fail to hit the target pace with a specified number of kicks simply tried to hit that number of kicks again on the next round.  For a shorter more demanding set, lower the +3.0 time standard to something faster.
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Middle Distance IM Set from Nittany Lion Coach Ryan Sprang

Ryan Sprang
Head Coach
Nittany Lion Aquatic Club

1 round of:
{4 x 75 @ 1:00/1:05 (A/B interval) 50 fly 25 free strong
{1 x 200 IM @ 2:45/2:55 (A/B interval) fast fly, smooth ba/br/fr with good technique
2 x 25 @ :25 12 UW dolphin kicks blast, then smooth free
2 rounds of:
{4 x 75 @ 1:00/1:05 back strong
{1 x 200 IM @ 2:40/2:50 fast fly/ba, smooth br/free w/ good technique
4 x 25 @ :25 12 UW dolphin kicks blast (done after the 2 rounds above)
3 rounds of:
{4 x 75 @ 1:05/1:10 breast strong
{1 x 200 IM @ 2:35/2:45 fast fly/ba/br, smooth fr
6 x 25 @ :25 12 UW dolphin kicks blast
4 rounds of:
{4 x 75 @ :55 free strong
{1 x 200 IM @ 2:30/2:40 all fast
8 x 25 @ :25 12 UW dolphin kicks blast

Editor’s Note: The Swimming Wizard’s goal is to publish at least one set, practice, or idea EVERY DAY for all of 2016! To keep it interesting, we need your help! Click here to help us achieve that goal by submitting one of your sets!
 

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Killer Kick Set for a 20yd pool

Ryan Woodruff

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One of our coaches came up with this kick set for use in our 20-yard diving well.
Green is underwater.
Blue is descend
Red is Fastest Possible Average

Good Stuff

Cone Kicks for Underwater Power

Ryan Woodruff
 
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I stole this idea from somewhere– I just can’t remember where. Cone kicks are performed by placing a medium-sized traffic cone over the front end of the swimmer’s streamline (make sure the cone is not big enough to come down over the swimmer’s face).   This serves two purposes:
1. Keeps the streamline intact
2. Provides extra resistance to the swimmer’s kicking effort.
4 rounds of:
4 x 25 Underwater “Cone Kicks” @ :40
1x 100 easy swim perfect technique, fast turns, and 4+ dolphin kicks @1:20
4 x 25 Underwater kicks without cones @ :30
1 x 100 same as above

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Double Underwater 50s for short course kicking power

Ryan Woodruff
 
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Use Streamline Sticks at 7yd distance from each wall. Put two at each location, effectively blocking off the entire lane. Swimmers have to kick out 7yd off the wall, swim 11yd, and then kick the final 7 yd underwater, do an open turn and do it again! Feel free to change up the underwater distance for a more or less challenging set.

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Streamline Sticks

Ryan Woodruff
 
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Streamline Sticks are easily among the best pieces of training equipment I have seen in my 13 years of club coaching.  We use them weekly to develop the habits and skills to produce consistent underwater dolphin kicking.  They force swimmers to kick a set distance off the wall and allow for circle swimming within the lane.  Send me an email at swimmingwizard@gmail.com or just leave your e-mail in the comments below if you are interested in getting your hands on a Streamline Stick and maybe I’ll make a few for Swimming Wizard readers.

UPDATE: The Swimming Wizard has been overwhelmed with responses about these streamline sticks.  I am planning to post a video soon that explains how they may be constructed.  Thanks! – Ryan