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.

Free/Kick/IM/Underwater with Coach Brad Herndon

Brad Herndon
Head Coach
GCY Makos

GCY Makos National Team 1/3/2018

Warm-Up (24 min, 1500):
500-400- 300-200- 100
Swim – Kick w/ Fins – FR Pull – IM – Drill w/ snorkel

Pre-Set (22 min, 1200):
8 x 50 Free Kick Only @:55 (Board)
   :40 sec transition
8 x 50 FR Pull Only @:50 (Buoy, paddles, snorkel)
   :20 sec transition
8 x 50 FR Swim Only @:45 (Continuous Boil Kick)

Main Set 1 (44 min, 2400):
Underwater focus, pop up “between the 15m marks” every length!
4x
3 x 50’s Kick @ 1:00 (no board, max out underwaters)
      First – Fly/Back on back, Second – Back/Breast on back, Third- Breast/free
      on stomach (MAX underwaters on fly, back, and free kicks)
3 x 50’s Swim @ :55
      First – Fly/Back, Second – Back/Breast, Third – Breast/Free
      Execute turns efficiently , max underwaters
3 x 100 IM’s @ 1:45
     All 3 = Max Underwaters Descend, 3 rd is all out still with max underwaters!

Main Set 2 (18 min, 1200):
8 x 150’s @ 2:15 with fins
1-4 Freestyle w/ paddles and short fins, DESCEND!
5-8 Back, long fins, no paddles, focus is on underwaters popping up between
the yellow, still descend time! ALWAYS max out last 25 underwater effort!

Cool Down (2 min, 100):
EZ choice 100 minimum

TOTAL = 6500

Underwater Power and Sprint Set

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

Our club doesn’t have the luxury of having power towers to use (yet), so we substitute by having swimmers hold a stretch cord for the their teammates, giving them resistance for short sets such as the one below.  One swimmer is tethered in the water and performs this set, and then they switch roles.  No rest except where indicated.

1 x 8 all out UW kicks and then get pulled back to wall
1 x 8 all out UW kicks + 1 sprint cycle and then get pulled back to wall
1 x 8 all out UW kicks +2 sprint cycles and then get pulled back to wall
1 x 8 all out UW kicks +3 sprint cycles and then get pulled back to wall
:10-:15 rest, unhook from tether, leave on coach’s “go”:
1 x 25 all out sprint for time
1 x 25 ez swim and trade places with partner

Tempo Trainer Kick Set

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We did a version of the following kick set to challenge our dolphin kicking ability and to probe the limits of our ability to kick fast underwater.  We used Finis Tempo Trainers and did the first round with the beeping tempo set at .60, second round at .50, third round at .45, fourth round at .40.  Some swimmers were able to maintain an effective dolphin kick down to .40. Others lost “hold” on the water and became inefficient.  This is potentially useful information for our training.

4 Rounds of:

8 x 25 @ :35
10 underwater kicks at TT tempo, then swim ez the rest of the way

1 x 50 ez free B3

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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Backstroke Parachutes Set with Back/Breast Follow-up

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This workout goes back to 2009.  It was written for SCY for an athlete who was an Trials-caliber backstroker and IMer.  The focus was on underwater kicking and backstroke strength.  The “yellow” parachute was rather small and the “1st black buoy” refers to 15m mark from the opposite end of the pool.

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.