Side Kick

We always talk about swimming on our sides, and here is a great drill to work on holding that position.

Why Do It:

There are four reasons why we want to get right on our sides:

  1. – Minimising frontal resistance – only half the body will be in the water.
  2. – Extra reach – depending on the amount of rotation you can gain upto a good 10inches. Not much over 25m, but over a 1500 or 3.8km swim this can make a large difference to the number of strokes you take!
  3. – By getting on our sides we can use more of our back muscles – which are bigger than our shoulder muscles and therefore drive more power and gain more speed.
  4. – Possibly most importantly, you give yourself more room to breathe into.

How to Do It:

1. Push off with one hand straight out in front, just below the surface of the water, the opposite arm by your side.

2. The top shoulder and hip should be out of the water, you should be perpendicular to the surface.

3. Your ear should be on the shoulder of the arm out in front.

4. When you need to breathe, ROTATE your chin toward your top shoulder.

Doing side kick you can practice maintaining one single straight line

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

Keeping your ear to your shoulder will help hold your body line and posture that we always talk about. If your head starts to come away from your arm, your hips will start to drop and make life more difficult with more resistance. If you are really struggling to breathe on a regular basis, you can start with keeping your chin toward your top shoulder – giving you time to breathe when you want. Then you can progress to having your ear on your shoulder. As you get stronger, more confident and more comfortable with the drill you can progress to looking down at the bottom of the pool/lake to more simulate a full stroke body position.

Clearly if you are a triathlete, doing too much kick isn’t going to seem like a priority to you, but remember that this is a case of practising the body position and making your foundations stronger; by doing a little more kick it will also become stronger, more efficient and more effective too.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here!

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