Butterfly – Dolphin Kick, Arms Up!

Why Do It:
One of the most common ways to practice the dolphin kick is on your back…with fins…with your arms in streamline.  This is great for learning how to dolphin, and provides a good workout for your abs.   But if you want to kick it up a notch, and REALLY work your abs and thighs, try dolphin kick with your arms in the air.


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How to Do It:
Put on your favorite pair of fins and push off on your back with arms in streamline.

Take one or two dolphin kicks to get started, then lock your hands together and raise your arms UP and out of the water.   As you raise your arms, KEEP KICKING!   You’ll quickly realize that you have to kick faster, bigger, and more forcefully, just to keep your head out of the water.  

Keep going to the end of the length, then take a break and start again.  

This is a very intense drill!  The goal is not to see how far you can go, but to see how WELL you can do the drill for a single length.

Can you hold your arms STRAIGHT above your eyes… or do you have to hold them at a 45-degree angle to keep your head above water?

Keep trying, and keep adjusting the speed and intensity of your kick until you can get your arms straight up.  

Try several lengths, then take off the fins and try a few lengths of your favorite swimming activity that requires a dolphin kick.  Try to take the intense feeling of the drill and put it into your swimming.

How to Do It If It’s Just Too Hard:
There’s a simple step you can take to learning this if two hands are just a bit too tough.  Try raising one arm while keeping the other extended above your head.  Switch arms on each length and, when you’re more comfortable, and able, try both arms.