Many swimmers, especially masters swimmers, find it so challenging to do dolphin kick on their back that they just give up. By combining dolphin kick and breaststroke kick, you can learn this important skill and not feel like you’re drowning or going backwards.
Why Do It:
This drill carries many benefits. If you struggle with dolphin kick, the drill makes it more pleasant to practice the skill. The breaststroke kick gives you a little extra umph, which makes the dolphin kicks feel more productive, which makes you want to keep practicing. The extra practice will help you develop the ankle flexibility and abdominal strength needed to get better at dolphin kick.
An added benefit is that the drill helps develop better ankle flexibility and foot speed for your breaststroke kick.
How to Do It:
1. Push off on your back with arms in streamline. Start alternating one dolphin kick and one breaststroke kick. Keep the kicks small and quick, with the toes just breaking the surface of the water on the dolphin kicks. Initiate the dolphin kicks with a quick movement of the abs.
2. Next, try alternating TWO dolphin kicks and one breaststroke kick. Make sure the toes break the surface on both dolphin kicks, and keep the rhythm steady and quick.
3. Next, step it up to THREE dolphin kicks and one breaststroke kick. Keep the kicks small and quick, and maintain a horizontal bodyline, with the abs up near the surface of the water.
As your dolphin kick gets more effective, try stepping it up to four, five, or even six dolphin kicks alternating with one breaststroke kick.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Notice that our swimmer has almost no hesitation between the two types of kicks. The dolphin kick flows right into the breaststroke kick…and the breaststroke kick lifts right into the next dolphin kick. To do this, keep the kicks small and quick. Try to maintain a steady rhythm that keeps your body up near the surface and keeps your energy moving forward down the pool.