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BREASTSTROKE – Vertical Kick

Here’s a simple little drill to help work off any extra turkey you may eat over the next few days.

Vertical breaststroke kick can be a great learning experience, as well as a TREMENDOUSLY difficult exercise. Dave makes it look easy, but remember�he�s a world-class athlete. The better your kick, DESCRIBE THE IMAGE the higher you’ll be able to keep your arms out of the water. When you first try this exercise, you’ll probably need to keep your arms IN the water. As you get better at it, you’ll be able to lift your elbows out, and then, someday, your arms, like Dave.

Why Do It:

Vertical breaststroke kick is a great way to learn how to grab hold of the water in your breaststroke kick. It also helps you eliminate the �dead spots� in your kick.

How To Do It:

1. Get yourself into a straight line, up and down, in the water. Try not to lean forward or back. Think about being as tall as possible. You’ll probably leave most of your arms in the water at first. When you feel more comfortable, you can lift your hands out, then your elbows, and finally your arms.

2. Make sure you finish each kick COMPLETELY, by squeezing your feet together. Failure to do this will allow you to keep your eyes out of the water, but it’s also going to teach you an incorrect kick.

3. Bring your feet up high enough to really GRAB and HOLD the water. This is where your eyes will probably drop below the surface. You�re recovering the legs and this creates resistance and a �dead spot� (a non-propulsive moment) that can pull you under. Dead spots are NOT GOOD! Make them as short as possible.

4. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Your first effort might be 10 to 15 seconds of kicking, with 20 to 30 seconds of rest. Gradually add more kicking time and take away some of the rest. Start off with a little, and see how it feels.

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

See how high you can get your body out of the water, and for how long. Feel your feet closing together on EACH KICK. If you notice that you’re not finishing your kick, then stop and take some rest. It’s important to adjust the height of your hands out of the water, lowering them when your kick is starting to fall apart. Lift the hands out little by little, closely monitoring the completion of each kick.