There are few things in swimming that cross the lines of all strokes, but learning the underwater dolphin is certainly the most important.
This is the first installment of a series on how to learn a good underwater dolphin. While there are different ways to go about this, this sequence is pretty simple, and will be familiar to many of you.
Why Do It:
The underwater dolphin is the fastest many swimmers will ever travel in the water. It’s become a staple of swimming on all levels, and can mean the difference between winning and losing in just about every event.
How to Do It:
1. Step one starts with simple, head-lead body-dolphin exercise. Push off with hands at your sides and by initiate some gentle presses of the chest, allowing the hips and feet to follow the movement.
2. Do your best to keep the head stable, and not let it bob. Send the top of the head forward.
3. Try not to bend your knees too much, but allow the legs to flow. If you’re going too deep, or kicking too hard, increase the rate of your pulses just a bit.
4. Roll over and try the same exercise on your back. Remember, the ultimate goal of this will be to accomplish a great dolphin movement on your front, back, or side.
5. Keep your thighs close to the surface of the water, but barely allow your knees to break the surface.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
If you’re having a hard time with this, put on some fins. Don’t use the fins for more speed or power, but just allow the larger surface area to push you forward a bit more. Learning the underwater dolphin means learning to flow with your entire body. Do this by initiating the first step very slowly.