All Strokes - Vertical Dolphin Variations

Mar 29, 2011
All Strokes - Vertical Dolphin Variations

Last week we linked to a video of Michael Phelps practicing vertical dolphin kick with weights strapped around his waist.  This was great inspiration to show a sequence of how normal swimmers can build to that level.

Why Do It:
There's no more important skill in swimming to master than the body dolphin movement.  Vertical kick is a simple way to see how good you are at this skill.

How to Do It:
  Start with the most simple kick, arms crossed around your chest, head out of the water using enough kick to keep you breathing.
2.  Next, if you're able, lift your hands out of the water, but keep your elbows in.  This adds just a bit of stress to the kick.
3.  Now try to get your arms in streamline above the water and see how long you can hold this position.
4.  Put this final move to use with vertical blasts from the bottom trying to get in 3, 4, or 5 dolphins before your body settles back into the water... repeat a few times with no break.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
If you want to add some extra challenge and don't have a weight belt like Michael, hold a med ball out of the water.  While you're building up to this level, it's good to add a pair of small fins like the Finis Gold Zoomers to give you just that little bit of extra push.  The added weight will demand increased quickness.  Finally, use the ball to go horizontal and practice some overloaded pushoffs.  Enjoy.

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