Breaststroke - Timing Underwater Dolphin

Feb 15, 2011
Breaststroke - Timing Underwater Dolphin

Ever since the initiation of the dolphin kick in the underwater pull, there have been discussions about when the dolphin kick should come in.  Here's a quick variation of what we're seeing more and more of.

First, this is the most important part... staying legal, which is why we're presenting this.  Here is what the 2011 USA Swimming Rule Book states concerning the underwater dolphin:  

"After the start and each turn, a single butterfly kick, which must be followed by a breaststroke kick, is permitted during or at the completion of the first arm pull."

What this single line means is... the hands must be pulling first, then at any point after that, the dolphin kick can be used.

How to do it:
 A typical underwater dolphin is used when the arms are deep into the pull.
2)  However, the most common move in all other strokes is to push off, then dolphin.
3)  Combining the natural motion, plus following the rules... start with a tight streamline and allow the hands to separate, then proceed to do some dolphin kicks with the hands held just apart.
4)  Now, use the same kick, only this time, after the dolphin kick, pull the hands all the way through.
5)  It's very important after the first dolphin kick, that the legs stay straight and don't perform a second dolphin kick.

How to do it really well (the fine points):
When learning this, some swimmers focus so much on the dolphin kick, that it starts prior to the hands separating... THIS is an illegal underwater pull, with the legs starting the kick prior to the hands separating.  Getting the timing of the start of the pull and the dolphin as closely as possible is the trick here.  Stay legal, and remember, this is just one option for the underwater pull.

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