Butterfly - Head-Up Dolphin Kick

Apr 21, 2006
Butterfly - Head-Up Dolphin Kick

Finding "fun" and interesting ways to keep practices intriguing for swimmers is partly what drills are all about. It's even better when these drills tax the swimmers bodies so that physical conditioning is also impacted.

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This drill is a very simple exercise that, when done correctly, works not only your legs but also your abs. The additional benefit is working a STRONG upbeat in the kick. When you flip this over, it becomes the downbeat for butterfly.

Why Do It:
Kicking sets can isolate the legs, and allow for better conditioning of those muscles. This drill overloads not only the legs because of the use of fins, but also the abs because of the positioning of the body and the finishing action of the feet.

How To Do It:

1. Put on your favorite pair of fins. Of course, our swimmer is using his Zura Alpha fins (available at a discount through Go Swim) not only because they're great fins, but also because his size 13 feet don't fit in regular fins.

2. This drill is done with hands held at your sides.

3. Start kicking dolphin kick (on your back, obviously), but also lift your head and look back toward your feet. If you do this drill properly, this position will tax your abdominal muscles. Lifting the head also lets you check to see if you're doing the drill correctly.

4. During each kick UP with the legs, the feet (fins) should just break the surface and create a splash UP. If there's no splash, you're not completing the drill, and should start over. :)

5. Repeat as necessary.

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

This drill is usually done for short distances. It's to be done at fairly high speeds, with high intensity. The higher the splash OUT of the water with the feet, the better you're doing.

You'll also notice some sculling with the hands. Although it's not preferred, don't worry too much about it. The swimmer is instinctively looking for leverage anywhere he/she can get it. As long as you're moving forward quickly enough, keeping the head up, and splashing the water out, all is good.

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