What components make up an actual great Dolphin Kick? Well you need to have a bidirectional Dolphin Kicking technique, and basically bidirectional just means in two directions. So you have an Up Kick and a Down Kick. As far as the strength component is concerned, you need abdominal, hip, lower back and leg strength. The kick starts at your core and then it’s translated through your hips, legs, knees, and finally to your feet, and it resembles a wave or whipping like motion as we saw on Dana’s video. Ankle flexibility, needs to be there, the tops of your feet are what generates movement of water and speed in Freestyle and Butterfly, so you need to have a great plantar flexion to actually do these kicks. Well, if you don’t have great plantar flexion, you can improve them. Actually, the more that you do all these kicks, the more ankle flexibility, You’ll have, so if you don’t like kicking -and you’re like my ankles are like not that flexible- go kick more make kicking your best friend, because it will help. You also need anaerobic conditioning for a Dolphin Kick.
If we’re talking about Dolphin Kicking off of your walls and off of your starts that entire kick is happening under the surface and you’re getting no air, so you must be able to continue to have like a high power output, even with a depleting oxygen supply. So, hypoxic training is a big, big thing. One of the things I do with my kids here. And I actually think that this is a Bob Bowman inspired set, or it’s kind of hard sometimes when things filter on coaches you don’t know who it actually originated from. But what I take is a stretch cord, and instead of putting the stretch cord, linear, to the lanes, I put a perpendicular so I will stand it across the lines right at half pool and force the kids to underwater kick out to that point or that cord, and then pop up and then do the same thing on that second the next 25 or 50 or whatever you’re swimming for the set. So, it’s really, really difficult and it forces kick outs to half pool, but it’s great because it’s stretch cords and there’s no sort of like injury issue there. It also puts kids kicking out further than what they’re used to, and it puts them kicking with that depleted oxygen supply, which is just pretty much the name of the game and swimming is how comfortable can you be being uncomfortable.