5 Easy Ways to Jumpstart Your Dolphin Kick

Realistically, underwater dolphin kicks can account for up to 60% of a race (in yards).  There is a reason why swimmers are limited to only 15 yards/meters of underwater dolphin kicks: they are much faster than regular swimming on the water’s surface. Here are 5 basic ways to jumpstart your dolphin kick

1. Think like a dolphin

Dolphin, Wikipedia

Basic, but vital. Like I tell the 8 of unders I coach: you are a dolphin. Dolphins don’t have legs. They have a tail. Keep your legs together and think of yourself as one straight line.

2. Sit-ups

Nothing strengthens your core like classic sit-ups. Your core is the part of your body that’s doing most of the work underwater, so it’s important to keep it as strong as possible. Classic sit-ups are a great place to start building core power. As you develop, there are numerous exercises you can do to build and maintain core strength.

3. Squeeze your abs

Matt Grevers

Engage your core muscles. Keep them tight. That way, your kicks are more effective.

4. Practice, practice, practice

Michael Phelps, underwater magic (courtesy of Mike Lewis)

Michael Phelps, underwater (courtesy of Mike Lewis)

Set a goal for yourself and stick to it as closely as possible. Aim for three kicks off every wall for a whole practice. Sound easy? It’s hard to resist the temptation of zoning out during a long practice. Once you’ve mastered three kicks off of every wall, strive for four, five, and so on.  Some elite swimmers can kick 10-11 dolphin kicks over each wall. 

5. Tighten your streamline

Squeeze your ears. Your streamline is what guides you through the water and in order to move effectively, your streamline should be as tight, thin and smooth as possible.

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It’s hardly easy to improve your dolphin kick 😉 But it’s an extraordinarily valuable weapon when you do.

11 kicks off each wall in the 200m free or fly makes the US OT….among the elites.

As a long time coach with USA Fin Swimming, I have 6 year olds that can go 8-10 yards kicking butterfly. Very simple tool, use the monofin! Finis’s new foil is perfect to get started!

About Bryana Cielo

Bryana Cielo

Bryana Cielo Shortly after Bryana Cielo’s birth, she developed her love of water at her family beach house–and hasn’t stopped since. At the conclusion of her swim lessons at age 7, it was recommended that she try out for the local summer swim team. After her first season, she won the …

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