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Using the Backstroke Kick for Masters Freestyle Development

November 7, 2012

I have begun to fold in a good deal of backstroke kicking of late, for two reasons: 1) it is a good way to develop flutter kick skills without the pressure on the neck that can come from a kickboard, and 2) it can help develop the sense of torso alignment and the role of the abdominals.  While it is not exactly the same as kicking freestyle on your stomach, I believe that it is similar enough to crossover to an improved freestyle kick, as well as avoiding the potential downside in terms of the neck.

Late fall is typically a time when I have worked in an emphasis in kicking with the masters level athlete, since many are triathletes, it is a good time because they are competing less, and can spare the extra leg work.  While I have always liked the backstroke kick, this is the first time I have really set out to make it the staple of the leg regimen – we shall see how it goes.

The main set of this workout will be a blender, where we will layer moderate kicking and threshold speed-play swimming together for a 45 minute bout of fitness gathering.

1×400-800   100 CHOICE/50 1-arm/50 scull
3-9×50 pull, BR.EV 5th, descend strokes 1-3 :20 rest

Main Set (repeat 3-4 times)
4×50 kick on back, :15 rest
2×25 SWIM BR. EVERY 2-3
4×50 SWIM on :10 REST ZONE 4
2×75 #1 FAST SWIM, #2 EASY HEAD-LEAD PULL – start 2nd 25 after you catch your breath

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