6 Tips on Improving your Dolphin Kick

Butterfly is all about rhythm and flow. One of the best ways to achieve a steady rhythm is by developing your dolphin kick. As a result, dolphin kicking serves as the main fundamental in swimming Butterfly, and mastering the undulating technique is the first step in developing a great Butterfly stroke.

The following are some helpful tips to improve your dolphin kick:

  1. Keep you feet and legs together.  Not executing this could cause for you to be disqualified from a competitive race. Also, separating your legs and feet will cause you to be less efficient.
  2. As you undulate, your legs should follow your hips and core. There may be a slight bend in the knee, however you should not over bend your knees because then you will be inefficiently kicking only with your legs.
  3. When undulating, drive your chest down and let your hips rise to the surface. This hip-pop is critical in butterfly. Note that you do not want to undulate too much, rather you should aim at obtaining an undulating motion that propels you forward. After all, the whole point in swimming is to get to the other side of the pool!
  4.  Core, core, core! Having a strong core is crucial in just about every stroke, but especially true in butterfly. The core serves as the engine to power the undulation movement.
  5. Focus on both the down AND up beat of the kick. Most swimmers only focus on one or the other and so they are not getting the most from their kick.
  6. Work on ankle flexibility. The more flexible your ankles are, the more water you will be pushing back to propel you forward. One way to work on your ankle flexibility is with the Rack.

Here are some example sets where you can put these tips to good use:

8 x 50s dolphin kick with a Kickboard. Lay flat on your stomach, face down on the water surface while you hold a kick board with your arms extended.  The goal is to maintain a high body position and let your hips “pop” and break the surface on every kick.

6 x 75s dolphin kick with Fins [50 body dolphin kick on your stomach with your hands at your side leading the kick with your forehead, 25 dolphin kick on your stomach with your arms extended and hands flat]

12 x 25s with a Monofin (Foil Monofin)- No Breath Underwater dolphin kick. Focus on quick dolphin kicks and undulating. This is a great set that works your breath control off your walls while encouraging great undulation!

Now the fun begins, try these sets today!

Elisa Torres