Masters Swimming Myth #2, featuring Alexander Popov

Myth – Kicking generates next to no propulsion, serves only to fatigue the athlete, so kick sets and training to develop the kick stroke is pointless, with the time spent better off invested into developing the pull.

Fact is… from TIME Magazine Sept 2000:

“Popov is a racing machine, a lean 90 kg in briefs, 2 m tall, with an arm span of 2.1 m and
mighty legs that can propel him 50m in a stupefying 27 sec.
(21.64 sec. if he uses his arms as well).”

You read that right, Alexander Popov can kick 50m in 27 seconds.  Like Usain Bolt who executed the once unfathomable triple-triple in athletics, Alexander Popov executed the double-double in swimming (back to back titles in the 50m and 100m FR, at the ’92 and ’96 Olympics). He returned to swimming at the age of 31 retaking the title in both the 50m and 100m FR at 2003 FINA Worlds, swimming 48.42, just two-tenths off his best defeating Pieter van den Hoogenband and Ian Thorpe in the process:

If your coach is not developing your kick, then they are not developing you as a swimmer. If you are a distance swimmer and think that kicking is wasted energy, wasted effort, then watch Sun Yang, Katie Ledecky, or past videos of Ian Thorpe racing.  The rotation that occurs in the torso to develop the torque at the hips occurs because of the kick, and is maximized by the power of the kick. If you are sprinter and don’t kick, don’t train the kick, then I would suggest you start rethinking your approach.

No kick means no hip drive.

No hip drive means no leverage for the pull.

No leverage for the pull leads to a powerless pull.

A pull without power…

What’s the point in that kind of training?

By | 2018-02-20T17:49:56+00:00 January 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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