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How to Explain the Timing of the Butterfly Kick


Hi Gary

I purchased your “nutrition” e-book last week. Excellent tips and I’m sure my boy will reap the benefits of your advice.

My question is this. I am struggling to explain the timing of the Fly double-kick. Can you tell me when the big kick and the small kick should take place, timing wise, in relation to the arms ! Thanks.

Also can you give me any update on how Ian Thorpe is progressing on his comeback ? Is he still planning on entering the Aus trials in April ? It’s difficult to find any information here in the England.

Look forward to your help



Hi Howard and thank you for your email and kind words.

In regards to the timing of the double kick – as the hands are recovering over the water, the knees are bending to allow the feet to move upward in preparation for the downward kick.  As the hands enter the water and stretch forward to catch the water, the bottom half of the legs including the ankle and feet kick downward. This is often referred to as the first downward kick.  The knees then start bending again and the feet move upward as the hands pull under the body. As the hands push back past the hips the second downward kick takes place.

The simple terms that I use when demonstrating the arm stroke and when to kick is to say “Kick out in front” as my hands are entering and “Kick back behind” as the hands accelerate past the hips at the end of the underwater stroke.

In my coaching, I teach children and adults to do two kicks of equal strength rather than one small kick and one big kick.  It would be interesting to know what others teach.

In regards to Ian Thorpe, I know that he is back in the water but do not believe that he is anywhere near racing fitness.  My guess is that he will gradually build up to the Commonwealth Games Trials in 2014 and that this will be his next major competition hit out.



The Swimming Expert


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