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Freestyle/Backstroke - Tempo-Trainer Kick

Posted by Barbara Hummel on Apr 07, 2009 05:00AM

Here’s a fun drill that tests the upper limit of your flutter kick...and the lower limit of your Tempo Trainer. 

Why Do It:

A quick and compact flutter kick is essential for fast swimming.

But if you want to have an outboard motor driving your freestyle or backstroke, it won’t happen by accident.  You have to train for it, and that’s where the Tempo Trainer comes in.

The Tempo Trainer, made by Finis, is a small metronome that you place under your swim cap.  

You can set it to beep at any frequency you want, and then you match your armstrokes to the beep. 

But you can also match your KICK to the Tempo Trainer.  

Here’s How to Do It:

For a real test, let’s take the Tempo Trainer down to its lowest-possible setting -- point 2-0.  As you can hear, it’s beeping crazy fast -- at 5 beats per second.  

Slip the Tempo Trainer under your cap, put on some fins, then strap yourself in for a very wild ride. 

Push off on your back, with arms at your sides, and try to match your kick to the beep.  One kick.   

Keep it going for a full length, then take a break.  This is a very intense drill, so use it only for short distances and short sets.  Kick back with some easy dolphin to your starting point, then try it again.  

The Fine Points (How to Do It Really Well):

You’ll automatically discover some fine points for doing the drill:  keep your arms tight to your sides...keep your kick narrow and compact...keep your knees fairly straight.

Once you get the hang of it with fins, try a few 25s with no fins.  

To try the drill on your stomach, it helps to use a Swimmer’s Center-Mount Snorkel and even a pair of Z2 fins, both made by Finis.  

Finish your kick session with a few 25s of freestyle, trying to incorporate a more intense kick into the whole stroke.

Archived Comments

Responded Apr 08, 2009 05:22PM

Que execelente consejo
¿pero con niñas de 8 sera prudente hacerlo?

Responded Apr 08, 2009 05:46PM

I've used the Tempo Trainer with kids as young as 6 years old (mostly for teaching breaststroke rhythm), but have not done this particular drill with really young swimmers. They would probably think it was fun, and they would probably be able to handle it if they already have a good flutter kick, but I wouldn't do too much of it. Maybe just one or two lengths.

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