How to create explosive swim starts from inertia

Bodysurfing kick-offs

Unlike swimmers, bodysurfers can’t rely on the starting block or edge of the pool to create an explosive swim start. And so, be able to speed up quickly starting from stand-still is harder. That’s why a very interesting part LeblonFins´ swimming training for bodysurfers at Botafogo F. C. swimming pool is dedicated to perfect the entries on the wave, that are critical for those looking for a better “momentum”.

SCISSOR KICK-OFF

The scissors kick and all the other entries (eg.: the underwater dolphin kick), can help you win or loose the wave, depending on its strength. Setting yourself up for a perfect start is not easy, but practice it will help you improve dramatically your technique and you will become really faster.

Assuming you are in the right spot to the take-off, you must pay attention to the follow points:

  •  Kicking in the streamline position underwater it’s faster than swimming any of the other aquatic strokes. For this reason, competitive swimmers often try to kick in a streamline position off a wall or the starting block for as long as they can be underwater (rules impose the limitation) before coming up for their first stroke. This is why many swimmers spend a lot of time perfecting the form and technique of streamline.  So, why it would be different with bodysurfers?
  •  Get into upper body streamlining position and try to maintain a straight back, parallel to the waterline in order to minimize frontal drag during the scissors kick. Switching to the kick too early will cause an increase in resistance. The body should be on a horizontal plane under the water line until the first stroke / kick.
  •  A great flexibility of the shoulders is needed to reach a perfect streamline
  •   Head must be as close as possible to the shoulder of the arm that is stretched ahead.
  •  Experiment with different kick amplitude. The more separate your legs are before the kick, the more you will be pushed forward. Your amplitude limit is the angle that allows you to close legs quickly. If you cross your own amplitude limit, you will probably lose the momentum.
  •  Engage your core and gluteal muscles into the leg kick.
  •  Heel flexibility it’s a important factor
  •  Coordinating the scissor kick with the arm stroke, whether with or without a hand board is crucial.
  •  Having a 'no splash' when arms or the hand plane entry the water is the master key to keeping the momentum, with as little drag as possible. 
  •  Remember that the more your head is raised, the greater the drag.
  • The scissor kick  must be deep in the water and not at the surface.

The Catapult kick-off

CATAPULTA is perhaps the most powerful pluck. Working perfectly on top and under water. Unlike other flippers, LEBLONFINS does not bend when under kick pressure. Instead, it projects you forward like a catapult. No other fins offer such thrust.

To extract the maximum propulsion from the CATAPULT:

  • Get into body streamlining position and try to maintain a straight back, parallel to the waterline in order to minimize front drag .
  • Switching to the kick too early will cause an increase in resistance. The body should be on a horizontal plane under the water line.
  • It should be done with both legs together (tandem).
  • Exert equal pressure on kicking up and kicking down.
  • Engage the core and gluteal muscles.
  • Try to keep your glutes tight.
  • Head should be as close as possible to the shoulder of the arm that is stretched ahead.
  • Heel flexibility is an important factor.
  • Remember that the more your head is raised, the greater the drag.

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