The 5th Stroke?

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Published on: October 18, 2011

My favorite talk at the ASCA World Clinic was Eddie Reese on Swimming.

Hands. Down.

I was practically an eager school girl on her first day.  I couldn't wait to absorb his insight and inspiration on all four strokes....until he started talking about the fifth stoke.


Eddie Reese spoke of the Butterfly Kick as being, what he considered, a swim stroke all it's own.

The Butterfly is the youngest of the strokes (circa 1930s) and it's kick is incredible efficient.  In fact, the fastest way to get from point A to point B, in the water, is underwater dolphin kick in a streamline position.  This is the reason why FINA restricted underwater kicking to 15 meters in the '90 - because Olympians were swimming whole laps under water!

So why is the dolphin kick important for us mere mortals?

In today's world, most of us spend a significant amount of time sitting in front of a computer or at a desk.  I can only speak for myself, but I can assure you, I do not maintain good posture throughout the day.  Most of the time I end up slumped, with my chin propped up by one of my hands and my rear practically pushing the chair into the middle of the room.

And I wonder why I love my Chiropractor.....

If you are anything like me, then you should know that stretching and strengthening your core muscles and hip flexors is ESSENTIAL for the health of your lower back.

This is why dolphin kick is so important!

It's great for conditioning the core and the hip flexors!  No other movement, that I know of,  targets the core abs, back and pelvic muscles quite like the fly kick.  And it's kind of like doing the worm (the dance move) 🙂 which makes it fun!

Look for more dolphin kick fun throughout the rest of October!

Keep on Swimming,

Coach Meg


Notes from the World Clinic: Eddie Reese on Freestyle

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Published on: September 16, 2011

One of the best things about the sport of swimming is that coaches love teaching each other.  The American Swimming Coaches Association's World Clinic is a week long conversation about swimming, how to coach swimming and how to improve the sport of swimming.  Cool.

On Friday, I had the opportunity to attend a talk entitled:

"Eddie Reese on Swimming."

Sure enough, it was one full hour of Eddie Reese and his thoughts on stroke mechanics.   I was blown away.

Take the tips below and apply them to your stroke IMMEDIATELY!  Don't worry, I will post his thoughts on the other 4 strokes over the next few weeks.

When Swimming Freestyle (in addition to good rotation):

  1. Point your fingers towards the lane line on the arm recovery- this will create a very slight angle and a high elbow.
  2. At the hand entry - point fingers towards the wall you are swimming towards or - in open water - in the direction you are going.
  3. Point fingers down towards the bottom of the pool as you pull through the water.
  4. Try to imagine yourself skating through the water with your arms - the way speed skaters push and glide.....
  5. For the kick - relax your knees and your ankles


Keep on Swimming,

Coach Meg



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