8/15/05 BUTTERFLY - Whip Your Feet
Text, photos, and video by Glenn Mills
Demonstrated by Misty Hyman
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For a really powerful butterfly kick, relax the feet. Don’t force them.
Imagine your body is a long whip, with your head and chest as the handle, and
your feet as the tail or snapping part at the end of the whip. To get the
BIGGEST crack of the whip, you wouldn’t focus your attention on the end (the
feet)…you’d focus your attention on the handle (the chest).
Too many swimmers focus on the feet FIRST, and this makes it tough to achieve
true power in the kick. Instead, try focusing on the chest, and let the feet
simply flow, or be soft, during the kick so they can SNAP, WHIP, CRACK at the
end of the body.
While the kick is initiated with the top of the body, don’t forget to use your
thighs to really add that final push. This also aids in popping the hips up,
and helping you con-tinue with a fluid line through the water.
Misty Hyman is famous for her fantastically
efficient kick, and you can see in the pictures and video just how soft and
supple her feet are while they follow her body through the water. You can also
almost feel the CRACK of her feet when she finishes her kick.
Glenn Mills is Swimming World Magazine’s technical advisor. Check out his
website at www.goswim.tv
You can purchase DVDs from Go Swim on the Swimming World website -