Swimming World Presents “Vertical Kicking: The Sixth Stroke?”

Swimming World December Vertical Kicking the Sixth Stroke

Vertical Kicking: The Sixth Stroke?

Let’s agree that Joe Bernal and David Berkoff introduced us to the value of the underwater kick in the late 1980s. Then Bob Gillett and Misty Hyman sold us on it about 10 years later…so much so that we have taken to calling this extended underwater phenomenon the “fifth stroke.” So where might vertical kicking, a workout staple for many coaches, fall in the continuum?

Swimming World Magazine spoke with 3 coaches to get their perspective.

Bill Boomer, former swim coach at the University of Rochester and a globally recognized swim theorist and technician, believes vertical kicking has value, but is best employed with a scientific understanding. “There is a lot more to vertical kicking than just energy,” he says.

Ken Heis, of the Mason Manta Rays says, “While not a daily part of the Manta Ray regimen, vertical kicking has its place. The value is you can get a lot of kids in one or two lanes doing focused resistance work on their kick,” he says.

Eddie Reese, of the University of Texas says, ““Two years ago, we were doing vertical kicking—head out of the water—in relation to the fly kick. There are stages you have to go through to be a good fly kicker unless it’s a gift”.

So, is vertical kicking a good thing?

“Definitely. It introduces so much variety and addresses so many issues: among other things, constant communication with the athlete in the pool, breathing, sequencing and total harmonic work,” says Boomer. No one ever said vertical kicking was easy. “Some days, everything you do, swimmers view as punishment,” says Reese.

To learn more about how these coaches consider employing the vertical kick in training, the December 2018 issue of Swimming World Magazine is available now!
Swimming World subscribers can download this issue in the Swimming World Vault!

Dec 2018 Cover

[PHOTO BY LAPRESSE/ PROVIDED BY ARENA]

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FEATURES

016 2018 SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR
by Annie Grevers, David Rieder and Dan D’Addona
World: Katie Ledecky (Female American)
& Adam Peaty (Male European)
Female European: Sarah Sjostrom
Male American: Chase Kalisz
Pacific Rim: Cate Campbell & Sun Yang
African: Tatjana Schoenmaker & Chad le Clos

024 5 BEST WOMEN’S & 6 BEST MEN’S PERFORMANCES OF 2018
by David Rieder
This year’s list of the top 11 performances features world records, second-fastest performances in history and textile bests. The swims come primarily from the year’s biggest regional meets—the European Championships, Pan Pacific Championships and Asian Games.

COACHING

009 SPECIAL SETS: WISCONSIN KICK TEST SETS
by Michael J. Stott

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: SOICHI SAKAMATO
by Michael J. Stott

014 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: DEVELOPMENT OF AN OPTIMAL MODEL FOR TECHNIQUE: PART 4—BASE OF SUPPORT
by Rod Havriluk
Body size and shape, body rotation and head position as well as motion need to be controlled for optimizing swimming technique. All of these factors help to minimize resistance, but also help to make a stable “base of support” to maximize propulsion.

038 VERTICAL KICKING: THE SIXTH STROKE?
by Michael J. Stott

041 Q&A WITH COACH BRIAN SCHRADER
by Michael J. Stott

042 HOW THEY TRAIN: KYLE ROBROCK
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

028 DRYSIDE TRAINING: STROKE AND DISTANCE STRENGTH SERIES—STARTS AND TURNS
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

045 UP & COMERS: CLARK KENT APUADA
by “Lois Lane” (aka Taylor Brien)

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT
013 BEYOND THE YARDS
029 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
044 DADS ON DECK
046 HASTY HIGH POINTERS
047 GUTTER TALK
048 PARTING SHOT

2 comments

  1. Patti Matthew

    Paul, Diana, this is what I was talking about.