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Lesson 2

Lesson goal:  Push off and kick easily while remaining horizontal to the surface of the water

In order to swim efficiently it is important to be able to swim with your body horizontal to the surface of the water.  This cannot be done unless you arch your lower back (engaging the erector spinae muscles) and kick at least lightly (engaging the hamstrings).

Push off from the wall in a streamlined position. Have an arch in your lower back. Kick your legs from the hips by keeping your leg slightly stiff making sure that you don't bend your leg much at the knee. You can tell if you are kicking from your hips by whether or not your hips rock back and forth as you kick and if you have only a little lower leg bend. Try to feel pressure on your foot on the upwards and downwards kick.  You want to minimize your kick unless you are sprinting because leg muscles use a lot of energy.  It is important to keep the feet relaxed or you will cramp.

            If you do not get forward movement from your kick do not be concerned.  The goal of this lesson is not to get propulsion from the kick but rather to teach you that one needs to have the smallest of kicks to swim horizontal to the surface of the water.

Lesson Two: Balanced pushing off with kicking and legs horizontal to the surface of the water.

You don't raise your legs by kicking harder nor by exhaling sooner in order to make your chest less buoyant.

            Find the point at which you can have the smallest arch in your lower back and kick the slowest and least while maintaining a body position that is horizontal to the surface. Do this by kicking less and less until your legs begin to drop. Make certain you do not kick with just the lower leg.  It takes practice to kick properly with a relaxed but slightly stiff leg.  While doing this have awareness of your body balance and the tension in your muscle groups.