An exercise to improve your feel for the water suitable for all ages.
Everything complicated about being in the water can be summed up in the various aspects of the butterfly leg kick. The leg kick can be performed at lots of different angles. You need to make sure your body is well-balanced, you need a stable core and the ability to sense where you are in “the water”.
The aim of this drill is to learn to make the most of every angle of the leg kick beneath the water. Sometimes a swimmer may not be perfectly aligned after pushing off (from both the starting block and end of the pool) and being able to handle this situation might suggest there is no need to waste time while performing the underwater phase.
The first step in learning this technique is to begin to get a feel for where you are in the water. So, when pushing off the end of the pool during the underwater phase, rotate your body fully (through 360°) using only the initial thrust off the wall coming from your legs. After pushing off the wall, you must not move your legs. Remember to keep your body as relaxed as possible and in a glide position with your toes and arms fully extended.
Having learnt the movement, you can move on to the next step.
Starting from the position referred to above, immediately after pushing off and gliding for a few seconds, change the side on which you are working. So, you will perform two butterfly leg kicks facing forwards (stomach facing downwards), two butterfly leg kicks on your left side, two butterfly leg kicks on your right side and two butterfly leg kicks on your back (stomach facing upwards) before returning to your starting position. Remember that the entire drill must be performed using only your legs and maintaining complete control over your body.
You can now move on to the final step of the frill.
Wearing fins, extend your arms out in front of you and relax your shoulders. Take a deep breath and kick off the wall and begin to glide stomach facing downwards looking at the bottom of the pool without moving your arms at all. At this point, begin your leg kick and change the angle of your kick after each repetition, at the same time rotating your body. Keep on kicking underwater until you are back in the starting position.
The aim of this drill is to get a better feel for the various movements involved in the butterfly leg kick, learning how to change position in the water without using your upper body. Attention must focus on both your head and the direction in which you are looking, which should help direct your body through the water, and also the speed and rate of your leg kick, which should allow you to kick at as many different angles as possible in the space of 25 metres.
The beauty of this drill is that it is ideal for everybody and can be performed by any group of swimmers, from the very youngest to masters swimmers.