Do you know that the push-off in swimming seems simple but extremely powerful?


Do you know that the push-off in swimming seems simple but extremely powerful?

The wall kick, the technical term is “push-off”, is a movement that seems simple and has little meaning but in fact is a “powerful weapon” of high-level swimmers. And few people noticed that a good kick on the wall can help you swim with fewer hands and less time when swimming from one pool to the other. A normal professional kicking the wall usually helps them rise to the surface at 10m or even 15m, so they only really swim 35m or 40m in a distance of 50m.

At longer distances, the benefit of kicking the wall increases with the increase in the number of turns of the distance. Many athletes win at long distances by kicking the wall, even though their swim speed is only comparable to that of other athletes!

The wall pedal movement in swimming is a skillful combination of two separate techniques: push-off technique and water-rise technique to enter the swimming movement (breakout). So in this article, we will learn more about this skill!

What is “push off” in swimming?

There is two primary push-off techniques that occur after the rotation during the front crawl stroke. One technique is characterized by a tight tuck and rapid extension of knees and hips toward the wall, prior to contact. This technique usually results in a forceful push-off, characterized by minimal wall contact time, and will be referred to as the no countermovement turn.

The second push-off technique more closely resembles a vertical jump. In this case, the swimmer rotates, touches the wall with their feet, and continues to proceed toward the wall. The feet of the swimmer stay in contact with the wall, and the knees bend as the swimmer approaches the wall. Once the knees flex, the swimmer then forcefully pushes off the wall.

Push-off in swimming

Push-off in swimming

As this motion mimics a countermovement vertical jump, it will be referred to as the countermovement turn. While Blanksby et al. (1996a) has suggested that a quicker rebound may better exploit elastic energy, previous literature has indicated that countermovement jumps use stored elastic strain energy to achieve greater jump heights than jumps without countermovement.

How can push-off help swimmers?

About push-off: you need to note the two most important points: depth away from the water surface and streamline position when surfing.

  • During swimming, the athlete’s movement will cause turbulence in the water and create wave resistance. Barry Bixler, an engineer/physicist studying fluid dynamics, found that turbulence at a depth of 0.6 meters below the surface of the water decreased by 5 to 7 percent compared to at 0.2 meters. below the surface, therefore kicking a wall 0.6 meters below the water surface is 20% more effective than kicking a wall 0.2 meters below the water surface. So, please step on the wall below the water surface, not above the water.
  • A good streamlined posture reduces drag and maximizes the speed you get from the powerful kick off the wall. As mentioned above, this will be the fastest speed you can reach the entire length of the pool (except when jumping), so it’s best to try to maintain that speed for as long as possible before The speed drops to start swimming. In order to maintain good speed when kicking the wall, the spell will be “streamline, streamline, streamline” (streamline, streamline, streamline). That’s the advice of former Olympic swimmer John Moffett. As long as you slightly raise your head while gliding out while stepping on the wall, your dashing speed will be STRONGER due to the loss of alignment in the posture.

The push-off technique includes 4 consecutive steps as follows:

Introduction to do the push-off

Introduction to do the push-off

  • Step 1: Place your feet firmly on the pool wall with knees bent. Try to stay completely underwater. Many swimmers aim to put their feet on the “T” at the end of the line in the swim lanes.
  • Step 2: Place one hand on top of the other and drag the thumb of the upper hand around to the lower hand.
  • Step 3: Stretch your hands together above your head and tuck your head under your arms. Squeeze your arms into your ears and direct your hands forward. Press the shoulder blades together.
  • Step 4: Bounce off the wall, straighten your legs and keep toes straight. Maintain this tapered motion under the water until you start to slow down and then start with a butterfly wave (if you can) or stride. According to the Feel For The Water website, your surf should be about 5 meters long if you get it right.

As you can see, just one simple kicking the wall, there are steps that are not easy at all. Over the course of their careers, advanced swimmers perform this simple move tens of thousands of times in order to give themselves an edge in the fight against evenly matched opponents.


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