I’m seeing an abundance of dorsi-flexion in my tri clients. Simply put, dorsi-flexion is when you pull back your feet towards your leg and your feet form an L shape with your leg. Your toes actually point to the bottom of the pool. This move on the down kick pushes water in the opposite direction and drags your hips and legs downward.This creates a tremendous amount of drag…creates immediate exhaustion…and turns swimming into a torture session!
Doing freestyle your feet need to be plantar flexed. Plantar flexion means that your toes are pointed away from the leg and form a straight line with your leg….kind of like you are tip-toeing!
With the hours you folks spend running/biking in a dorsi-flexed ankle stable position it’s not surprising this happens so much.
Those of you who do this (you will know if you do a kick set and you are virtually kicking in place or going backwards) need to get with an ankle flexibility program. The use of fins (vertical kicking) can also help loosen things up.
I am going to replay the video I did of World Class swimmer Fred Hviid Kicking half a pool length with good form…..then press his toes to the bottom of the pool. If this action stops Fred in his tracks….just think about what it may be doing to you……