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Monofin kicking rate

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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fabrice

Well-Known Member
Apr 3, 2002
113
11
108
48
Hello all,

Yesterday while doing some open water training with my monofin, I started to count how many kicks it took me to reach a given depth.
I get consistant results of 10 kicks to reach 23m.
Does it look like a bad, medium or efficient propulsion ?
BTW I got great sliding sensations (I think i'm gonna sell my Cressi's...)

Have a safe dive,

Fabrice
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
218
That sounds like a decent rate of kicks to me, but unlike what some trainers teach, there is NO set rate for bi-fin or monofin kicks. There are too many variables....how much suit you're wearing, what the temperature is, how much weight you're wearing, where you're neutrally bouyant, how much creatine is in your muscles at the time, how long your surface interval was, and most importantly, how you feel before and after the dive.
If you're weighted heavy, say neutral at 3 metres, then it might take 5 mono kicks to get to 5 metres, then you sink to 30 metres, but it will take a lot more to get up. If you're in cold water, and are wearing a 9mm suit made of Yamamoto rubber, then you will sink even faster once you pass the neutral point, and you will kick a LOT more to get back up. If the suit is 9mm, and made of regular neoprene, you will not sink as quickly at first, and that will change the kicking rate.
If you are weighted lightly to be neutral at 25 metres, then you will kick harder and more often to get down, but will come up on 6 or 7 kicks (maybe), depending again on all the other factors.
You may hear some "expert" telling you that all freedivers should be at "X" depth within "X" amount of kicks, but I assure you that they are misinformed and probably have not dived in all the different environments out there (cold, competition, recreational, spearfishing, water salinity, etc).
The same goes for kicking styles. For a diver weighted for deep-neutral, say in competition, she will inevitably have to bend the knees more at the beginning of the descent, then evolve the kick into a somewhat straighter leg kick, then stop kicking altogether and sink. The same goes for the monofin.
Listen to your body, enjoy the feeling, and pay attention to that :)
Cheers,
Erik Y.
 

kbakery

New Member
Mar 2, 2002
40
3
0
On the subject of kicks per meter I've got a similar question. Seems we're all looking for that optimum balance of speed vs distance vs calories burned. I try to set up some kind of controlled area to figure it out. Dynamics in a pool are fairly easy to control. Since I'm a poor scientist anyone elses input would get me closer to the optimum. Here's my question and there may be some relevance to Fabrice's; To anyone who's done some well documented Dynamics, what's your time for your distance? (given conditions in a pool that are set up for a good effort) ( I wonder about the times for Martin's or Herbert's best efforts) For instance I move about one meter per second. Faster or slower produces a shorter distance underwater.
 

Walrus

Oz freediver
Oct 3, 2001
693
77
0
Varying speed in Dynamic

Hi kbakery,

I think Erik posted not long ago that he uses a similar aproach to Herbert in Dynamics:- starting slow, then speeding up towards the end.

This seems to work for me also. Doing a 100m dynamic with Bi-fins, I do the first lap fairly slow, with a narrow straightleged kick. After the turn around I start dolphin kicking, medium speed, and speed up more the last half lap. (Usually takes around 1:20 - 1:30 all up)

Don't know if varying the speed would work for everyone, but probably worth trying out to see if it helps or hinders.

My thinking is that once the body starts running lower on O2 the muscles utilize the Aenerobic processes more. So the extra effort by going faster at the end builds up heaps more lactic acid and maybe only burns a little more oxygen.

I'm not an expert so someone else may have a more acurate explanation then this.

It would explain why if I do a slow 50m lap, say 45 sec, i get almost no lactic acid build up. But if I so a 1:30 breathold first, then do 50m the build up is heaps, feeling that burn.

I don't think a "speed vs distance vs calories burned" like they do with scuba fins would be entirely acurate for freediving. It doesn't take into acount lactic acid build up/ Muscle oxygen debt....

Hope that's some food for thought :D

Cheers,
Wal
 

kbakery

New Member
Mar 2, 2002
40
3
0
More complicated than I thought. Which makes it so much fun. I'll try it, makes sense to me. You call 45 sec. for 50 meters slow so I may speed up my general pace a little too and see what happens. Now to find a conversation on Negative Pressure dives.
Thanks,
TP
 

fabrice

Well-Known Member
Apr 3, 2002
113
11
108
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Originally posted by Erik

If you're weighted heavy, say neutral at 3 metres, then it might take 5 mono kicks to get to 5 metres, then you sink to 30 metres, but it will take a lot more to get up. If you're in cold water, and are wearing a 9mm suit made of Yamamoto rubber, then you will sink even faster once you pass the neutral point, and you will kick a LOT more to get back up. If the suit is 9mm, and made of regular neoprene, you will not sink as quickly at first, and that will change the kicking rate.
...
Listen to your body, enjoy the feeling, and pay attention to that :)
Cheers,
Erik Y.

I'm diving with a 7mm suit, and carry 3kg on my weight belt; So i'm neutral at about 12 meters when taking a full inspiration (no packing).
The numbers I gave were for easy dives, with short surface intervals, and my body said "It's good, do it again !"
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
218
Originally posted by kbakery
. You call 45 sec. for 50 meters slow so I may speed up my general pace a little too and see what happens.TP

Hey buddy, I got your PM, thanks.
My attempts are best in dynamic and CB at 1 metre/second. I think Herbert is pretty quick, but Stephan Mifsuad (sp) was quite slow for his 174 metres.
If I go faster, then I start contractions early, which sucks. What has helped me a lot in dynamic is getting optimal neutral buoyancy. I get in the pool, pack as much as I intend to for the attempt, then weight myself for neutral. In a shallow pool, this is really impossible, especially with the undulation of a monokick, but get it as close as possible. I am still experimenting with the amount of packing, and have never tried on a maxed out pack. My max is around 60 packs, and my best has been with 30 packs, a 6lb belt, and a 4lb neck weight for a total of 10 lbs. Sounds extreme, but it works for me. If I'm too buoyant, then i waste energy staying down, plus have to kick harder and faster, which doesn't work for me. Also, my CB and dynamic are with hands by my side. I figured if Murat can do 190 odd metres with his hands down, then I should be able to use that method too, especially at the slow speed I use.
Cheers, hope to be in Hawaii for the Cup,
Erik Y.
 

kbakery

New Member
Mar 2, 2002
40
3
0
Ten pounds w/out a wetsuit? I'm getting materials for a neck wieght today, I guess I'll use the bicycle tube and shot that Herbert described. Getting off the thread here but I now wonder about packing. In CB it works well because once you're deep the heart rate isn't effected so much by the increased pressure of packing. Statics? I prefer an easy breath with no packing because the pressure of a huge inhale or packing increases the heart rate. (Do you "train" your heart to beat slower inspite of packing?) In Dynamic it sounds like packing air is a popular technique. Anyone out there have their own theory? Slight packing and stay deep or say the hell with it and pack like crazy and go for it.
Thanks for the reply,
Tom P.
 
Last edited:

Walrus

Oz freediver
Oct 3, 2001
693
77
0
Packing

Hi kbakery,

just looking at your comments regarding packing. At the moment I do full packing before doing a long dynamic. I'm doing this mostly to get used to packing for practise to do deeper dives. My best dynamic so far is 100m, done it without packing and with full packing. I do at least a 100m dynamic every time I go to the pool now, trying to get more consistent.

I suspect I can go a bit futher then 100m, haven't tried it yet. Then it's possible that for a PB there is an optimal packing rate. ie too muck packing, extra effort - heart rate goes up, not enough -don't get as much extra air.

It definitely takes practise to get used to packing, at first it seemed to make it harder, now it seems like it's starting to help. I kind of like the full lung feeling now.

I suggest try practising some dynamics (with buddy !) with max packing, just to get used to the feeling. Don't have to try a PB, but then once used to it you will probably be more comfortable when you pack a little less, then go for a PB.

One drawback is, with max packing, you become super floaty man ! :duh

cheers,
Wal
 
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