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