Monday, February 6, 2012

Wiggle Butts

WHAT are Wiggle Butts?

La Petite Baleen uses kid jargon to make swimming fun. One of the first cute sayings that Irene and John Kolbisen came up with when they started La Petite Baleen 33 years ago was Wiggle Butts. Well to make it easier on you adults and since it already makes sense to most of our little kids, I will let you in on what exactly they are. Wiggle Butts are Dolphin Kicks. Yes, the same kicks that you see Michael Phelps doing off each flip turn in his races. And yes, your kids are swimming like Phelps:)

Coaches have learned that the underwater dolphin kick proves to be faster than any other propulsion for a human through the water. Of course here we are, mammals mimicking mammals. We are swimming like a dolphin. Wiggle Butts are taught at LPB during the purple ribbon. We are looking for a rhythm with these kicks that keeps going even when the child comes up for a quick breath. Ultimately we would like them to not use their hands at all. This will turn into our gold ribbon skill of under water, streamline wiggle butts (exactly what Phelps does).

Wiggle Butts are playful. Irene even named her first children's book Wiggle Butts and Upfaces; our 2 most important and fun skills here at LPB. When I teach Wiggle Butts, I am often teaching kids age 4 and up, sometimes younger. We love to pretend to be dolphins but especially mermaids.
"Do you want to be a mermaid or a merman today?" I ask. I know Lara announces she's Ariel, Paige just beams and says she's a mermaid (wiggle butts are her favorite), and I know Sofia will want to be a dolphin. It's the same every week. But I ask, and we fall into the world of make believe. I even throw some goggles on and off we go if even for a couple of laps. My kids in class get wide eyed when they see me being a mermaid.
"What? If you're Ariel, I'm Melody." I tell them. The girls giggle.

My 3 year old has been doing wiggle butts for about a year. She realized it takes less effort with the fishtail fins she wears. And boy is it cute. Parents, have fun swimming with your kids. Let them teach you Wiggle Butts. Don't feel bad if they can undulate better than you. "Unda" in latin means 'wave'. And that is exactly what your body should be doing. Making a wave through the water, undulating. I tell my older kids that latin trivia. I send them home with homework to tell their parents what latin for wave means and why it's important for doplin kicks and wiggle butts.

I am finishing off this post with a video link to Michael Phelps doing a flip turn with stream line dolphin kicks (Wiggle Butts).

And also a link to what our Wiggle Butts at LPB look like for Gold Ribbon.

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