In this post, I will discuss a few tips and tricks on how to improve your kick or how to make kicking more fun.
Why would I bother you may ask?
Well, having both effective and efficient kick is a must-have if you are serious about improving your swimming speed.
In fact, without a good kick, you will struggle to learn to swim smoothly because your body balance and position will suffer.
Here is a short video showing different types of flutter kicking.
a.) Kicking without a kickboard is a must for the majority of the kicking exercises.
If you have to use a kickboard, cut it in half, so it is small and makes you work.
To top it off, if kicking with kickboards - do flip turns with both of the arms staying on the kickboard.
This will help you with your stomach and keeps you focused.
b.) Kick equally on your stomach and on your back.
Kicking also on your back will help you exercise the other side (backside) of the leg which equalizes the leg muscles (since most of your swimming is probably on your stomach).
c.) When using fins, it is best to use zoomers (short fins).
This will help you create a faster kick as opposed to a slow-moving kick with long fins.
If you do not have money for zoomers, simply cut off the tips of your fins to make a pair. :)
Start kicking by holding the wall.
Kick 15-30 sec very easy (this is your recovery), 15-sec sprint, and then push off (or better yet, make a flip turn) right away and swim 6-beat kick freestyle to the other side where you will grab the wall and continue kicking.
So if you decide to do 20x25 of this, you will never stop kicking, until you get done with all the 25s.
It is important that your recovery kicking is very slow, so you really recover.
Feel free to change the interval sprint/easy kicks as you wish.
This exercise requires a kickboard.
Select a good distance, for example, 500 meters/yards, and then have your coach or a friend blow the whistle every so often to let you know that you should start sprinting.
When you hear the whistle blow again, you may slow down, but continue with easy, recovery kicking.
Or you can select a time interval like 30 minutes and see how far you can get during this time alternating the fast/slow kicking frequency.
Get yourself a pair of old tennis shoes (make sure to clean them before getting into the pool).
Do 6x50 with a kickboard and tennis shoes on.
Pick a slower interval, because this is not easy, but this kicking exercise strengthens your legs and breaks up the kicking monotony very well.
Stretch cord kick set
Get a short stretch cord, attach it to the block, and have a set of explosive kicks off the wall.
For example: 5x (30 sec sprint+30 sec rest).
Breaststroke on your back
Arms are in the streamline position, you are laying on your back and perform powerful breaststroke kicks.
The most important part is to keep flat on the water with your head back, your hips at the surface, and your knees underwater at all times.
The heels of your feet should almost touch your buttocks.
This is one is my favorite and there are many variations of this exercise.
Do short intervals of fly kicks as fast as you can and count how many you have done.
Try to increase the number of kicks each time during a specified period.
Make sure to get plenty of rest.
2.) Longer distance
You can kick with your arms in the streamline, on your head, at your side, or by your body.
Make sure to keep a nice and straight posture.
Your kneck is tall and wrinkle-free.
Your head is out of the water and you should be looking straight in front of you.
3.) Fun weights
To make this more challenging, you can hold a bucket with water above your head.
To make it even more fun, if you are at least two, get a waterproof heavy medicine ball or any other ball and throw it to each other.
4.) Push offs
Lastly, if you feel even more creative, you may push off the bottom as strong as possible in the streamline while kicking butterfly.
When you start falling back into the water, fight hard, to not let yourself sink deep back underwater.
This list should get you started on spicing up your kicking workouts.
Remember, kicking does not have to be a boring and dreaded time in practice.
It is all about your attitude.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have more kicking sets you'd like to share with us.
And if you really do not want to get rid of your kickboard.
Try at least something different.