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Swimming Technique Kicking - Low, Slow, Intermittent or Not To

Swimming Technique Kicking: What's The Best

I get so many swimming students that are struggling with their stroke all because they do not, will not or just do not know, that they are not kicking properly. So when it comes to Swimming Technique Kicking, how do you fix it.

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

Not kicking, low kicking, slow or intermittent kicking are all very common problems that may affect the swimmer's movement in the water, not just their freestyle breathing.

Fixing the problem is simple if you or your student already have a reasonable stroke. If there is no reasonable stroke then the problem is still easily fixed, it just takes a lot more time and practice.

All you have to use the kick to count the stroke. Sounds confusing I know but with a little more explanation it is really quite simple.

Image of forward kicking feet: This article is about Swimming Technique Kicking
Swimming Technique Kicking

Every Time You Kick

Choose a foot to do the count on. For this example, every time there is a kick with the right foot, that is one stroke. It really doesn't matter which foot just as long as you only count with one foot.

I tell my swimmers not to think about what their arms are doing. Just concentrate on counting every time your right foot kicks. Thus the first time your right foot kicks is 1 the next time is 2 and the next time is 3 then the next time is 1. That's right you only count up to three.

Doing Bilateral breathing

If you are doing bilateral breathing (that's breathing on both sides) you take a breath on every third stroke. That's 1, 2, breathe, 1, 2, breathe, 1, 2, breathe. Hence you only count up to 3 when you kick.

Of course, if you are only breathing on every second stroke then you would only count up to 2.

It's A Bit Tricky Really

The whole exercise is a bit of a trick really. Where there is a reasonable stroke then there is no need to concentrate on arms. Where there is a strong kick that is where the concentration needs to be. All this drill does is provide the means to allow that concentration.

The drill works quite well for advanced swimmers as well. The only difference is that you would change the count or speed or both.

Without a reasonable stroke the kicking problem is easily solved by using a kickboard and doing copious amounts of kicking up and down the pool.

Boring But Effective

It is kind of boring but it is effective. However, it may pay to break the drill up into small sessions and use other flotation devises such as noodles, pool boys etc. Just to break the monotony.

One fault that is very common in freestyle is looking forward or worse, taking a second breath forward before putting your head back in the water after a breath. I'll look at that next time.


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