One of the most important and sometimes most underrated elements to your stroke as a swimmer is your kick. For me, this is my secret weapon. I’ve always had a strong kick as a sprinter, and when my arms start to feel like sludge at the end of a race, it’s my consistent kick that always saves me.
Workout 3 focuses on kick in two ways – drills and fast kicking. Both of these movements help with the two biggest mistakes I see with a swimmer’s kick – spreading the legs apart and dropping the kick during a breath.
I actually see this a lot with my young age-group swimmers – they’re swimming down the pull with a nice steady kick, take a breath, and those legs instantly stop moving. This causes the body to fall off balance and go sideways in the water, as well as the hips to sink. To compensate, the swimmer then cross their arms over their mid-line and: enter the wiggle-worm freestyle.
The other issue I see is swimmers that let their legs fall apart during their kick. They put a wide gap in between their legs and then end up doing some version of an illegal kick (like eggbeater). During these drills below, and especially when you take a breath, focus on tightening the gap between those legs and keeping a nice short, fast kick. The kickboard drill will especially help with keeping your kick constant while you breathe.
If you need a tutorial on any of these drills, remember to leave a comment and just ask – don’t struggle! Also check out my freestyle drill guide in last week’s post.
Happy kicking and happy vacation week for anyone celebrating Thanksgiving! Spoiler alert – a Black Friday workout is coming!