View Full Version : Kicking!

June 13th, 2003, 12:51 PM
I am a beginning swimmer who has been a competetive runner and ultrarunner for a long time. When I started swimming, I thought it would be easy to develop a kick. It turns out that this is one of my major weaknesses. For example, I can barely make it accroos the pool when kicking behind a kickboard. I need some tips on getting my kick up to par!!

Paul Smith
June 14th, 2003, 07:30 PM
I see this problem for runners turned swimmers everywhere, it is very common! Many folks here will steer you to the principles of TI and I won't debate its effectiveness, however being a very avid kicker I can share a couple of things:

1) Flexibility: runners lack much of the ankle flexibility that long term (or more genetically blessed) swimmers tend to have. Go to Yoga!

2) I see very fit runners in the pool attempting to kick as if they were running, basically using far to much knee movement vs. kicking form your "core". This is where a godd coach and TI can better explain what you should strive for.

3) Buy some fins, lots of masters like the zoomer style. I prefer the longer "split fins" that I think help develop more strength/flexibility as well as more closeley simulate "natural" swimming speed and body movement.

June 15th, 2003, 02:33 AM
I don't know how your breaststroke is but breast kicking is good to develop strength in your legs for swimming and coming from a background where your legs are more develop than your arms, you may want to workout a little breast.

June 18th, 2003, 12:46 PM
Leo...I too was a runner, and thinks to knee injuries, have found myself back to the water (and it's a blessing!). At first, I felt like a lead weight, and then I read a book called total immersion--which helped me with body position and technique. Second, I put on my fins--like Tall Paul talked about, the longer split kind.

The drill that helped me utilize my legs was swimming on side, with 6-8 kicks per side with fins on, then 6-8 kicks on the other side, alternating like this for a 500 or more. For your arms during this drill, lay your ear (submerged side) on your shoulder, with arm staight ahead as if reaching for the wall, and keep the other arm on the side of your thigh. To switch sides, just "roll over". Do a 500 of this, and you'll notice a big change in your ankels and feet. During the drill, just remember it's a drill--focus is on the exagerated kick, and roll.

Also, kickboard with fins is excellent--and is great for end sets of your workout. Don't be discouraged with kickboard of no fins...it takes time to adjust to the water--especially after all of the running you've done. The theory of "specificity" is relevant here.

Have fun!


PS, if by chance you do have knee injuries, then don't overdue breast--as the kick can be hard on the knees.

June 19th, 2003, 05:14 PM
I have been "prowling" the boards for some time, and finally feel that perhaps I can contribute an idea - I coach Masters swimmers, many of whom come from a running background. The only time I use a kickboard really is for non swimmers. Kicking with a kickboard (as a swimmer with a weak kick) probably will only a)fatigue your quadriceps and b)teach you how to kick faster with a kickboard. Others may disagree, but I find that kicking on your side (one arm extended) or back (streamline or with hands down) without a board will better your feel for the water, develop a kick which works WITH the rest of your body during the stroke AND balance the quadricep/hamstring work.

Just a thought.

June 20th, 2003, 08:53 AM
Thanks for the advice!!!
I have started using the kicking on the side drill and I think it's gonna help!!