View Full Version : Freestyle and kicking on the side drill improvement

November 19th, 2017, 05:30 PM
Hi all,

I frequently try to do the kicking on the side freestyle drill, where you are almost 90 degrees on the side with one arm in front. This drill gives me a hard time with propulsion, so I was usually doing it with fins and it was very easy to swim several laps. Then I took a lesson and was recommended to do this drill, but was told to drop the fins in order to keep a good body position. Apparently, my swimming was good enough to drop the fins. I think this is good advice, my body position was getting a bit sloppy.

Currently, I only manage 4 - 5 laps with this drill at the beginning of a workout. This requires a short break for a few seconds in the middle of each 25m lap, because I am getting exhausted :( I also try to do most of the laps on my "bad side", which is with my left side down and breathing to the right.

My instructor noticed some issues. One of those was not having my legs in line with my body, but rather bending and kicking behind my back. Probably due to kicking too much from my knees. I should also keep the kicks much smaller, but rather have a high frequency on the kicks with this drill. Another issue was with moving my front arm towards the breathing side when turning my head. I should also try to press down a bit more with my armpit to maintain a better body position.

Now I try to keep my leg kicks small and fast with my arm reaching forward. I get quite exhausted and it often feels like it is hard to get my legs to kick from the hip when on the side, especially the lower leg. Often my body position feels "awkward" when doing this on my "bad side", like my legs are too far down. If I do the drill on my right side, it just feels so much better, although the exhaustion is the same.

I believe just improving my kick would help a lot when doing this drill? I know my kick is crap, and my ankle flexibility allows me just barely to point my feet. My right foot is for some reason less flexible. I try to work on the flexibility though. I also try to think about pointing forward with my arm, and backwards with my legs to keep a straighter line. Not sure what else I can try. The arm I keep in front is straight at the same depth as my shoulder. I noticed that some swimmers keep it angled down, and pointing more to the bottom of the pool? I have to add that I am tall and lean.

My goal right now is to at least avoid stopping in the middle of each lap. I always do the drills in a very slow lane, but I would rather not bother other swimmers too much. Always when I see people perform this drill, they can at least swim one lap :/