For the past 6 months, I've been in the pool and learned a lot about how to swim. I started swimming as a cross-training activity for marathon training. Now, I am swimming while I rehabilitate injuries :-|. What I have noticed is that when I do drills with the kickboard, I am a slow kicker. This is a surprise to me because my primary sport is running, so I thought my legs would be my advantage in the pool. Not so! So, can someone explain proper kicking technique to me? I want to figure out if I am doing something wrong??
I will run for cupcakes!!
Check where the bubbles are coming from with you kick. If you are bubbling at your knees then you are bending them to much. I tell my athletes to kick from the hip. It feels like you are keeping your legs really straight (but they will always bend some). Make sure you are keeping your legs close too. It always helps to have someone watch you from the deck and give you feedback. I recommend joining a masters swim program where you can get coaching and feed back. I have some links from my site.
Coach Lora Erickson
I too am primarily a runner, and I too suck at kicking. I think runners are poor kickers in general. Swimming seems to require a supple leg; running a tight leg. A drill I have just started is to stand vertically in the water with your hands out of the water, and kick to support yourself. Good luck.
I too have a terrible kick motion. After 25 years of masters swimming and triathlon, every coach gave kick drills that led to nothing but frustration. A simple adult swim class at the local community college revealed the problem. Kick up, not just down. It is so basic to the basic swim stroke that all the coaches assumed I already knew this. I didn't because I started swimming just for triathlons.
Spend time on your back with fins. Do kick sets without any board, with your arms in a streamline position over your head. This will force you to use the motion of kicking up ( now reversed of course) in order to move in the water. Later, when swimming regular, concentrate on feeling the water pressure against the ball of your foot. This kicking up will help elevate your lower body and greatly reduce drag in the water.
hi guys, I'm a little late on the scene with this comment, none-the-less I have found it a really useful tool for keeping your legs close together when doing kick drills or swimming. I purchased a surfers leg rope that I have shortened to the appropriate length which I use in the following way. The velcro end I attach around one ankle and the other end I modify so that I can also velcro fasten it to my other ankle so you are effectively shackled. As to determining the appropriate length I do the following. I stand with my feet apart (shoulder width) and to check this I get someone to stand behind me (or infront) and move my feet in or out until the outside of each foot lines up with a vertical line dropped directly from the outer shoulder muscle to the floor. Then with chalk (or similar) mark the floor where you are standing. Then you can move away. Next get the surfers leg rope and shorten the rope part so that each end of the leg rope when attached to each foot approximates your shoulder width, then your attach it to your ankles to fine-tune the width, this is a 2 person job. In my case I bought a leg rope with a "plastic" rope so I was able to then cut the rope to length, (allowing for overlap) and then "weld" the overlapping rope using a gas flame, it surprised me but the weld held, and still does. When put into practice the idea is that your kick should never go any wider than the "shadow" your shoulders create in the water, this way you minimise drag and optimise propulsion. The working of this is such that you will be surprised as to how short and sharp your kick needs to be. In the process you will find you will get more propulsion because your not kicking outside your shoulder's shadow. Try it, its worth the $20 you will spend on a leg rope. One last thing, always put the leg rope on once in the water otherwise walking is very difficult, lol. ciao, rusty