Kicking effectively doesn't come naturally for many recreational swimmers unless they're in the pool every day. When they do get the chance to practice, it often involves holding on to the wall and simply kicking up and down. While such an exercise can help you strengthen your legs, it may not help your swimming, as the freestyle and backstroke require rotation and body position changes.
Here are a few drills that can help you become a better kicker on your front and side:
- Side-kicking underwater – This is a great way to develop a symmetrical kick because the water will apply pressure to both the down and upstrokes. This is also an easy exercise for beginners.
- Side-kicking with a kickboard - Place one arm down at your side, while extending the other with the board in hand. You should lie on your side with your head on the shoulder of the extended arm and then begin kicking. Once you reach the end of the pool, switch arms. This drill takes a considerable amount of strength and balance, so it may be necessary to wear fins the first few times you attempt it.
- Timing kicking with breathing - Less confident swimmers sometimes hesitate, or do wide scissors kicks whenever they are trying to take a breath. You can avoid this problem by kicking quickly three or four times only when you breathe.
Becoming a skilled swimmer takes time and focus. While these drills may slow you down or decrease your yardage initially, you will soon notice results. Ready to improve your swimming? Grab one of the newest Dolfin Uglies swimsuits and hop into the pool!