Kick is one of those things that can make a big difference to your speed by making a few minor changes. Kick is a vital part of sprinting because it provides a lot of the propulsion that you need as a sprinter. For middle and long distance swimmers kicking is less important you still need it for any break aways and increases in speed.
There are three things to look for in kick; the size of the kick, the technique and the position of the kick. The size of the kick relates to how far apart the legs are moving for each kick. The wrong way to do it is to kick too big which creates resistance and slows a swimmer down. Instead only perform small kicks starting from the gluts so the legs are staying close together.
The technique of the legs relates to the bend of the knees, the Y axis of the balance of the kick and the flex of the ankles. The mistake is to bend the knees too much, have the legs cross over ever second or fourth kick and to kick without pointing the toes. A good kick will not bend much at the knees and the kick will come from the gluts, the legs won’t cross over each other and the toes will be pointed so they are propelling the swimmer forward rather than dragging them backwards.
The position of the kick is how high in the water the feet and legs are. The ideal position is to have the heals breaking the surface. This creates the least resistance and can be achieved by following the head and body position tips in the previous two modules.
In your next session try kicking smaller, have your heals breaking the surface and keep the toes pointed. In the Mastering Freestyle program you will go through drills which will help you increase the power and speed with your kick.
In the next module we will look at your recovery; how you can save energy with a good recovery and set yourself up for strong powerful pulling.