One of our mantras at Effortless Swimming is that there is more than one way to swim freestyle. Making everyone swim with the same style doesn’t take into account their body type, height, strength and natural swimming ability. Like we teach in The Art Of Triathlon Swimming some athletes are better suited to a different type of freestyle than your traditional long, effortless stroke.

The crossover kick is popular among distance swimmers and many triathletes for a few reasons…

Doesn’t require as much upper body strength as a long, effortless freestyle.

Suitable for athletes with a shorter wingspan to maintain a higher stroke rate to compensate for having less reach and length in their stroke.

More energy efficient because it uses less kick. Kicking involves the largest muscles in the body and will zap your energy in a long race.

A rhythmic type of freestyle like we show in the Art of Triathlon Swimming with the Tempo Freestyle.

How it works:

Crossover kick is best used with a two beat kick, and follows a kick/kick/cross, kick/kick/cross pattern. It’s important not let the legs scissor kick wide behind as this creates a lot of drag. So a good way to practice keeping a narrow kick is by wearing fins or using a pull buoy to practice a crossover kick.

As you can see, when a crossover kick is used correctly it can be a benefit in many types of races. So if you’re naturally suited to a crossover kick, don’t try to change it…use it to your advantage!

For another great article on this type of kick check out Eney Jones and Trent Grimsey’s article here.

If you enjoyed this video we recommend the The Art Of Triathlon Swimming, an online video course designed to help triathletes become faster swimmers.

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Brenton and Mitch were great to work with at the clinic, Good to get video analysis to work on straight away, practice some new drills and go home knowing what you need to work on.

Alex McFadyen