Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Best Swim Kicking Technique

Before you get excited, I'll cut to the chase and provide the answer to this question. For the most part, proper kicking is based on your personal comfort/fatigue level, but one technique surpasses the other in distance. Here's what I've found (all measurements are based on the number of times my left foot strikes the water). To travel 25 meters, with minimal wall-push-off, I can cover the pool in 40 whip kicks. Fast flutter takes 74 kicks, while slow flutter takes 65 kicks. I found this disparity surprising. The slow flutter is the easiest, and great for a novice. Kicking faster makes you work harder and more! If you are just learning to swim, don't think you'll do better if you flutter real fast. You'll just tire yourself out. Use the slow flutter until you've mastered basic free-style then try the whip kick. The whip kick is just as easy as the slow flutter - if you know how to do it - and you'll go much faster and farther. Here's the way I think of it. It follows the same motion as the flutter kick only it has a longer sweep. Imagine a buggy whip. You pull it back, then send it forward long and gently, but before you get to the end of the forward throw, you give it a quick snap. That's how a proper whip kick works too. That added snap. Try it. See if you can lessen the number of kicks you need to cover an equal distance. Let me know what you find.

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