Monday, October 13, 2008

What Kick Board Kicking Does for You

I love kicking, but I notice so few swimmers actually practicing with the board more than a couple laps at a time. I wonder why. This post shares some of why I think kicking rocks!

I fell in love with kicking about nine years ago when I injured my elbow. Since I couldn't use my arms, I concentrated on my legs. Up until then, I could go maybe two laps with the kickboard before tiring. After that month, I could go virtually forever. It wasn't that I did anything different, other than force myself to go longer. That said, I imagine anyone can get over the exhaustion hump if they "just do it"(thanks Nike).

But more came out of my experience than an enhanced ability to push the old styrofoam for more laps. I learned that I could kick harder as needed and easily recover. I learned that an extra kick is what can push me ahead, when I want to boost my speed temporarily (e.g., to pass another swimmer), without having to pull harder with my arms. I learned that kicking makes my legs stronger even out of the pool. I can now climb stairs faster, walk stronger, and even fit into my skinny college jeans again.

Yes, kicking is an unappreciated aquatic skill that needs to be practiced, but the gains can be huge.


  1. I am going to try this, especially since I am having rotator cuff problems. One more question: if your college jeans are, say, '80s-dated, white-stitched designer jeans, is it a good thing to fit into them? Not that I'd know, of course...

  2. Whoa, dude. I never went for designer jeans. Disclaimer - The ripped jeans thing is mine, but that's just because they were old.


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