How to get more out of your swim kick by doing less

You don’t necessarily need to kick more to go faster, but an improved kick will save you energy. Here’s how…

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Because your legs provide power, balance and control to your stroke, the kick shouldn’t be neglected. Another benefit of a strong kick is that it can help with rhythm.

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Some find moving the arms quicker is more comfortable; others will prefer a slower cadence. Your kick can help you achieve this rhythm, yet everyone is different and might even change depending on how fast or hard you want to swim.

Generally, the different rhythms are a two-beat, four-beat, six-beat or, occasionally in sprints, an eight-beat kick. This is the number of kicks for each stroke cycle.

It’s worth playing around with rhythms to find out what works for you. Some will find that kicking just a little quicker actually feels easier. Equally, others will find that slowing down their kick, keeping their legs straight, toes pointed
and dropping to a two-beat kick suits them more. Just remember that what works for you won’t necessarily work for your friends.

  Front-crawl kick beat: what it means

THE SESSION

WARM-UP

400m as: 25m front crawl (FC), 25m backstroke, 25m kick, 25m FC

6 x 50m with fins, streamlined
or side kicks

15secs rest between reps (RI)

MAIN SESSION

8 x 50m FC with two-beat kick to each stroke cycle, 15secs RI

2 x 100m easy FC, 10secs RI

8 x 50m FC with four-beat kick to each stroke cycle, 15secs RI

2 x 100m easy FC, 10secs RI

8 x 50m FC with six-beat kick to each stroke cycle, 15secs RI

2 x 100m easy FC, 10secs RI

COOL-DOWN

200m mixed stroke(at least 50m non-FC)

Adapt for beginners

Don’t slow your arms down (or speed them up). Focus on your kick and changing that to fit with your cadence.

Adapt for advanced

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Lengthen the 100m sets to 200m or do more of them between the sets of 50m.

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