In most strokes, kicking provides stability for your body while the arms provide most of the propulsion. The kick helps your body to stay aligned. In the early learning stages, having a solid flutter kick will help stabilize your child as he learns to position his body in the water and to use his arms to propel himself. Here are six important aspects of the kick to focus on.
The key to the kick is coordination and ankle flexibility.
Six Aspects of the Kick to Focus On
- There should be a lot of movement in the ankle, but from the hip to the ankle should be supple but almost straight. The knees should bend very little. It’s not like pedaling a bike. Think length and flow.
- Use the muscles at the top of the thigh to move the whole leg.
- The leg shouldn’t have side-to-side movement.
- The kick should be narrow, with ankles fairly close to each other.
- The kick isn’t long like a stride on land is. The up-down movement should be contained within the movement of the water that your arms creates. You can feel this area when you move your body. When you get to the part of the water that hasn’t been moved by your body, your leg will feel more resistance. Keep your kick out of that higher-resistance water.
- Ankle flexibility is really important. While your whole leg moves, the foot is like a flipper that provides most of the benefit of the movement. It should feel like you’re trying to flick a shoe off your foot.