Your legs do more for your freestyle stroke than just provide propulsion; they help get your body into the most streamline position and provide the stability to keep you there!
Learning to implement a steady, consistent, stabilising kick into your stroke is going to help you move through the water more efficiently. Have you heard of a 6 beat vs 2 beat kick? a 6 beat kick does efficiently will provide propulsion and slower arm cadence vs a 2 beat kick, which is what I have, provides faster arm speed, and kick is only uses for balance.
Stoke issues caused by improper kicking
Your hips are the driving force where the kick movement and power originates. Using your hips involves a gentle flexion and extension at the knee and ankles
When kicking correctly, your hip flexors should fatigue first, not your thighs. To kick effectively; use your hip flexor to raise your leg up to the surface of the water as your knee bends slightly. Then snap it down powerfully as if your ankle whips back against the water.
- To kick well your knees must bend but not too much
- Too much knee bend is going to create extra resistance.
- Too little knee bend doesn’t create enough force to create stability or move you forward.
- The knee bend should lift your heel up towards the surface of the water
- You want your foot to be parallel to the bottom of the pool as you kick up and down. You should be able to open the angle of your ankle and point your toes with as little effort as possible. your ankle should open up more than 90°.
- Keep the toes pointed, You should be able to point your toes with the least amount of effort possible. If you have to tense or strain your foot to point your toes, chances are you experience calf cramp.
- Try to keep your feet low to the surface of the water. The foot should only come out a bit, not high above the surface.
- Kicking at a natural rate for you and your strokes, 2-4-6 beat
Vertical Kicking Explained
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