There are three (basic) components to swimming. Breathing, paddling your arms and KICKING your legs. Yes, it’s that simple. Now go do it. I have seen kicks that leave me in stitches. The most common mistakes I see are: the bicycle kick, the bent-knee kick, and the point your toes at the bottom of the pool kick.

swim kickWhen swimming freestyle, you do the flutter kick. If you are using another kick, you need to call me.  Your leg should be straight. It’s not really “straight” like a 2 x 4 piece of wood, as that is not possible when you are swimming.  You knees will be very slightly bent. This is where swimmers get in trouble. How much is “slight”?

Need a guideline for the flutter kick? I got one. Visualize your feet in a bucket or pail. You cannot kick any further than the bucket allows. That is all the room you are allowed. When I teach children I run behind them with the bucket. How do you think I keep this girlish figure?  Children do not like it when you hold their legs. No, no, no.

If you are doing a bicycle kick you will most likely be going backwards. And if you are using a kickboard (God Forbid!) when doing a bicycle kick, you will not move at all! If you have a bent-knee kick, you are splashing and annoying all the lap swimmers at your pool. And going nowhere as well.

What about pointing your feet and toes towards the bottom of the pool? No, your toes cannot be pointed at the bottom of the pool when you are swimming freestyle. Your toes should always be pointed toward the opposite direction of where you are swimming. Keep your ankles relaxed throughout your kick, as this will increase the flexibility of your ankles and widen the surface of your foot, so you can kick more water.