• Technique

4 reasons why freestyle kick is important for open-water swimmers

Learn how mastering your freestyle kick will help you become a better open water swimmer.

Are you a kicker?

There tend to be two groups of open water swimmers, those who kick and those who don’t.

If you’re in the latter, that’s not all bad, because you’ll find most open water swimmers don’t like to kick while they’re swimming but rather float their legs behind them and add a little flutter when needed to keep them afloat.

But, did you know that your freestyle kick is an important part of having a strong and powerful freestyle stroke?

Here are 4 reasons why freestyle kick will help improve your freestyle.

1. Creates the ideal body position

Kicking while freestyling not only adds propulsion to your stroke, making you swim faster and longer, but it also helps create the ideal body position; high in the water, long through the core and legs in line with your torso and arms.

This position will help you hydro-plane across the water making you swim faster and easier.

Try this: To see how much of a role kicking plays in your swim try swimming without using your legs and then with your legs and see how much of a difference it makes.

A swimmer practising her body position while kicking

2. Adds propulsion to your stroke

By having a consistent freestyle flutter kick you help create more propulsion to get your body through the water.

This propulsion helps to move you through the water faster and smoother and it also takes a lot of the load off your shoulders, which helps reduce the onset of shoulder injuries.

3. Keeps your stroke balanced

Kicking helps to keep your freestyle stroke balanced and together.

A consistent kick will leave you looking smooth in the water; with long arms, a high body position, and a good breathing pattern.

With just the right amount of kick, it will also help with your endurance during those longer open-water swims.

Freestyle kick helps to keep the stroke balanced

4. Complements your arm strokes

Because freestyle kick helps to give you the ideal body position, it also adds more power to your hip rotation.

This helps to add more drive and propulsion to your arm stroke creating a more dynamic arm pull. In turn, helping you swim faster and easier, while also creating more upper-body strength.

  • Written by Ocean Swims on 31 January 2023
  • (Updated on 6 August 2023)

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