Your kick is the rhythm dancing around the beat of your arms.
- The number of kicks is measured in a 2-arm stroke cycle.
- Kick Tempo varies according to distance being swim and the individuality of each swimmer – someone with a very low stroke rate will have difficulty with a 2-beat kick as their stroke may slow down too much. A good stroke rate is desirable for an effective 2 Beat kick.
- Distance swimmers favour a 2-beat kick as it is less tiring and conserves energy. A 6-beat kick can usually only be maintained for short distances.
- Kick drive is initiated from hips. In a 2-beat kick the drive achieved from hip rotation is important in establishing propulsion and rhythm.
- 4-beat kick is the most common kick. It can sometimes be uneven such as 1 strong kick, followed by 3 small. It works in partnership balancing stroke and breathing.
- Often swimmers e.g., Katie Ledecky, will vary kick speed in a race, going from a 4-beat, to 2-beat and then 6-beat.
Kick Set ideas
- What kick beat?
Place paddle on 1 hand, 1 fin on opposite foot. As the hand enters, swimmer develop awareness of kick beat.
- When is the kick occurring?
The most effective timing is the kick is initiated at start of catch. Use the paddle, fin drill here.
- Developing 2-beat kick:
• Freestyle with slight Fly undulation. Every time hand enters, Fly kick.
• Freestyle with slight Fly undulation, part feet to a slight scissor – moving towards flutter kick. * Effective drill to fix foot cross over.
- Developing 6-beat kick for Sprinting:
• 10m Kick Sets – explosive quick kicks
• 10m Freestyle Sprints explosive kick
• Increase to 25m.
- Changing Kick Tempo:
Swim 100m changing kick each 25m from 2-beat, 4-beat, 6-beat and back to 2-beat.
MSNSW Branch Coaching Director