Kick Speed Determines Swim Speed!


Hello All – welcome again to Half III of our sequence on the Freestyle Kick. I do know it’s been a minute since I wrote a weblog put up, and I really feel like that simply the way it goes generally. Any who, for those who haven’t had an opportunity to learn Half I or II. Click on the hyperlinks under to get caught up:

Half I:

Half II:

Let’s get began!

In Half I we alluded and even related with a earlier weblog put up of ours titled: The Quickest Freestylers are the FASTEST Kickers! On this weblog I speak about Allison Schmitt’s 200 Freestyle from the 2012 Olympic Video games, the place she received gold and had the perfect kick of anybody within the pool. My reasoning on why she was in a position to win Gold was as a result of she is the BEST kicker within the pool. Let me clarify…

As we stated earlier than in Freestyle (and Backstroke), the kick can create as much as 40% of your entire propulsion generated for the stroke. In Breaststroke, it may be as much as 80% and in Butterfly 60-70% – that’s quite a lot of weight on the kick.


Kicking requires utilizing extra of the bigger muscle tissue teams in your physique, which implies physiologically – it’s important to work more durable (internally) to maintain that very same pace going. In case you’re not in form, kicking is everyone’s worse nightmare. That’s as a result of the bigger muscle tissue in your physique are SCREAMING for extra oxygen, as a result of they want ATP and utilizing up that oxygen so quick – your coronary heart charge sky rockets to maintain up with the demand. BUT, for those who’re in actually fine condition – kicking can nonetheless be exhausting, nevertheless it’s not practically as demanding in your cardio system.

It’s attainable to do longer swim units kick and actually check the legs (outdoors the arms) to get these bigger muscle tissue prepared for meet day. I do consider most swimmers BEST seasons comes from when their legs are within the BEST form. In case you can kick quick, you’ll be able to swim quick. And it’s not simply kicking 500 yards, as soon as – it’s doing repeats – time and again.

A True Story:

A great buddy and previous teammate of mine from faculty, William Cregar, tore his labrum the summer time going into his senior yr in faculty and really ended up WINNING the 400IM at NCAA’s that yr, by getting within the BEST SHAPE OF HIS LIFE and kicking practices to assist his shoulder heal from surgical procedure versus swimming.

Invoice Cregar on the 2011 NCAA Championships. Credit score: Tim Binning.

That is what Billy needed to say after his 400IM win on the 2011 NCAA championships, “I’m not at all times the primary one out, however I did what I do on daily basis in coaching. It’s exhausting to kick that final 100, however I put my head down and kicked as exhausting as I may … Once I bought to the free wall, I put my head down and didn’t look. I simply tried to get to the wall first.”

That swim was one thing that change the best way I seen swimming. How may somebody who barely pulled ANYTHING a whole season come again and WIN? Not to mention win one of many hardest races in our sport: The 400IM? It made no sense to me till I regarded on the physiology behind what Billy did.

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So for those who’re actually seeking to enhance your swim pace, you closely want to think about what your legs are doing. And sure, I give this recommendation even to my triathlete buddies. I do know there’s an enormous debate on whether or not it’s best to make the most of your legs in the beginning of a triathlon – however I consider that basically depends upon the race distance you’re about to do and your background with swimming. A great pal of mine, Haley Chura, additionally one other UGA alumni is knowledgeable triathlete and Ironman who closely makes use of the swim leg to her benefit, as that was her background previous to triathlon. But when that’s not you and also you’re going into an ironman, I’d be certain your legs are the place you need them to be (and your physique) physiologically earlier than the race – which implies you MUST practice kicking too.

The Freestyle Kick is such a special set of mechanics in comparison with working or biking – don’t get your self misplaced within the shuffle by not giving your kick the time of day it deserves.

So that you heard it right here first, people. Get to kicking! 🙂

Till Subsequent Time,

Abbie Fish


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