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8 Sets to Improve Kicking
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Zash Offline
Post: #1
8 Sets to Improve Kicking
8 Sets to Improve Kicking
This is the second installment of my "8 sets" series, where I will post 8 different sets that you can do to help improve your swimming technique, each specific in a different installment.

Your quads are one of the strongest muscles in your body - just think, they carry around your body day in and day out. However, many swimmers have trouble maintaining a strong and consistent kick. By learning how to use your leg muscles, you will get much much faster and less tired.

You can use any of these sets as inspiration, add on or subtract from them. I have included times for the average swimmer, but they will probably need to be adjusted based on your expertise. If there are no times, then that is because the possible time range is too large and will vary greatly.

1) 20x50s Alternating Kick on 55 seconds (streamline with fins)
A very basic and yet affective set that improves streamlines, pushoffs, and kick. Swimmers must simply swim 50's streamlined on their back, working their kick. They should alternate between flutter kick and butterfly kick every 50. Fins are recommended, but if you are fast you may opt to remove them.

2) 10x100s Alternating Kick on 1:30 (streamline with fins)
The exact same set as above, only 100s instead of 50s (more turns/pushoffs).

3) 10x100's Breaststroke Kick on 1:40 (with kickboard)
Breaststroke kick with a kickboard is a great and simple way of strengthening your legs and overall swim faster. When swimming, do not get lazy: Pull your legs out wide (not quite as wide as you can go, but emphasize the width), and then snap them back together as fast as you can. Doing this repeatedly will make you very tired, and that's a good thing. If you aren't tired, then you aren't working hard enough!

4) 10x100's Butterfly Kick on 1:35 (with kickboard)
The kick during Butterfly is one of the hardest to get down perfectly, and using a kickboard is great because it leaves you to only work on your legs. When doing these, exaggerate the movement of your hips. Your knees should NOT be doing the kick, and that is the hardest part. You should be moving up and down very fast, and water should be getting in your face.

5) 10 Minute Continuous Kick Sprints (with kickboard)
This will need to be done as a coach. Start off your swimmers with a 2 minute continuous kick - it should not be fast, but not slow either, just consistent. At the 3 minute mark, blow your whistle, and have swimmers start kicking as hard as they can. Swimmers should continue their strong kick sprint until the 4 minute mark (blow your whistle again), in which you can give them 1 minute consistent kick. At the 5 minute mark, blow your whistle again and have swimmers sprint for 1 minute and 30 seconds. At the 6:30, blow your whistle and have swimmers do a consistent kick until the 8:00. Then, have swimmers sprint 1 minute and 30 seconds again and finally finish off with 30 seconds of easy kick.

6) 10x100s Breaststroke with Butterfly Kick (with fins) on 1:40
Because Butterfly evolved from Breaststroke, both use the similar up and down hip motion (even if some swimmers don't notice that in Breaststroke). The purpose of this set is to help swimmers realize that there is in fact an up and down motion, and that Breaststroke is not a flat stroke. The dive down should be exaggerated, and it should be done fast.

6) 10x100s Breaststroke Double Kick on 1:40
This set was mentioned in my 8 Sets to Improve Breathing/Lung Capacity thread and is mentioned here again because it is great for the kick and glide. Work on getting your arms as far in front, and emphasize the kick.

8) 20x25s Blast Sprints on 40 seconds
This is not only a kicking exercise, but a sprinting exercise. Have swimmers start out in a deadman's float (arms spread out, facing down) about 2 feet away from the wall. On your whistle, the swimmer will start kicking as fast as they can for 3 seconds before finishing the 25 with an all out sprint. This will work for just about any stroke.

Got your own sets that you like to do? Share them with us here!
Jan 3, 2010 1:55pm
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vandy Offline
Occasional Swimmer
Post: #2
RE: 8 Sets to Improve Kicking
I think the regular practice may surely improve my swimming skills but may I know do I have to practice these sets regularly or I can switch on alternate days??
Jan 4, 2010 1:32am
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SwimCoachTools Offline
Post: #3
RE: 8 Sets to Improve Kicking
You don't HAVE to do a kick set at every practice, but at least 3 a week is usually good. They're pretty short sets, and with my swimmers, I like to use them after the main set to close practices.
Jan 4, 2010 5:48pm
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vandy Offline
Occasional Swimmer
Post: #4
RE: 8 Sets to Improve Kicking
I am quite thankful to you for replying my query.
I have understood the sets & I will surely do them 3 times in a week.
Jan 5, 2010 2:03am
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Typhoons Coach Offline
Hobbyist Swimmer
Post: #5
RE: 8 Sets to Improve Kicking
Nice ideas for the sets...you can also try sets that include "over-kicking".
Jan 12, 2010 11:53pm
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