To kick or not to kick, that is the question!
I’m often having discussions with people about whether or not they should kick in freestyle or not.
Some people believe that you should be kicking constantly, some people believe that you barely need to kick at all!
As a swimmer myself, I very rarely kick in my stroke, not really sure why but my legs have an almost ‘whip’ kick on freestyle. Whereas one of my good training partners has a very regular 4-6 beat leg kick. I’ve never been one for a balanced kick, not sure if it’s because I started swimming (in a club) at a late age or what?
In my opinion, the honest answer is – it all depends on what you’re doing!
If you’re a pool swimmer and entering sprint events then yes, a good strong beating leg kick will provide those gains that you may need to get that 0.1 second PB.
If you’re training for triathlon / Ironman type events then a strong beating leg kick is not really going to provide the same benefits.
In these events, a leg kick needs to be at a much lower rate – if at all.
Distance athletes will kick to maximise rotation and aid buoyancy. Also, a lot of these athletes want to ‘save their legs’ for when they get out on the bike.
What I have also found is that some people implement a leg kick to try and maintain a streamlined body position – there is a much easier way to achieve this though.
During training sessions, using kick as part of them is a good way to alter training and develop skills, allow muscle memory and fatigue to build. Especially with the use of fins (if your pool allows)
I know many of you will have differing opinions on kick and the benefits but these are simply just my thoughts on it all.
Only a very short blog, but a blog all the same!
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