Please ensure you have a safe space when practising at home. Leave enough space around you and remove any objects which may create hazards. Remember these drills are intended for dry land practice, not in the water.
You’ll be kicking goals in the water in no time with this exercise on kicking technique.
Why teach kicking?
As young swimmers move towards swimming strokes in the pool, a key part of effective technique is in kicking. Correct kicking technique will provide propulsion for swimmers as they move through the pool, and also reduces drag meaning they can swim for longer.
Before you start…
Remember these pointers for correct kicking technique. To help picture it, think of it as being a similar action to walking on land.
- Use a whole long leg action – kick from the hip!
- Point your toes
- Floppy ankles
Skills – Practice kicking technique at home
These skills are suitable for kids aged 3+ years old
Many young swimmers bend their knees to much when kicking. This creates a lot of drag as the legs sink low in the water. This exercise will help swimmers get into the habit of keeping long straight legs as they kick in the water.
- In a seated position, slowly move legs up and down. Be sure not to bend your knees, keep your toes pointed, and relax your ankles.
Equipment – Chair
- As you kick, keep your legs quite close together. Your big toes should brush past each other.
- Once you’ve started, you can gradually increase your kicking speed, ensuring your technique stays the same.
- Parents can help by manipulating legs to keep kick under control. When manipulating legs parents should let the calves lay in the palms of their hands and have thumbs on the shins.
- Now move to a bed or a couch, lying on your back or your stomach with your legs hanging over the edge. Practice your kicking technique as if you were swimming through the water.
Extension – Ankle Rotations
An additional part of aiding propulsion in kicking technique is mobility from your ankles. This simple warm-up exercise is great for promoting mobility and flexibility in your ankles.
- In a seated position, extend your legs out just like the exercise above.
- Instead of kicking, rotate your right ankle in clockwise circles.
- Now repeat, this time with your left ankle.
- Repeat steps two and three, this time rotating in an anti-clockwise circle.
- Once you’ve got the hang of this technique, try rotating both ankles at the same time.