Mistakes to avoid when learning how kick in swimming.

As a beginner, you might question the importance of the kick during swimming. But neglecting this crucial part of the swimming strokes can result in decrease of your speed, propulsion and poor body position. That's why, as a beginner swimmer, you have to master a correct kicking technique early on. In this article, I will concentrate on the mistakes you want to avoid when learning how to kick, as well as cover the proper a proper flutter kick technique. We will try to answer one of the most common questions together: why do my legs sink when I swim?

Danila Novikov
3x NCAA All-American champion
In this article you'll learn
  • Anatomy of your kick
  • Flutter kick technique
  • Kick and body position
You might think that flutter kick only involves your feet, but this is not right. Proper flutter kick activates all the muscles, tendons and joints of your leg. Your core also plays a vital role in the efficiency and strength of your kick. All of the muscles mentioned provide the stability

It's probably going against everything you've ever learnt in your last swimming school for adults, but don't get discouraged. Let's go through our detailed guide to master you kicking technique together.

Mistakes to avoid and key elements of the flutter kick
Engage all the leg muscles
Bend your knees slightly at about 120 degrees. Instead of trying to kick with your feet only, try to use your entire leg and initiate the move from the core to your thighs and then to your feet. Whenever you stop moving your thighs and engaging your core muscles, your hips start sinking - as the result there is no propulsion and your legs drop down.
Stretch out your toes
Don't point your toes towards the bottom. That's when you start kicking in the wrong direction. As a result, your lower body sinks. Keep your ankles loose at any time so that your feet can easily move along with the water like a fin.
Don't flex your lower back
Don't try to use your lower back to move your legs. It's not going to work in your favor. Stiff back will push the center of the gravity (your hips) down. Instead, engage your abdominal muscles.
Kick closer to the surface
No need to put that much energy into your kicks. Keep your leg's muscles and joints loose and maintain the balance. Kick 3 inches up and 3 inches down. Remember, smaller kicks bring higher speed.
Keep your head neutral
Head position is important. Make sure that you keep looking down instead of picking your chin up and looking in front of you. Keep your chin tucked, your neck should be relaxed so that you don't push your hips down with your arched back.
Hold your breath
Do not exhale while trying to move in the water, unless you are trying to come up and breathe. Your lungs work like an air pillow that provides the buoyancy. As soon as the air goes out of your lungs, you lose the buoyancy and sink.
Relax your muscles
If your muscles are too tight you simply loose the ability to gloat and move through the water. Don't try to fight the water! The only way to move forward is to relax and cooperate with the water.

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