When learning how to kick front crawl, it's easy to get caught in the trap of 'if I kick harder I will stay up' or 'if i kick faster I will go faster'. A balanced and relaxed leg kick is the key to saving energy and a smooth and steady leg kick is vital to preventing that sinking feeling.
1. The leg kick should originate from the hips and remain within the body width.
2. Kicking should be continuous, alternating and rhythmical.
3. Toes should be pointed with ankles relaxed.
4. The knees bend slightly to take advantage of the accelerating down beat.
5. The feet make a small splash as they kick and remain near the water surface.
1. Kicking Too Fast
It is very easy to put too much into the kick in an attempt to gain propulsion and movement. Keep in mind that the majority of the propulsion for front crawl comes from the arms. Therefore a slower and more balanced kick is sometimes more effective.
2. Kicking From The Knees
It is very common to kick from the knees with this swimming stroke in an attempt to generate some propulsion and movement. This can also lead to a very stiff and robotic kicking action. The kick must originate from the hip and be a smooth movement with relaxed knee and ankle joints.
3. Kicking With BIG Kicks
Another common mistake is to make the kicking movements too large. In other words the feet come out over the water surface causing excessive splash and again wasting valuable energy.
Grab a copy of my hugely popular book 'How To Swim Front Crawl' and use the drills, exercises and tips to piece together the perfect stroke.
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A good exercise to practice the leg kick is holding a float or a kick board and kicking along the length of the pool with face down. This will allow the swimmer to focus purely on the leg kick, ensuring it is a relaxed and flowing up and down movement.
If you still feel like you are going nowhere or your energy is being wasted, try wearing fins on your feet. Don't become reliant on them, but they will help your technique. After all, your feet should behave like fins as you kick.