The freestyle kick

This month’s swimming tip: ‘The freestyle kick’

The kick is inherently an inefficient movement because you’re trying to make fishtails of your feet and they’re not built like fishtails!

Only about 1% of swimmers have a good kick and that’s because they trained as kids and have flexible ankles. They get about 5% of propulsion from the legs, and 95% from the upper body.

If you tie Thorpies legs up he goes 8% slower and he, as well as Alex Popov could do 50m kick under 29 seconds. I remember standing next to Ian, and being a bit too eager, I said “I heard you did 28.6 seconds for 50m kicking, was that with a dive and underwater dolphin? He looked down at me and with a slight edge on his voice said “No, it was with a kickboard and a push-off!” Libby Trickett and Natalie Coughlin have size 7 feet!

Kicking on a kickboard is a pain in the…..butt. Many of my Swim Easy Clinic customers book by phone saying, “I get puffed out after 50 or 100m.” and I say “you’re kicking too hard”. I’ve only been wrong once in 10 years.

So unless you’re in the 1% group, just drag your legs, because it isn’t

Comprehensive detail of this technique is on John’s Swim Easy DVD.