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When I think about the kick, I’m also thinking about rotation.
Many swimmers tend to kick only when they’re flat on their back or when they’re on their side. They don’t kick through the rotation, but for me this is very important.
Your legs are the most muscular part of your body, so it makes sense to train them to generate a lot of power. No matter what distance you’re racing, your kick needs to be strong all the way to the finish.
I try to keep my flutter kick strong and fluid and consistent, which means I want to kick throughout the rotation, without stopping or pausing at any point.
Here’s another angle to show what I mean. I use a steady, 6-beat kick, and my goal is to kick all the way through the rotation.
Pointing your toes is definitely important, but you don’t want the kick to be too rigid. The kick and the legs need to flow, with the power generated from the top of the leg.
When I train the kick, I like to kick on my back, with both hands up and apart, and slightly out of the water.
It’s the equivalent of being in streamline except your hands are separated, with palms up and hands about shoulder width apart.
With the hands slightly apart, it sets the body in a more realistic position for backstroke, and you’re actually training the kick that you use when you’re swimming.
In this last clip you can see how the hand position that I use for kicking... relates to where my hands enter when I swim.