As a coach of both elite and amateur swimmers, it is apparent that one of the biggest issues facing adult swimmers is the ability to generate power from their kick. There is a noticeable difference between those swimmers who were taught correctly as a kid or teenager, and those which have never been shown the correct technique for kicking in swimming. In some cases, I’ve seen people being dragged backwards because of their kick (true story!). There is a simple way to dramatically improve your kicking power even if you have bad ankle flexibility, and you can implement it starting today.
There are two keys to correct kicking technique in swimming. Swimmers must point their feet down (pointing in the opposite direction to where they want to go) and they must turn their feet and big toe inwards. Most swimmers will get the first point correct without being shown because it happens naturally during the kick, however the second point is something which needs to be learned.
By pointing the feet and big toes inwards (towards the centre line of the body) it increases the area of the feet which is used to generate propulsion and it increases the ankle flex of swimmer during the kicking motion (without needing to increase your ankle flexibility!). The feet and legs should remain ‘relaxed’ throughout the kick as this helps with leg flexibility.
Swimmers who are able to understand and apply the principle of turning the feet inwards will experience a much more powerful kick in each of the four competitive strokes. It may appear too simple an answer to the kicking problems which so many swimmers experience, but it is the first step to correcting kicking in swimming.