Change Up Your Kicking Sets (Swim Drills)

Swim Drills

If your kick sets are getting a little bit boring then why not liven things up with some of these fresh ideas?

During your swim training sessions you might find that the drills/workout plan you're following gets a little repetitive week after week and this can lead to a loss of interest and sometimes loss of motivation! To keep things interesting it's a good idea to add some variety to your swimming sessions. Put away your kickboard and try some of these other kicking drills instead...

Go vertical

First, take yourself down to the deep end of the pool. You'll need a good depth of water to be able to do this exercise. The idea is to kick in a vertical position to keep your head above the water. To make this more difficult, try lifting your hands above your head. Maintain the kick for 30 seconds, then rest for 30. Repeat this 5 times for a nice alternative kick-focused workout.

Take a look at this video for a demonstration of the vertical kicking drill:


Kick on your back

Practice your flutter kick on your back with your hands at your sides (flutter kick is the standard kick that you do when swimming freestyle or backstroke). It's easier to breathe on your back and many swimmers find it easier to practice this way rather than with their kickboard.

Try completing 6x25's kicking on your back with 30 seconds rest.

If you're unsure about the flutter kick then take a look at this short video clip for a demonstration:

Alternatively you could try a dolphin kick on your back. This exercise helps you to use your stomach muscles, allowing your entire torso to flex and extend which also loosens up your lower back and stomach.

Check out this video for a demonstration of the Dolphin Kick:

Wear a snorkel

Try using a frontal training snorkel as part of your workout. These snorkels are mounted in the centre of your head and designed specifically for swim training. Using a snorkel means that you're less focused on your breathing, it allows you to breathe without lifting your head, allowing you to focus more on your stroke. Keep your body in a horizontal position in the water while your feet make a very slight splash on the surface of the water. Try swimming a few lengths with this method.

Get some tips on kicking with a snorkel in this video:


Put on fins

The extra resistance provided by training fins helps to strengthen your kicking muscles. They provide you with more propulsion so you can cover extra distance during the same amount of time. Swimming with fins is a completely different experience to swimming without and you'll notice the extra power generated straight away.

Try swimming 500m with training fins. Alternate between swimming and kicking every 50m.

Check out this video on “How To Kick With Swim Fins” for some extra advice on kicking with training fins: