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Freestyle – Flutter From the Hips

Developing the proper flutter kick starts to teach swimmers about how less is more, and focusing during kick sets can help make you a better swimmer.

Why do it:
Flutter kick is the most used kick in swimming, so you can consider this a foundational aspect of competitive swimming.  Learning how to harness the power of your body, while not over kicking will be an important lesson when learning the details of the other strokes.

How to do it:
1 – Start from the front, not the kick.  Push off with your kickboard, and focus on keeping the hands in a near streamline, with the head low and looking forward.  Don’t be looking around at your friends.
2 – Move your focus to your hips, try to make sure they’re just touching the surface of the water.  Body alignment is very important when using equipment.
3 – Now shift your focus back to your legs.  If you feel any muscles tiring, make sure it’s in the hips and not the thighs first.  Try to discover which muscles tire initially, and that can help you learn if your kick is on it’s way to being productive.
4 – Finally, shift your focus to your feet.  Try to keep them low to the surface of the water.  The foot should only come out a bit, not high above the surface.

How to do it really well (the fine points)
Keep the toes pointed, and the kick narrow.  The knees should bend, but not too much.  You can see that the legs appear to barely bend at all, and certainly not at any drastic angle.  You have to keep in mind that you’re not only trying to develop an effective kick, but you’re also trying to hide your legs behind the hole that the body in front of it cuts through the water.

This is where “less is more” becomes very evident.  By keeping the kick smaller, you create less resistance, and require less power.  Understanding these concepts of swimming at an early age can lead to come other great discoveries in how to swim FAST when you get older, and bigger, and stronger.