Originally published August 5, 2005
Standard flutter kick is a staple of swim practices across the world. How can you get a bit more training out of something so standard? Add an extremely inexpensive piece of hardware, and you’ve got yourself a new challenge.
Why Do It:
Variations in training keep things interesting for your swimmers. And it’s often the case that when the variation involves a simple, inexpensive piece of equipment — something really LOW TECH — the exercise becomes even more interesting and fun. Band Kick qualifies as simple and inexpensive. It’s resistance training applied to a single part of your stroke — the legs and hips. This is a tough drill, but it will give you a great sense of freedom when it’s over.
How To Do It:
1. Take a standard piece of Thera-band, and cut it into a strip. The strip should be long enough so that you can tie it around the ankles and have some slack left to allow just a bit of movement.
2. Slip the band around the ankles with no twist in it, and grab a kick board.
3. Push off and start kicking flutter kick. Keep your body in a good line; don’t lean on the kickboard, but keep it out in front of you.
4. Keep your kick small and quick. You’ll soon realize that the larger you try to make your kick, the more the band tenses, and the harder it is to continue. To keep moving effectively, you need to have quick feet.
How To Do It Well (the Fine Points): Band Kick not only keeps practice interesting, but also works some great technique points. It helps to keep the kick small and compact and quick.
Many swimmers find this drill to be so tough that they give up. I find that the swimmers who never let obstacles get in their way, find a way to figure out and conquer this little band as well. Sure it makes kicking tougher, but what I like about this drill is that it challenges you mentally as well as physically.