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All Strokes – Kicking with a Board

So many people think of kicking with a board as something that can ruin their stroke.  Truth be told, there’s no other way to really work the legs in a swimming-productive way.

Why Do It:
Kick training with a board allows for enough oxygen to continue to feed the legs to keep the tempo and rhythm up, and the lack of arm use (we all know people scull and pull when they don’t use a board) focuses all propulsion on the legs.

How to Do It:
1. 
 Grab a board and start kicking.
2.  Think about how deep you’re holding the board, which can change how deep your feet are kicking.  Some think that having low feet is a bad thing, but with the legs a bit deeper, you’ll kick NO air and the legs will always be working.
3.  Hold the board a bit closer to the surface and you’ll feel your feet rise up and you can start grabbing a little air to keep the foot speed high.
4.  Avoid the social kick.  Just because your head is above water doesn’t mean you should be talking.   Kicking is such an important part of your training that it deserves 100% of your focus and attention.  

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Here’s a quick drill anyone can use in any kick set.  Purposely push the board deeper to overload the legs for a 12 and a half yards/meters, then bring the board up and feel the speed you achieve with a better body position.  In breaststroke, close your feet together on every kick and feel the glide that occurs when you clean up the back.  Also, don’t forget to add some sprint breaststroke kick into your training.

Don’t buy into the myth that kicking on a board will ruin your stroke.  If that was the case, why do all elite swimmers spend time kicking on a board?