Backstroke - Pull-Buoy Flutter Kick

Jun 7, 2011
Backstroke - Pull-Buoy Flutter Kick

Originally published on August 19, 2005.  The video has been updated to our current standards. :)

Please support our friends at by purchasing a cap.  Your support will help the tsunami victims in Japan.

There's more than one way to use your favorite piece of equipment. Flutter kick with a pull buoy will help you develop a smoother, faster backstroke (and freestyle).

Why Do It:
If you have some flaws in your kick, the pull buoy will point them out right away. Doing flutter kick with a pull buoy can help you develop lots of GOOD habits with your kick. In order to move down the pool AT ALL, you have to point your toes and keep the kick quick, compact, and steady.

How to Do It:
1. Hold your pull buoy between the thighs, just as you would for a pull set. You'll find that, for kicking, a one-piece pull buoy is a little easier to hold in place than a two-piece pull buoy.
2. Push off on your back with arms at your sides, and start flutter kicking.
3. ROTATE! Take 6 to 9 kicks on one side, then rotate your entire body (except for your head) to the other side. Take 6 to 9 kicks on that side, then rotate again.
4. Keep your head steady. Look straight up at the ceiling, even as you rotate your body from side to side.
5. Point your toes. If your toes are aimed at the ceiling, you probably won't move.
6. Keep the kick narrow and fast. Kick from the thighs and not from the knees. Your feet and toes should be right at the surface.
7. After one or two lengths, remove the pull buoy and swim a few lengths of backstroke, focusing on pointed toes and a narrow kick. Then repeat the cycle - a few lengths with the pull-buoy then a few lengths of backstroke. Etc.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
1. Maintain a quick, steady rhythm with your feet. Maintain a steady rhythm with your side-to-side body rotation.
2. Try not to use your hands too much.

Another benefit of this drill is how much it will work the insides of your thighs.  To keep the pull-buoy in place, you'll need to squeeze your legs together while you're kicking.  You'll feel it after a couple laps.

Join The Mailing List

Get the latest from GoSwim!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.