Going Vertical in the Pool

Going Vertical in the Pool

Most of your momentum in freestyle comes from your kick, so it is important to have a strong, efficient kick. Try this drill to improve your kick and make you a better swimmer.

Vertical kicking is a challenging drill great for promoting an efficient flutter kick.  Instead of kicking across the pool on the surface of the water, vertical kicking takes place in a stationary position (in the deep end).

The challenge of this drill is to keep your nose and mouth above water thus enabling you to breathe. It is very tiring and should be performed in short intervals by the wall so you can grab hold and rest when needed.


How to Do It:

Point the toes (like a ballerina), soft bend in the knees, and kick from the hips all the way to the toes using the entire leg for propulsion. The flutter kick is most efficient when performed with quick, short kicks.

Beginners should start with their arms underwater. You can make small hand movements to help keep the body afloat (sculling). As you get better, minimize arm sculling and focus on the legs to develop a good, strong kick. The next step is to eliminate upper-body assistance. First, try crossing your arms across your chest. Next level, try to raise the tip of your fingers out of the water. Efficient and strong kickers can raise their hands, forearms or entire arms out of the water!

Add It To Your Pool Workout:

-6 x 30 sec vertical kicking with 45-60 sec rest

-15 sec kick, 15 sec rest, 30 sec kick, 30 sec rest, 45 sec kick, 45 sec rest

-Swim 4 x 100 yards. In the middle of each lap, vertical kick for 15 sec, then continue swimming.

-Kick 100 yds with a board. In the middle of each lap, hold the kickboard out of the water and vertical kick for 15 sec, and then continue front kicking.

Information adapted from Triathlete.com.

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