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I swim 2 km or more per day and 4 days a week.
In that distance I use the kickboard and do freestyle kicks (200 m). It takes around 120 second to complete every 50 m in that kick session.

Can anyone please suggest a way to improve my kicks and thereby reduce time?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The answer for this is similar to the one for triathlons, is that you get faster by doing it more. However, the kick is one of the parts of the stroke that if you aren't "getting it", then it's hard to be able to do it properly without someone showing you.

I would recommend that you have a swim instructor look at your stroke and make sure that you are doing it correctly. It should flow almost in a "wave" from your hips through your toes, with minimal bend in the knee. Your foot should also be pointed, ideally you would like a straight line from the top of your shin down through your toes. The best dryland drill for kicks is to sit on your butt, point your toes, lift your legs about 1' off the ground and scissor kick (Keeping legs straight, no bend).

However, for long distance swimming, the kick is less and less important for propulsion, and is mainly for balance and driving the breathing cycle. Also, the muscles of the legs are quite large, and take a lot of energy/oxygen, so if you use them as a primary propulsion source for a triathlon swim, then you are reducing their work capacity for the later legs.

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Thank you very much. My technique seems to be correct and is in the way as you said. The time is the same as I have mentioned. I now think it is a matter of muscle strength, couldn't it be? –  Freakyuser Jan 21 '13 at 6:53
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If you're kicking properly, the rate at which you kick should be tied to your stroke rate. That is, every time you take a stroke and rotate your hips and shoulders, your legs should finish the movement as a kick.

This is what's known to competitive swimmers as a "two-beat kick." In one full stroke, you kick twice, once with your left foot and once with your right, as you rotate from side to side. The kick is really just finishing the stroke. For shorter-distance sprint swims, there's a high-frequency kick known as "six-beat kick" where you kick once to rotate, then scissor kick with both feet, and then repeat on the other side.

For any sort of distance swimming (200+ yards) a two-beat kick is really what you're looking for, otherwise you'll be burning energy through your legs, which don't really help much with propulsions. But it's important to remember that kicking should never be about flailing you legs faster and faster. Your kick should fit in with your stroke rate and body rotation, either one kick per rotation or three.

As you slow down when you're swimming, it's usually because your stroke rate has slowed down. You aren't taking strokes as quickly and your body isn't rotating from side to side as frequently.

I see lots of lap swimmers who jump in and kick aggressively for the first few minutes with a high stroke rate who then slow their kick down and their stroke rate slows as well. Keeping a focus on your kick can really help you maintain a constant stroke rate and keep you moving along for workouts or distance swims.

For more information, check out the swim program I'm running called Online Swim Trainer. Hope this helps!

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The link you have sent, definitely did help me a lot. –  Freakyuser Jun 8 '13 at 14:36
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