A Kick Set for Faster Foot Speed in the Water

Michael Butler
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What You Need to Know About This Set

If you want a fast kick, you’re going to have to repeat the kick set as often as possible. Unfortunately, that means you’ll have to spend more time kicking than doing other things like catching your breath or watching your teammates use the kick sets. But, remember that practice makes perfect. Eventually, you’ll be able to perform the kick set in your sleep, which will make your practices much more productive.

More importantly, when you’re practicing kick sets, remember to focus on your flexibility. This is important for lowering your shoulder on the entry and increasing your resilience on a wide range of movements.

So, if you’re looking to get more power from your kicks AND become more flexible, try to time your kick sets during your normal workouts. Remember that your foot flexibility training should run parallel to your kicking practice. And if you’re not getting the flexibility you need from training laps, ask your coach or trainer to incorporate a kick set into your workouts. This should be an easy sell – after all, pretty much every coach in the world knows that more kicking power equals better times.

“Happy Feet/Mail Slot” Kick:

Single Leg Kicking:

The faster your feet move, the more speed you’ll gain. In the water, you should practice kicking as much during the swim as possible.

There are plenty of drills designed to help you kick faster and more efficiently. But rather than doing these drills, practice kicking more and more efficiently, using a “kick set” that helps you work on your timing and stroke length.

To start, set up a few cones on the ground. Then work on kicking from one cone to another in a zig-zag pattern at different distances. Be sure to keep your kick very smooth and relaxed. Focus on kicking at least five seconds on each leg. Then rest for about one-minute.

Kicking with one leg while resting the other is an excellent way to build endurance in your legs while keeping the kicking action as natural as possible. It also simulates a kick turn fairly well.

For some swimmers, kicking with single legs is easier than kicking with both legs. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including overpronation or differences in individual flexibility or range of motion.

Cruise Swimming:

Building Speed or Endurance?

Most swimmers devote time to the improvement of their kick. Some spend a lot of time in the pool practicing drills, and others head to the deck for speed work, all aimed at improving their kick.

But what about the rest of the body? If you’re like most swimmers, you’re probably fatigued from two things: 1) doing kick sets for too long and 2) swimming body lengths of the pool when you should be doing kick sets.

The difference in objective between kick sets and body sculling is that kick sets are meant to improve your kick, while body sculling is meant to maintain your kick speed. That’s why you can’t do too many kick sets in a short period of time, both in terms of the number of kick sets done in one workout and the number of times you repeat a kick set in one workout. The rest of the body needs time to recover from the exertion of swimming.

The Options Are Endless:

Freestyle, Backstroke, Butterfly, Breaststroke, and More!

The goal of the kick set in swimming is to exercise your legs to build speed. This speed is not only useful for your swimming performance, but also helps you have better control over your kick in the water column.

When you kick, you generate more force when you have a wider stance. This means that if you’re able to stand with a wide stance, you’ll have a greater range of motion for your kick. But not everybody is able to stand with their legs spread out during freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly or the other stroke styles.

A kick board offers a good solution to this problem. It gives you feedback on your kicking form without hampering your ability to swim a certain stroke style. By doing kick boards, you’ll be able to improve your form and increase the swimming speed in your strokes. In addition to this, I’ve noticed that the kick board exercise also forces you to do a greater range of motion than what you can do if you stand with a straight kick.


As the picture above shows, a kick set is simply putting your foot against a wall and doing a few kicks.

The kickboard is additional guidance for your footwork, so it’s NOT needed for the kick set.

It’s also important to note that the kick set is NOT a kicking drill. Until you’re simply kicking from the knees without the board, you want to kick softly and smoothly. You want to keep the drill short and it can be done before, during, or after your swimming set.

What does the kick set accomplish?

Helping to Prevent Common Kicking Errors like “Scissoring” (Mixing up Your Kicking Pattern) and “over Kicking” (Going Too Fast)

It’s a great little drill to help improve your kick, even if your focus is on your arms.

And yes, it can also be used when swimming freestyle drills and exercises.

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Ready to Take Your Swimming to the Next Level?

The kick is such an important part of swimming that it’s the phase of the “arms-back-kick-drift”-”arms-forward-swim-up”-”arms-back-kick-drift” process that needs to be continuous.

And if you want to become faster in the water, you’re going to need to commit to a thorough kick-training routine. This is particularly true if you’re an adult learner with little or no formal training in swimming. But even if you are a swimmer who has been competing at the top level for many years, you’ll find that kick training can help you make quick and consistent improvements.

Remember, the kick is the only way to propel you forward in the water.

So instead of focusing on getting your arms and legs in sync, first, it’s better to work on perfecting the kick. Once you are able to get the hang of it, you can then focus on syncing your kicks with your arms and body.

For this reason, the best way to get faster at swimming and to beat people who are more naturally talented and more physically gifted is to master your kick.