Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Last night I learned how to kick.

Doesn't seem like such a big thing? I didn't think so either. When I first started swimming, I read that the kick isn't so important for triathletes. I didn't like kicking either so that worked for me. It seemed like I barely moved while just kicking. I'd much rather throw the arms into the mix. I knew how to kick. Kick from your hips and all that jazz. Just didn't like doing it by itself.

At least, I thought I knew how to kick.

During yesterday's swim session, Angie started us off with a bunch of kick sets. Blah. Did I mention that I don't like kick sets? The flutter board is my nemesis.

When I got back to the wall from a lap, she started talking to me about my kick. Telling me to focus on kicking from the hip. Okay, maybe I was bending my knee a bit. She told me that it should be working my glutes and indicated where the "sweet spot" should be.

I started off my next lap and really tried to think about what she said, and then, all of the sudden, it clicked. I got it. All of a sudden, I really was kicking from the hips, and I realized I hadn't been before. After the turn around, I got lazy for a split second and returned to the random fluttering of legs I had been doing before and felt the difference immediately. I returned to the hip kick and it just felt completely right.

The kick may not be the most important part of the swim for triathletes, but to pretend it doesn't matter at all is unrealistic. Swimming is the most technical of the sports. I've been swimming laps for months, but now I'm actually getting better. All the physical fitness in the world won't matter if I don't start getting the technique right, and I finally feel like I am.


  1. I still have flutter board nightmares from my days at the YMCA 40 years ago when learning how to swim. A flutter board to the eye will blacken your eye, trust me.

  2. I can't kick either....ok, ok I'll try to do some kick drills. Thanks..... I think. :)

  3. I kick from the hip. I clench that butt. Straight legs. Pointed toes. I even have my head in the water cept to breath. And it still takes frakking FOREVER to get to the other end of the pool. Sigh.

    Good for you! Now please don't swim in the next lane and embarrass me.

  4. I do well with kicking, its the turning that thwarts me! Or the whole action put together, I like running instead. :P

  5. I'm with Keith-- I need flippers to go anywhere. And I THINK I kick from the hip?
    Good job, love it when things 'click'!

  6. I have a terrible kick. It hasn't clicked for me yet... I need to join a swim class I think.

    So happy to hear you are improving with the swim class!