bad swimming kick

Trouble With Your Kick?

Hey gang and welcome back to another quick article this week. What I’d like to talk to you about today is about the seemingly endless number of people who struggle with their kick.

There’s a few ways we can help you overcome your bad kick, so let’s dive into them now!

Bad Swimming Kick

To begin, let’s just state the facts: a lot of people have a crappy front crawl kick.

They’re just never taught to do it properly when they are learning to swim, so you can’t really blame them.

Bad swimming kick stems from a simple problem most of the time… the kick is originating from the KNEE.

Instead of the kicks momentum traveling along the leg from hip to toe, it is usually being driven with the knee being pulled front and back.

Common sports like soccer and our natural body movements will usually gravitate most people to kick this way.

It may allow the swimmer to travel some distance, but the distance travelled will feel a lot like a struggle. It really is no surprise, because kick isn’t really delivering a fair return on the amount of work the swimmer puts in. The swimmer is trying to kick really hard to keep themselves suspended in the water, and they are hardly going anywhere!

If this is sounding familiar to you, hold on cause I’m going to tell you how to fix it!

Put It Aside

Now, something that I think a lot of people overlook when they are trying to improve their skills at some sort of sport or activity is the fact that they already have BAD HABITS in place of the skill they want to improve.

Changing something with your technique, in any sport, becomes difficult after some time doing it, simply because you have the movements so heavily habituated in your mind.

Now for the junior swimmer who hasn’t been doing things very long, this shouldn’t be as big of a deal as someone who has been swimming incorrectly for years. But the fact remains, if you have a bad swimming kick, you may struggle to make real change with it.

As you get tired after a few lengths, you will very likely resort back to your old method of kicking because it’s very “practiced”.

Therefore, we must adapt a mindset before you practice the technique below to hopefully cure your bad swimming kick.

Put it aside.

That’s the mindset I want you to use.

Put aside the old habit. In your mind. Picture yourself no longer doing that thing you’d like to stop doing. See your bad swimming kick going away.

Being able to put that distance between your habit and your mind is a KEY step that may not be super clear with my explanation above, so I’ll try one more time.

You need to dissociate yourself from any bad technique you have if you want to see changes. And to simply be able to say, in your mind, that you are simply done with doing things that way will have a big impact on how well you’ll be able to kick.

My Kick Trick

Now, for the bread and butter of this article.

My trick to kicking properly.

If you’re like most students you’ve heard the phrase out of a swimming teachers mouth, “kick from the hips.” And in that moment, you hadn’t the slightest clue what he/ she was talking about I bet.

What it means to kick from the hip is that your kick actually ‘flows’ from the hip all the way to your toes like a wave.

Now this concept is obviously going to be lost in a typical swimming class, so instead we say, kick from your hips! And we pray things make sense for the student.

The problem with this approach is that KINESTHETIC learners and people who learn through trial and error will not learn to kick properly by telling students to kick from the hips.

My drill for fixing this conundrum?

Get the swimmer to lie down on the pool deck with his/ her shins dangling off the side of the pool. And get them to kick.

Since the pool deck will be in the way of the swimmer engaging their knee, they will be unable to perform bad swimming kick during this drill.

The swimmer will have to engage the key muscle group in order to do the kick properly… THE GLUTES!

Proper swimming kick is a dance between your quads and glutes, pulling the thigh back and forth while allowing the momentum to flow all the way to your toes. And the problem with everyone’s kick is that they are getting to tense and locking their knee, or they just simply aren’t engaging their butt muscles!


Start engaging your glutes while you swim and you’ll watch your bad swimming kick slowly disappear!

Hope you enjoyed the article guys, and hit me up in the comments with what you’d like to see next week!

If you need more help with your kick, check out my other kicking article here:

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