Ballet Leg Kick

Mastering proper kick technique is vital to ensure a good body position, to aid propulsion and to avoid unnecessary drag. However, many swimmers struggle to understand what "good kick technique" feels like when lying horizontal in the water. A great way to tune into this good technique is therefore to practice kicking vertically, using the Ballet Leg Kick drill.

 

Go to the deep end of your pool where you are unable to stand up. When you are first attempting this drill, practice one leg at a time. Move to the wall, looking down the pool, with one arm holding on to the side. Rest the leg closest to the wall and gently kick the other leg forward and back. Make sure the kicking leg is pointed and drive the kick from your glutes and hip. Sometimes it helps to think more about kicking back by squeezing the glutes, then letting your leg fall forwards (rather than actively kicking it forwards). Your legs should be mostly straight, although they will naturally flex slightly on the downward kick. Be careful not to drive the kick from the knee though, as this will introduce a significant amount of drag. Speed up the kick so it is a small, fluttering action.

 

Switch sides by turning round to face the opposite end of the pool and perform the same action with your other leg.

 

Once you are comfortable completing this drill one leg at a time, practice kicking in a vertical position with both legs, as demonstrated in the video. Keep the same focus on initiating the kick from the glutes and hip, pointing the toes and avoiding kicking from the knee. Start the drill holding onto the side then increase the challenge by moving your arms by your sides and eventually above your head!  See if you can hold these positions for 5-10 seconds.

 

After completing 2 or 3 rounds of ballet leg kick, complete 100m of easy freestyle focusing on keeping the same kick technique as you move from vertical kicking to horizontal kicking.

 

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