Vertical kicking is a challenging drill great for promoting an efficient flutter kick. Instead of kicking across the pool along the surface of the water, vertical kicking takes place in a stationary position in the deep end. The challenge of this drill lies in keeping your nose and mouth above the surface. It’s very tiring and should be performed in short intervals near the wall so you can rest as needed.
The lesson is to develop a quick cadence with the legs. The flutter kick is most efficient when performed with quick, short kicks. Remember: The kick starts at the hip and uses the entire leg for propulsion.
Beginners should start with their arms under the water. You can make small hand movements to help keep the body afloat and stationary. Minimize arm sculling for support and focus on the legs to develop a good kick. The next step is to eliminate upper-body assistance by locking your hands together and keeping them tight to your body. When this is no longer a challenge, try raising the tips of your fingers out of the water. Efficient and strong kickers can raise their hands, forearms or entire arms out of the water while keeping their head above the water!
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