Chlorine Chronicle (Archive)NMSC Feb/00 Newsletter
Flutter Kick Tempo
The main purpose of flutter kick is to stabilize the body, provide balance for the stroke, and set stroke tempo. For new masters swimmers just learning the basics, leg action may also contribute to overall propulsion. Your flutter kick contributes less to overall propulsion especially when your speed increases. This is why swimmers use different kicking tempos in sprint and distance swims.
You can use several kicking tempos while swimming front crawl: the six-beat kick, the two-beat kick, and the four-beat kick. (number of kicks per stroke cycle)
Which one should you use?
Masters swimmers should choose the kick that suits their swimming style and race strategy. It is better to learn the six-beat kick before attempting the four-beat or the two-beat kick. Learning the six-beat kick first will help you develop your distance per stroke and timing needed for efficient swimming. Less energy is required while performing a two-beat and four-beat kick so these types would be best for longer swimming events. During a swim, many great swimmers often change from the two-beat kick to the six-beat kick when approaching and coming out of turns or sprinting to a finish.
- use a six-beat kick for short sprint events.
- use a six-beat kick as you break out from a dive, glide off your turn, and sprint to the finish.
- use a two-beat kick to balance your body position in middle and long distance events.
- when doing a two-beat kick, your legs should trail at the surface except for a forceful downbeat when the opposite hand enters.
Great, something else to think about!
Coach Steve P.