How to Flutter Kick With a Kickboard

A kickboard supports your upper body.

A kickboard supports your upper body.

You want to learn how to swim, but the thought of water makes you a little woozy. You would look silly wearing your kids' water wings, but there is an adult alternative. A kickboard is a foam floatation device that supports your upper body while you work your legs. The flutter is a simple back-and-forth kick that will acclimate you to the mechanics of swimming so that you are more comfortable in the pool. To get more resistance from the water, put on a pair of fins. Longer fins are recommended for beginners.

Wade into the water until you are chest-deep. Hold the top of the kickboard with both hands in a vertical position in front of your chest.

Extend your arms to bring the kickboard in front of your body. Let your forearms rest on the board.

Push off the bottom of the pool with your toes and extend your legs behind you. Start kicking, one leg at a time. The flutter kick is a small motion -- you shouldn't be making big splashes with the water. Focus on keeping your legs straight and toes pointed at the back of the pool. Your hips should roll back and forth slightly with the movement.

Kick for 30 seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat the interval 10 times. As you get stronger, increase the kick time to 45 seconds and decrease the rest to 15 seconds. Stay in an area where you can easily touch the bottom of the pool until you are confident in your swimming abilities.

Items you will need

  • Kickboard
  • Fins (optional)

Tips

  • Before you start swimming, ask the lifeguard about the pool rules. There may be specific guidelines for sharing lanes with other swimmers.
  • Build your exercise regimen slowly. Once you've mastered timed kicks, try swimming the length of the pool. Increase the distance you swim by 10 percent each week.
  • Wear goggles to keep the water out of your eyes. There are prescription goggles available for individuals who wear corrective lenses.

Warnings

  • Swimming requires a tremendous amount of energy. Stop immediately and signal the lifeguard for help if you feel weak, tired, nauseated, flushed, short of breath or have chest or shoulder pain.
  • Consult your health care provider before swimming and only exercise in a pool with a lifeguard's supervision.
 

About the Author

Carolyn Robbins began writing in 2006. Her work appears on various websites and covers various topics including neuroscience, physiology, nutrition and fitness. Robbins graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology and theology from Saint Vincent College.

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