If you want to improve your swimming technique, invest in an inexpensive kickboard. Typically made of foam, training with a kickboard can help improve different components of a swim stroke. In addition, kickboards can be used as an exercise aid; they offer a sufficient amount of resistance when performing upper body pool exercises. Whether you are a beginner learning basic swimming kicks, an advanced swimmer working specific muscles groups to perfect your stroke or someone who enjoys aquatic exercising, a kickboard is an essential piece of equipment.
Items you will need
Improve Your Kick
Stand in waist-high water. Position the kickboard flat on the water in front of your body with the narrow end pointing forward. Extend your arms forward, rest your forearms on top of the board and grasp the top edge of the kickboard with both hands.
Push up with your feet to bring your hips up toward the surface of the water. Push down on the kickboard with your forearms to help keep your feet from sinking and keep your body in a horizontal, streamlined position.
Keep your head above water and practice your flutter kick, frog kick or dolphin kick. If you are an advanced swimmer, put your face in the water and practice your normal breathing pattern. To practice your backstroke kick, hug the kickboard, keep it tight against your chest, lie on your back in the water and kick. The board will keep your upper body afloat. Practice your kicks for several lengths of the pool.
Improve Freestyle Stroke and Breathing
Stand in waist-high water and hold the bottom edge of the kickboard with your left hand. Extend your left arm and board straight out in front of your body. Take a breath, put your face in the water and push up with your legs to bring body to a horizontal, streamlined position.
Position your right arm along your right side and begin flutter kicking to propel your body forward. Blow air out through you nose as you normally would during the freestyle stroke until you run out of air.
Turn your head 90 degrees to your right side, enough so that you can take a breath through your mouth. As you rotate your head back into the water, lift your right arm, reach forward and take a stroke. Swim one length of the pool, switch arms and practice breathing and stroking on your left side for one length of the pool.
Upper Body Exercise
Stand erect in chest-high water with your legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Position the kickboard on edge so that it is perpendicular to the water. Hold the top, front edge of the board with your right hand and extend your arm out to your side. Hold the other end with your left hand and keep your left arm bent and close to your torso.
Submerge half the board, contract your abdominal muscles and forcefully push the board 90 degrees through the water toward the center of your body. Pull it back to the starting position to complete one repetition.
Perform 15 repetitions or until you are fatigued. Switch the board to your left arm and repeat the exercise.
- If you are uncomfortable in deep water, perform the lap exercises in shallow water, from one side of the pool to the opposite side.
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