A kickboard is a must-have for swimmers who want to focus on just the kick rather than the whole stroke. These trusty swim aids come in many sizes and styles, so make sure to find one that feels comfortable to you. Kickboard workouts can be easily incorporated into your swimming routine to strengthen your kick, focus on technique, improve breathing and body alignment in the water, or simply give your arms a break.
Arm or Shoulder Injury
Kickboard workouts are a great way to stay in shape when injury puts a damper on swimming the whole stroke. Go easy on your grip as you hold the board. Relax your arms, and keep those elbows slightly bent, never locked. Add a little variety to your workout by kicking alternate sets with and without fins. Check with your doctor before adding a workout routine to your recovery.
Strength and Speed
The right kick matters, according to Triathlete, helping you swim faster, keep your body straight in the water and closer to the surface, cutting down on drag. Working out with a kickboard strengthens your legs, develops your kick and improve technique. Try setting aside one practice a week to work on your kick, suggests Triathlete, using a mono snorkel and alignment kickboard to put your body in the correct position for the swim as you practice streamlining while kicking.
How you kick matters, and so does how hard you kick. Kicking harder on the upstroke than on the downstroke, explains US Masters Swimming, shows up in starts and streamlines for butterfly, and you may also see it in the flutter kick for backstroke and freestyle. Many of us tend to kick with the tops of our feet but not with the bottoms, wasting an opportunity to get more speed, says US Masters Swimming. With a kickboard workout, you can focus on a more symmetrical kick.
Breathing and Body Alignment
US Masters suggests using a front-mount snorkel with a kickboard so you don't have to worry about turning your head to breathe. This will let you focus on those abdominal muscles, your lower back and your legs without having to use your arms. This snorkel and kickboard combination is great for helping you focus on a good body line, explains US Masters Swimming, helping you swim smarter and faster while never having to turn your head to breathe.
Christy Ayala writes about recreation, sports, aquatics, healthy living, family and parenting, language development, organizational change, pets and animals. Ayala holds a master's degree in recreation administration from Aurora University’s George Williams College, a graduate certificate in organizational change from Hawaii Pacific University and a bachelor's degree in Spanish from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.