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by Abbie Fish

January 3, 2020

Keep these points in mind to help fix your flutter kick

A sizable percentage of the propulsion in your freestyle comes from your kick, but you need to have proper technique, strength, and endurance to take advantage of your legs.

Here are four keys for getting a more technically sound freestyle kick.

Remember Your Feet

The most important thing to keep in mind in regard to a proper freestyle kick is that propulsion comes from the top of your feet. So, the more you can relax your ankle and point your toes, the better. By doing those two things, you increase the surface area pushing against the water and that allows you to push more water away from your body, increasing your propulsion. Everything else your legs do (mechanically) aid the “flick” that happens from your feet on your down-kick. This includes the knee bend, hip swing, and core firing.

Start With the Core and Hips

Your core and hips should always initiate your flutter kick. Think of your kick like a wave, one that starts in the midsection of your body and goes down to your toes.

Some swimmers initiate their kick with their knees, causing a huge bend in their knees. Instead, your knees should only be bent at about 120 degrees. This is similar to how much knee bend you have when you walk. Also, when you walk, you’re swinging your legs more from your hip than from your knee. Follow that thinking when you kick.

Kick the Heel Out

You want your heel to exit the water on every up-kick, which ensures that you’re bending your knees enough. Some swimmers try to kick too much with their hips and don’t bend their knees to initiate the flick with their feet.

Your entire foot doesn’t need to exit the water, just the heel to halfway down the arch. If you’re flexing your foot well throughout your kick, your toes might also break the surface.

Finish Your Kick

Finish the down-kick in front of your body (closer to the bottom of the pool). This ensures that you’re using the full firing capacity of your quadriceps.

This is where video analysis comes in very handy. If your coach records you under the water and you don’t see your kick finishing in front of your body, you aren’t using all of the force you’re able to generate from your quads, which causes your kick to not be as powerful as it can be.


Are you ready to take the next step in your swimming journey? Try a free workout with a Masters club this July as part of our Try Masters Swimming campaign.

All you need to do is fill out our trial membership form, find a participating club in your area, and pick a workout time to swim with the club. Come experience for yourself the amazing emotional, mental, and physical health benefits tens of thousands of adults just like you across the country are already enjoying.



  • Technique and Training


  • Flutterkick
  • Freestyle
  • Kicking