Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Train With Kickboards


Kickboard Workouts
Eryn Greeney of Baltimore practices her swim technique with the North Baltimore Aquatic Club at the Meadowbrook Aquatic Center in Baltimore.
Eryn Greeney of Baltimore practices her swim technique with the North Baltimore Aquatic Club at the Meadowbrook Aquatic Center in Baltimore.
AP Photo/Steve Ruark

Kickboards are obviously used to improve a swimmer's kick. Beginners may like the security of a flotation device while they work on their kicking form, while more advanced swimmers can use the board to strengthen specific muscle groups and perfect their kicks.

Here are a few simple workouts to try with a kickboard:

Flutter (or Freestyle) Kick: This is the basic kick used with the freestyle stroke. The legs are extended all the way behind you, straight but not stiff, with the toes pointed. "If you bend your knees," Wallin says, "you're not using strong thigh muscles; you're using calf muscles instead."

Backstroke Kick: You can work out with a kickboard while floating on your back, either with the kickboard at your chest for confidence or at your knees for form. If you hold it at your chest, make sure to maintain the natural curve in your spine instead of letting it round into the water. Holding the board with extended arms so that it touches your legs helps you become aware of how much you're bending your knees. As with the flutter kick, straight but not stiff legs will propel you the farthest.

Arm Circles: It's even possible to work on arm strokes and breathing techniques with a kickboard. Hold the edge of the board with both hands, then bring one arm around to your side and back to the board. Do the same with the other arm. In this same position, with your face in the water, practice lifting your face (but not your whole body) out of the water to breathe.

If you're wondering what good all of this kickboard training might do, keep reading to find out.


More to Explore