In freestyle a good kick balances your stroke and helps to maintain a constant speed. Learn the special tips which make the difference.

The flutter kick is a simple and efficient kick used while swimming freestyle. Basically, both legs are kept parallel and quickly flutter up and down with toes pointed. In freestyle a good kick balances your stroke and helps to maintain a constant speed.


It is composed of 2 phases: the upbeat and the downbeat.


Phase 1: Start the upbeat with a straight leg.

Once the leg has reached the horizontal position slightly bend your knee.

In this way the sole of your foot can be used to create propulsion.

If you bend your knee too soon, water is pushed forwards and you will find yourself going backwards!


Phase 2: The downbeat is the result of the knee extension.

During this phase it is important to push the water backwards with the upper foot.

If you lack ankle flexibility, your kick will be less efficient. Keep the leg mostly straight; the power driven by the hip will naturally move the knee slightly. The movement starts from your hip and the knee bend is only due to the pressure water puts on your foot when you kick downward.

It is also important to turn your feet inwards while you kick. By turning your feet inwards the propulsive surface area increases and it will improve efficiency. Keeping them straight causes the water to flow around the natural curvature of the feet and propulsion is reduced.

If your kick is too deep you will increase resistance and slow down.


How to Improve Your Kick?

  • Focus on keeping your legs relaxed and loose. Relaxed, “long” legs transmit more force from your hips to the water.
  • Keep your leg straight during the upbeat so it’s important to minimize knee bend in your freestyle kick. Too much knee bend results in a kick with wasted motion out of the water.
  • Balance out your kick: For most swimmers there is a near total focus on the downward portion of the kick, with the upward motion acting as a recovery movement. Ensure more attention to the upward part of the kick.
  • Turn your feet inwards.
  • Pay attention to ankle flexibility. Improve your ankle flexibility for a stronger kick.
  • Keep the kick small and fast.

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