Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Kickboard

The kick board is a valuable piece of equipment that helps you work on the mechanics, endurance and power of your kick. It can be used for all types of kick, including Butterfly, Backstroke, Breastroke and Freestyle. The board is typically held with to hands at the very top, with your fingers wrapping around the top edge and your forearms resting on the rest of the board. The board floats, and can therefore be used to isolate the legs as the source of movement and eliminate your arms so you can work specifically on kicking. Butterfly, Breastroke and Freestyle kicking is usually done in this body position (be sure to keep your hips high and your body flat!):

Backstroke kicking is a little bit trickier with a kickboard. Typically, backstroke kick is done with a simple streamline. However, if a kickboard is needed for floatation, there are two ways to use it in backstroke kick:

The first is with the board above your head, which looks like this:

The second way is with the board over your chest and your arms hugging it, like this (although better technique is recommended! This boy's head should be back and his hips should be higher, for instance):

So there you have it. One of the most important pieces of equipment in swimming. The kickboard allows you to isolate and work solely on your kick and keeps you floating, providing a great opportunity to improve it if your kick is rather weak. Kickboards are very inexpensive as well! There are also many different styles of kickboards that you can choose from to help maximize your comfort. Kickboards can be found anywhere from $5-20, a great price for what it's worth.

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