Freestyle – Kick Only

FRK01 Category: Power Kicking variations


A wide range of kick-only styles can help develop the flutter kick.


Varying the style and equipment can help develop a better range of muscles.

Drills for kicking should be varied to help reduce knee bend & improve ankle flexibility

Drills should also focus on improve body balance (both front-to-back, and side-to-side)


FRK01-01 Pull buoy between thighs

        • Helps to reduce knee bend and keep feet close to the surface

FRK01-02 Front Drag

Option A: Arms folded overhead  

Option B:  Power bags over front of Kickboard with Pull Buoy inside the bag  (GIF)

Option C: With a ‘tombstone’ kickboard for resistance

        • Creates resistance to the front of the body to improve muscle development
        • ‘tombstone’ kicking involves a kickboard or buoy held vertical in front with arms extended to create resistance by ‘plowing’ water in front.

FRK01-03 Back Drag – power bags on feet, waist, or as parachutes or ball bags behind feet

        • Back drag can help create a more stable body than front drag and is generally more controllable and repeatable
        • Power Bags on the feet have the most influence on the kick style by restricting range of motion, driving the kick higher on the surface and improving ankle flexibility (GIF)
        • Power Bags around the calves can also help restrict the knee bend
        • Power Bags around waist as skirt or pulling Power Bags with paddles inside as a parachute are ideal to place general drag on the entire body for muscle development(GIF)

FRK01-04 Kick Bands or 1FlexBand

        • Bands around the ankles restrict the range of motion which is ideal to help reduce knee bend while offering power development

FRK01-05 Fins or Fins + Kick Bands

        • Fins help extend the ankle flexibility and power both directions of the kick
        • Fins + KickBands  can restrict knee bend and add even more muscle power

FRK01-06 Underwater flutter kick

        • Flutter kicking completely submerged can improve kick quality and power
        • This can be enhanced by placing Power Bags over a kickboard and towing the board over the feet behind you to force the feet to stay underwater (GIF)

FRK01-07 Vertical flutter kick  (w/Kickband  or Power Bags) (w/ or w/o Weight overhead)

        • Vertical flutter kick can encourage too much knee bend so it is best with KickBand
        • The addition of Power Bags is a strong workout
        • Arms can be extended in streamline overhead to add weight above the shoulders and increase kick intensity  (this can be intermittent with arms down and up)

Similar to the Streamline arms, the next stage is to add weight (such as the Lil’ Red Kick) to the extended arms as swimmers increase strength (GIF)


FRK02 Category: Kick Only with body rotations (rotate ¼ or ½ around at select kick intervals)


Kick 2, 3, or 6 times then turn ¼ or 1/2 rotation and continue the kick cycle.  All these drills can be fully submerged for a section of the pool or for a certain rotation interval before surfacing.


Power up the kick

Trains proper balance from front-to-back and side-to-side

Trains the ability to press the buoyant chest down to keep the hips up


FRK02-01 360 T-Press with Flutter Kick (GIF) (youtube video)

  • Kick only with arms in streamline.  Take 4 or 6 kicks on your stomach, then 4 or 6 on one side, 4 or 6 on the back, and 4 or 6 on your opposite side
  • Add Lil’ Red Kick alignment board to give feedback on front end alignment and balance (GIF)
  • Add Power Bags, or KickBands to add cardio as a unique kick only set
  • Add a pull buoy between the thighs to reduce knee bend and elongate the kick
  • Swim all 4 positions full underwater before surfacing to improve balance and quality
  • See FRS02-03 Freestyle kick with 3 strokes on stomach