What is Flutter Kicking?

Flutter Kicking - Learning to Flutter Kick with Wallen Swim!

Flutter Kicking – Learning to Flutter Kick with Wallen Swim!

When little kids first learn to swim, the swim instructor often teaches the flutter kick by holding them by the torso and encouraging them to splash with their feet, saying, “Kick! Kick! Kick!” This is a good way to get kids started with the flutter kick, and many kids will naturally use the correct technique for the flutter kick simply because it is very intuitive.

But what if you are coming to swimming later in life, or if you just aren’t completely confident that you have your flutter kick right? Here is a simple guide to flutter kicking so you can swim easily and effectively.

Keep your legs extended.

You’re not bicycling. Nor are you kicking the water away from you. You’re using your feet more like flippers.

Keep your legs relaxed.

You’re also not a Barbie doll. Your legs do not need to be perfectly straight; in fact, if they are, you will work harder and go nowhere.

Start the movement in your hip and let your leg follow.

Imagine flicking a rope. You start the motion at one end and it travels down in a wave. That’s what your legs do with the flutter kick. You start the kick in your hip, and your knee bends slightly to follow the movement. Your ankle is relaxed. Your toe is pointed to keep water resistance to a minimum.

The more you do the flutter kick, the easier it gets. It is a movement that works very easily with your body. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the mechanics of it and they get caught up trying to either keep their legs perfectly straight, or trying to keep their legs together and bending only at the knees. Both of these options will just sink your feet straight down toward the bottom of the pool and get you nowhere. If you want to go fast and have a lot of energy to keep going, start the movement at the hip and keep your legs relaxed, so that they move like a rope.

2 thoughts on “What is Flutter Kicking?

  1. TomA says:

    Thanks, first time I’ve seen detailed explanation of a break down of the flutter kick, I’ve been struggling trying to forcefully kick the water away and propel forward without any success- which was my interpretation of the kick, can’t wait to try this ‘flick a rope’ method

    • Steve Wallen Swim School says:

      Thanks Tom, happy we could help! Let us know if you have any more questions. Good luck!

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