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Developing a killer kick – ankle flexibility

Kicks sets are staple of most swimming sessions and there is good reason for this. An effective, strong kick is what lies at the base of good body position in the water. If the legs sink then the hips sink, which increases drag in the water making is harder for the swimmer to propel themselves forward.

One of the keys to having an effective strong kick is ankle flexibility. The greater the range of motion in the ankle joint there is, the greater the potential there is to develop a good kick. Perhaps, we do not pay enough attention to what swimmers can do to increase ankle flexibility while out of the pool. Ankle stretches can be done easily while out of the pool when watching TV at home. One of the best ways is to spend time in a kneeling position but if the stretch is not enough, it can be leveraged further by having a roller or a foam block under the ankles as the video below shows. Practice improving ankle flexibility for 10-15 mins a day over a period of 6 week, you will begin to see definite improvements in your kick.


photo credit: jdlasica Miss Franklin backstroke via photopin (license)

Richard Bruford View All

Richard is currently Secondary School Principal of Suzhou Singapore International School, one of China's leading international schools. He leads workshops across the Asia-Pacific region for the International Baccalaureate in the areas of pedagogical leadership and approaches to teaching and learning. Richard consults with schools on the topics of school improvement and effective implementation and use of technology.

With a background in public and independent school education in the UK and Australia, Richard is enjoying his international school adventure in China. He is passionate about developing and supporting educational leaders, as it is essential to improving all schools.

Richard is a proud family man and feels lucky to be married to Kim and father of their son Austin.

In his spare time Richard enjoys to swim, bike and run and is a now retired football player and coach (with occasional guest appearances)

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