Today's tip in on the kick. With the exception of breaststroke, the kick in other strokes is more for balance than for propulsion. Many beginner and novice swimmers kick too hard wasting energy and tiring themselves out prematurely.
In front crawl and backstroke the flutter kick is used. The swimmer should keep his legs straight but relaxed kicking from the hips while keeping the knees only slightly bent and "fluttering" the feet in a small kick. Many beginner swimmers kick from the knees making too large of a kicking motion. In the backstroke, this is especially exaggerated often resembling peddling a bike.
I have included a link to 11 time Olympic Medalist Natalie Coughlin's training tips. She talks about using a powerful kick which is used in sprint distance racing not in training.
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