Are You Swimming with Scissors?

Are you swimming with scissors?

Many swimmers and triathletes I work with don’t realize they are slowing themselves down while swimming due to using a scissor-style kick instead of a flutter kick.

Here are my top three corrective tips to cure your scissor kick.

A scissor kick is when your feet drift apart wider than the width of your shoulders while you swim freestyle which creates a ton of drag every time you kick,  impeding your forward movement.

The best flutter kick originates from the hips and stays within shoulder width in a vertical format.

Top 3 Tips to improve your kick

#1 FINS: Use fins for kick sets to help strengthen the ankles and hips. This is my favorite brand and model (Finis Z2 Gold Zoomers)

The flutter kick should be originating from the hips through an almost straight leg and down to a floppy ankle with a slightly pointed foot.

If you are scissor kicking, it indicates tight and weak ankles and hips.  Using fins for the following kick drills can help get rid of your scissor kick.

SAMPLE WORKOUT: Kick 100 yards with fins. – the first 25 kicks on your belly, the second 25 kicks on your side, the third 25 kicks on your back, and the last 25 kicks on the other side. 

Watch the video below:

BONUS PRACTICE: Repeat another 100 yards, all using a Dolphin Kick.

#2 VERTICAL KICKING must have a deep pool.
Start with fins and build up to 1 minute of vertical kicking time, adding rotation
1/4, 1/2, and whole turns to the right and the left while staying in one place is key.
Then, start practicing without fins and get to 1 minute of vertical kick time.

Watch the video below:

#3 DRY LAND FLUTTER KICKING – great for increasing hip and core strength
Lay on your back – palms down, tucked under your thighs. Chin to chest, head and shoulders off the ground. Lift straight legs off the ground and flutter kick with strong quads, straight knees, and pointed toes for 1 minute. Vary the speed of kicking to mix it up and challenge yourself.

Watch the video below:



Don’t let poor technique be the anchor that holds you back from your swimming aspirations!

Join me at the Swim Essentials Clinic on February 17 & 18, either in person or virtually. When you sign up now, you’ll also gain exclusive access to my Swim Essentials online course, brimming with expert tips and techniques to elevate your swimming prowess.

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Erinne Guthrie is a USA Triathlon Level II Certified Coach since 1999 and Chief Motivating Officer at Full Circle Coaching, LLC since 2010. Creator of the Triathlon Transformation. She has been training, racing, and coaching triathletes since 1997.  She is also a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3, USMS Master’s Swim Coach, Motivational Speaker, Metabolic Efficiency Specialist, Mom, Mermaid, and much more.

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