Supercharge Your Kick – 4 Sets for Kicking Power and Speed

Sean Baker, head coach of the Oakville Aquatics (OAK) club in Oakville, Ontario, shared these sets with me recently that are designed specifically to improve your freestyle kick.

oakville aquatics sean baker(1)Coach Baker has been coaching at a high level since the 1990’s, and has placed numerous athletes on international teams of all stripes, including the Olympics and World Championships (where one of his charges won an individual bronze medal in the women’s 200m breaststroke in 1997).

At the most recent Canadian Olympic Trials OAK sent nearly 30 athletes to the meet, while also capturing a Canadian Age Group Championship title that summer, while also placing second amongst clubs at Canadian Summer Nationals.

On the back of these achievements Baker was awarded national club coach of the year honors for 2012.

Here are the four kick-centric sets, including some of the times posted by one of his current swimmers, Evan White (who swam a 1:59 200IM LCM last summer at the Canadian Swimming Trials to win his first senior national championship).

As you can see from the results that White throws down on the final set, in order to swim fast you must have a fast kick.

SEE ALSO: How to Improve Your Underwater Dolphin Kick

Alex Popov had a lightning fast kick (:27 seconds for a 50 long course), and other sprinters from Nathan Adrian, Cesar Cielo and more have all extolled the necessity of having a thunderous kick powering your swimming.

Here are the sets:

SET #1

2-3 rounds of–

  • 300 shoe kick [25m using only weak leg, 75m both legs focusing on distance per kick] + [Using weight belt (10% of swimmer’s body weight)]
  • 100 kick w. fins distance per kick
  • 1×50 kick for time

SET #2

2 rounds of–

  • 5min wall kick with shoes
  • 8×50 @1:30 best average kick
  • 8×25 @:40 with fins alternating– Odds reps: underwater FAST, Even reps: kick blast!
  • 10-20 streamlined wall jumps high fast after every round

SEE ALSO: 3 Drills for a Faster Freestyle Kick

SET #3

2 rounds of–

  • 300 quiet kick (No bubbles, no splash)
  • 8×25 @:45 Beaver kick fast (no board, streamline with head up) Add weight belt when good enough.
  • 1×50 as– 25m swim fast, 25 underwater fast

SET #4

24×100 @1:40 (this interval was used for SCM)

  • 100’s broken down as: 50 swim at specified pace, 50 kick within +10/+8/+6
  • Evan White did this set backstroke and worked his way down to a :28 for the first 50m swim, and then :30 for the 50m kick during his prep for the 1:59 200IM last year.

4 sets of kicking speed and power

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Olivier Poirier-Leroy Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.

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