Day 1: Kicking On Your Side

Learning Objectives: A smooth, consistent kick that allows you to rotate your hips and stay balanced on each side.

Day 1 Practice

  • WARM UP:
  • 200 Easy, your choice
  • DRILL:
  • 12x25s Alternate: 2 lengths swim, 2 lengths kick on your side. Make sure you are alternating left side kicking and right side kicking per length.
  • 6x50s kicking on your side
  • 2x150s 50 Alternate 50 Kick/50 Swim/50 Kick
  • 300 kick on your side
  • 200 Easy swim
  • TOTAL:
  • 1600 Yards or Meters

Do this for all kick sets:

  • With your hips rotated to the side, and your shoulders parallel, keep your head still and continue looking at the bottom of the pool.
  • Extend one arm out in front.
  • When you need air, rotate all the way onto your back, take a few good breaths, and repeat.
  • Do odd number lengths on the right side, even lengths on the left.
  • Rest :30 between swims
  • *Feel free to add or subtract distance as needed.

Common Mistakes:

  • Excessive knee bend - This is the most common kicking mistake. You will use more energy than is necessary. To cut down on bending your knees, practice kicking in a vertical position, arms crossed. You will start to become aware of how much you actually need to bend your knees, and the exact muscles you need to use to keep your head above the water.
  • Inflexible ankles - This is often due to running a lot. Your feet can actually act as anchors! To correct this, stretch your ankles daily and use the short fins, or Zoomers when kicking or doing drills.


  • 2 to 6 kick per stroke
  • Limited knee bend
  • Loose ankles
  • Consistent on both sides


  • Lifting the feet
  • Bending the knees
  • Sinking feet
  • Kicking hard

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…something really clicked yesterday.

“I want to thank you for your coaching! I just wanted to let you know that something really clicked yesterday and I dropped my single arm stroke cycle from an average of 26 to 14 at the 25 yard pool. A nearly 40% improvement literally overnight! I just couldn’t believe the sensation of gliding, rolling, etc! Thank you for helping me enjoy swimming for the rest of my life!”
Bill Yee, Cupertino, CA
Beginner Triathlete