The swim kickboard is a crucial part of any competitive swimmer’s workout, both during swimming season and the offseason. The finishing touch on any cardiovascular workout, the right board can make a major difference in your swimming ability. What used to be thought of solely as a tool to teach kids to swim is now an effective tool to master fluid leg movements and gain the necessary strength to become a stellar swimmer. If you are a serious swimmer, now is the perfect time to reward yourself with new swim gear that will help you take your competitive swimming to the next level.

Kick boards can be useful when you are learning a new swimming stroke or want to improve yourswimming technique. This article gives you a few ideas on how to use them and also outlines cases where alternative swimming aids are better.

If you have ever been to a public swimming pool, you most likely know what kick boards are. If not, well they are those rectangular swimming aids made of EVA foam. The most common ones are about 1 by 1,5 foot large and 1 inch thick. They come in a variety of colors.

The best use of kickboards is to isolate the leg movements while you learn swimming breaststroke.

To do so, grab one of the narrow ends with your hands, and hold the board so that the other narrow end points away from you. Then push of the pool ground, get into a horizontal position, and start to execute the leg movements of the breaststroke. Do this in short repeats so that you can catch your breath in between.

The kickboard should provide enough buoyancy to your upper body so that you are free to concentrate on the breaststroke kick.

Likewise, you can use kickboards to learn the flutter kick motions in the freestyle stroke or thebackstroke. To do so, again hold the kickboard in front of you so that the free narrow end is pointed away from you. Then get into a horizontal streamlined position and start to flutter kick. Again do short repeats.

Another use of kickboards is to isolate the arm motions in freestyle and backstroke. To do so, simply squeeze the board between your thighs so that your legs are supported. You are now free to concentrate on your arm motions while trying to swim.

Using a kick board to support the legs can be especially useful in the beginning if a pull buoy don’t provide enough buoyancy.

Kick boards can also get you to started learning the body undulation used in the butterfly stroke. To do so, put on swim fins, grab a kick board, hold it by one of the narrow edges in front of you and get into a prone position in the water.

Then try to push your hips down, then release them. As you release your hips, push your feet down. Then as your hips go down again, your feet move up. Repeat. This body undulation is one of the basics of the butterfly stroke.

Kick boards are nice to have in your tool box, especially while learning a new stroke. However, afterward, don’t forget to have a look at other options to improve your swimming technique.

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EVA Kick boards can be useful when you are learning a new swimming stroke or want to improve your swimming technique