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Weekend Swim Workout: Vertical Kick Break

Triathlete contributor and swimming all-star Sara McLarty provides a workout for you to take to the pool this weekend.

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Vertical kicking is a challenging drill great for promoting an efficient flutter kick. Instead of kicking across the pool along the surface of the water, vertical kicking takes place in a stationary position in the deep end. The challenge of this drill lies in keeping your nose and mouth above the surface.

The lesson is to develop a quick cadence with the legs. The flutter kick is most efficient when performed with quick, short kicks. Remember: The kick starts at the hip and uses the entire leg for propulsion.

Incorporate the vertical kick drill into your swim workout this weekend using one of these workouts from coach Sara McLarty. Choose a set that fits your current schedule and fitness level, and dive in!

RELATED: How to Choose the Best Swim Drills For You

A:

Warm-up:
600 easy (2x: 200 swim/100 kick)

Main Set:
12×25 @ :40 (swim 25m, vertical kick until :40, swim 25m, repeat)
10×50 @ 1:00 (odds: drill 25 right arm, 25 left arm; evens: swim)
8×100 pull @ 1:45 (3/5 breathing pattern by 50)
6×150 (100 swim strong @ 1:40, 50 FAST @ :60)
4×200 w/ fins (50 kick on back, 50 swim, repeat) w/:20 sec rest
2×250 w/:30 sec rest (2nd and 4th 50s are FAST, all others are easy)

Cooldown:
300 easy

*4700 Total*

RELATED: 7 Awkward (But Useful!) Swim Drills

B:

Warm-up:
600 easy (2x: 200 swim/100 kick)

Main Set:
12×25 @ :50 (swim 25 m, vertical kick until :50, swim 25m, repeat)
8×50 @ 1:30 (odds: drill 25 right arm, 25 left arm; evens: swim)
6×100 pull @ 2:10 (3/5 breathing pattern by 50)
4×150 (100 swim strong @ 2:00, 50 FAST @ 1:10)
3×200 w/ fins (50 kick on back, 50 swim, repeat) w/:30 sec rest
2×250 w/:30 sec rest (2nd and 4th 50s are FAST, all others are easy)

Cooldown:
300 easy

*3900 Total*

C:

Warm-up:
600 easy (2x: 200 swim/100 kick)

Main Set:
12×25 (swim 25 m, vertical kick for :15 seconds, swim 25m, repeat)
6×50 w/:30 sec rest (odds: drill 25 right arm, 25 left arm; evens: swim)
4×100 pull w/:30 rest (3/5 breathing pattern by 50)
2×150 (100 swim strong, rest :15, 50 FAST, rest :30)
2×200 w/ fins (50 kick on back, 50 swim, repeat)

Cooldown:
100 easy

*2400 Total*

Looking for more swim-spiration? Check out our complete archive of Weekend Swim Workouts from Coach Sara McLarty.