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The 3 leg workouts you won’t hate!

Training & Technique
Written by: arena coaches at 22 May '19 0
You are reading: The 3 leg workouts you won’t hate!

The word “legs” often gives nightmares to both competitive swimmers and Masters athletes. In this article we will be testing out three drills that might make it less frustrating to work out your legs.

We all know that almost nobody likes working out their legs, because it can be boring, definitely tiring and calls for real focus. Indeed, to train your legs effectively you must mainly concentrate on the flexibility of your ankles and your body position to generate an optimum leg kick.

Our first tip is to wear fins for three simple reasons:

1. they allow you to engage a larger surface area of water;

2. they help you focus better on your ankles and legs in general;

3. they help you move faster.

Now let’s test out the three drills we’re suggesting.

Drill with vertical legs

This drill is particularly popular with swimmers. It is seen as a fun exercise, because it is often performed together as a group and not in the usual swim lanes. In actual fact it is an extremely tough drill, even though it is easy to perform, and also an excellent exercise for strengthening your legs. Take up a vertical position in the water. Keep your head above the water, so that you can breathe and your fingertips at the surface. Now begin to make vertical leg kicks. You can do this with either a freestyle or butterfly leg kick.  Start with two or three sets of 20/30 sec. mainly focusing on your leg kick. Try to keep your hips still. Learn to feel the water and make your movements as efficient as possible.

Take up a vertical position in the water. Keep your head above the water, so that you can breathe and your fingertips at the surface. Now begin to make vertical leg kicks. You can do this with either a freestyle or butterfly leg kick.  Start with two or three sets of 20”/30” mainly focusing on your leg kick. Try to keep your hips still. Learn to feel the water and make your movements as efficient as possible.

Underwater leg drill

Here again the key is to try something different. If you are used to always and only training with a kickboard between your hands, why do not you try working out your legs underwater? Use your legs only making sure your movements are as smooth as possible, training your lungs to cope better with the lack of oxygen.

Use fins when beginning your underwater drills. Do 25 metre reps focusing not only on your leg kick, but also the posture of your upper body and arms, so that you are as hydrodynamic as possible. Once you have got the hang of it, try performing the same drill without fins.

Leg drill using a snorkel

This drill focuses on your body balance. Wearing a snorkel will allow you to focus better on your body position in the water, so you can see how adjusting your head position alters the overall balance of your body.

Try the following drill:

  • After warming up properly, include these drills using fins and a snorkel before your main workout:
  • 6 x 30 sec. with vertical legs wearing fins carefully controlling your leg kick with 45 sec. recovery
  • 200 easy swimming
  • 10 x 50 with fins and a snorkel (but no board) in a streamlined position, carefully controlling the position of your head and hips.
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arena coaches

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