Is Swimming With a Kickboard Good Exercise?

Swimming with a kickboard is a popular exercise among new swimmers and swimming enthusiasts alike.

If you’re wondering whether it’s a good exercise option, you’ll be pleased to know that kickboard swimming offers multiple benefits for swimmers of all skill levels. Not only does using a kickboard help improve your fitness, stamina, and endurance, but it also allows you to focus on your leg, hip, and stomach muscles, making it an ideal workout for these areas.

Moreover, it’s a low-impact exercise, perfect for rehabilitation workouts and those with joint concerns. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the advantages of swimming with a kickboard and how to make the most of this versatile training tool.

Benefits of Swimming with a Kickboard

Stay Afloat Easily

Kickboards are a swimming aid that helps you stay afloat easily. The buoyancy provided by the kickboard while you’re holding onto it means that you don’t have to waste any energy treading water, and can focus all of your attention on actually swimming.

Beginners and experienced swimmers alike can benefit from this. For beginners, having a kickboard to hold onto gives them the confidence to spend more time in the water and practice swimming without being crippled by anxiety.

Strengthen Your Lower Body

Swimming with a kickboard offers a focused workout for the legs, hips, and stomach muscles. By isolating these muscle groups, swimmers can improve their overall muscle strength and endurance. Using a kickboard during swim sessions can boost performance and allow for more targeted training to better develop and tone these essential muscles.

Train Your Cardiovascular Fitness

Since staying afloat is no longer an issue when swimming with a kickboard, you can enjoy more consistent breathing.

Being able to take deep and full breaths all the time lets your muscles get even more oxygenated blood that they need during a workout. The end result is that you can put your legs through some intense training sessions which promotes muscle growth and weight loss.

The repetitive nature of kicking while using a kickboard helps to increase heart rate, promoting better blood circulation and overall cardiovascular health. A consistent kicking routine with a kickboard can contribute to a stronger and healthier heart.

Improve Your Kicking Technique

A kickboard can be a valuable tool in improving swimming technique, as it allows swimmers to focus on specific skills such as kicking and body positioning.

By using a kickboard, swimmers can keep their hips high in the water, which aids in developing a more efficient and effective kicking technique. This attention to detail can result in improved speed and overall swimming performance.

Work Through Upper-Body Injuries

By isolating your core and lower body, you are allowing your upper body to rest and recover. Even if you are dealing with an overuse injury or some other problem with your upper body, you can still keep training your lower body by swimming with a kickboard.

Train For Even Longer

If you find your upper body tends to fatigue before your legs but you don’t want to stop swimming, then give it some rest by using a kickboard.

Is Swimming With a Kickboard a Good Exercise to Lose Weight With?

Swimming with a kickboard can be an effective way to lose weight and build abs, as it provides a low-impact cardiovascular workout that engages multiple muscle groups.

However, the amount of weight you can lose depends on several factors, including the intensity and duration of your workout, your diet, and your overall lifestyle.

To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit, which means burning more calories than you consume. Swimming with a kickboard can help you achieve this by burning calories and increasing your metabolism.

Additionally, using a kickboard can help you focus on your leg muscles, which are some of the largest muscles in your body and can burn a significant amount of calories.

Practicing Kicks with a Kickboard

Kickboard drills are an essential part of any swimmer’s exercise routine, helping to improve leg strength, core stability, and overall swimming technique. In this section, we will discuss various kickboard drills based on different swimming strokes.

Flutter Kick

The flutter kick is typically used in freestyle swimming and is a popular kickboard exercise to strengthen the lower body. To perform this drill, grip the kickboard with both hands on either side, keeping your arms as straight as possible to reduce drag. Focus on kicking from the hips, with minimal knee bends. Maintain a constant, rhythmic motion for an effective workout.

Breaststroke Kick

The breaststroke kick drill challenges your leg muscles and improves coordination. Lay face-down on the kickboard, extending your arms in front. Bend your knees, drawing your heels towards your buttocks. Then, kick out to the sides and backward, pressing the soles of your feet against the water to propel yourself forward. Keep your ankles relaxed and maintain a steady pace throughout the drill.

Butterfly Kick

Also known as the dolphin kick, this drill works on your core and lower body strength. While holding the kickboard, place one hand on top of the other with your arms extended in front.

Keep your feet together and use your hips and core to create an undulating motion, driving the wave-like movement down to your toes. This kick involves the whole body, so focus on maintaining a smooth and consistent rhythm to get the most out of this exercise.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Using a kickboard for swimming can be a great way to improve your technique and strength. However, it’s important to be aware of common mistakes to make the most out of your workout. Here are a few key pitfalls to avoid:

  1. Arching your back and neck: One of the main complaints of kickboard users is discomfort in the neck and back. This can be attributed to incorrect posture, like arching your back or neck, during the exercise. To fix this, try to maintain a neutral spine and gaze at the kickboard while swimming (source).
  2. Holding the kickboard incorrectly: Proper grip is essential for a smooth experience. Hug the kickboard to your chest and wrap your arms around it during back floating exercises. Alternatively, grip the kickboard near the top and rest your arms across the board. This ensures that you are receiving the most support and helps your body maintain a horizontal position (source).
  3. Skipping leg day in the pool: It’s crucial to dedicate time to work on your leg muscles specifically while swimming. Kick sets should make up around 10-50% of your workout, helping you target and strengthen the specific muscle groups needed in swimming (source).
  4. Neglecting variety in the workout: Monotonous workouts can lead to boredom and lack of motivation. Mixing up your kickboard drills and incorporating various kicking styles like flutter kicks, dolphin kicks, or kicks in different positions can keep your training dynamic and engaging (source).