Using a Kickboard: How to Do It Right


A kickboard is one of the most important training aids for anyone who is just learning how to swim.

Using a kickboard is beneficial for improving your lower muscle groups. In the same way, it is also effective in the mastery of kicking techniques.

However, anyone who will be using a kickboard for the first time can instantly become intimidated. It looks difficult at first. That said, keep on reading and we’ll let you know how to use a kickboard properly. It is important that you learn the basics if you want to become a better swimmer.

A Step-by-Step Guide in Using a Kickboard

This section will be separated into two parts depending on your skills. To start with, let’s look at the steps involved in using a kickboard for newbies.

1. Position Your Chest on the Kickboard

The first thing that you need to do is to rest your chest on your kickboard. The proper positioning of the upper body is crucial so that you will be floating as you put your legs to work. Your stomach should be on the water while your ribs should be on the kickboard.

2. Hold the Kickboard Properly

Another important thing that you should learn is the right way to hold the kickboard. If the kickboard has a hole on the edge, this is where you should be putting your hands. If not, you can just grip the kickboard from the sides. Your elbows should be tucked on your side while you are holding the kickboard.

3. Position your Hips

To maximize the benefits of using the kickboard, you need to keep your body straight. If it is bent, you will be unable to practice your kicks. Do not bend your hips. By keeping it straight, you will also prevent your body from sinking. Once your body is in a straight position, raise your hips a bit and use your chest to exert pressure on the board.

4. Start Kicking

Now that your body is properly positioned, start kicking. When kicking, you should be using your hips and not your knees to propel your legs. You should also keep your toes pointed so that it will be easier to kick.

Steps You Need To Follow.

If you are a pro using a kickboard for training, you should move the routine a notch. You don’t need to rest your chest on the board since you already know how to swim. If that’s the case, these are the steps you need to follow.

1. Position the Keyboard

Start by extending the keyboard in front of you. Grip the kickboard’s top edge firmly using both hands. Extend your arms and keep your elbows straight.

2. Press the Board Down

Now, exert a bit of pressure on your arms so that you can push the board down. By doing this, your hips will slowly emerge on the water. It is crucial to maintain your hips in a straight line. If it is sinking, you will not have the desired strength in every kick. While doing this, avoid pressing with too much pressure as this might cause the kickboard to sink.

3. Try the Flutter Kick

It is now time to move your legs, and one of the best that you can practice is the flutter kick. While your legs are in a parallel position, point your toes. Kick your legs up and down. Doing it alternately. As you push your legs down, make sure that you flex your knees at the same time. Straighten your knee as you make a forward movement.

4. Try the Breaststroke Kick

You can also use the kickboard to practice your breaststroke kick. Keep your legs straight and parallel while your toes are pointed. Bend your knees and move your feet towards your buttocks. Slowly position your knees away from each other while you are rotating your feet outward. Move your legs in a sweeping motion to push yourself out of the water. As you finish, extend your legs and move inward until you are back to your starting position.

5. Try the Dolphin Kick

Keep your legs straight and together while your toes are pointed. Bend both of your knees, which will allow you to bring your feet closer to your buttocks. Use both of your feet to do a forceful kick similar to how a dolphin would move when under the water.

Use a Kickboard While You Are Floating 

Alternatively, you can also use a kickboard while you are floating on your back. Here’s how you can do this.

1. Hug the Kickboard

While you are standing, wrap your arms around the kickboard until you are embracing it fully. Hold it at the chest level and make sure that you are comfortable while gripping the kickboard.

2. Lay Flat on Your Back

Once you are already hugging your kickboard, slowly lie on your back. Your body will naturally float. Raise your hips and your feet. Keep your back straight. Do not bend your hips or your back since doing so might make you sink.

3. Do the Backstroke Kick

At this position, the best kick that you can practice is the backstroke kick. With your legs together and your toes pointed, kick with power from your hips instead of your knees. Keep your other leg down while the other is up.

Pro Tips

Aside from following the tips mentioned above, below are some tips that you have to keep in mind when using a kickboard.

  • Start by choosing the right kickboard, making sure that the size is suitable for your body type. It should be highly buoyant, thick, and rigid. Traditionally, it comes with a rectangular body, concave bottom, and rounded top.
  • The right breathing technique is also crucial. Turn your head from one side to another while you are in the water. This will let you practice the right way to breathe when you are swimming.
  • Once you have mastered the steps mentioned above, do not be afraid to experiment. Elevate your routine by making the task more difficult so that you can work more of your muscles.


Are you a beginner interested in learning the right way to kick? Are you a pro who would like to work on the lower body? Regardless of your goal, you will benefit from using a kickboard.

Keep in mind our recommendations above on how to use a kickboard the right way. Otherwise, it will be a useless swimming aid. There is a high risk of injury if you don’t follow the steps in using a kickboard.

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