Freestyle kick (and kicking in general) is often underappreciated and underworked. At The Race Club we like to determine what we call your baseline speed. It is a good indication of how much you need to work on your kicking. Without even testing this, it’s safe to bet most swimmers would benefit from additional kick sets in their workouts. However, the baseline speed allows us to see just how far off a swimmer is from their swimming speed is and may highlight kicking as a weakness.

Find out what your freestyle baseline speed is and how to improve it using this simple kick set.

Watch more videos on freestyle kick:

Improving Your Kicking Technique

Kicking with Drag Socks


  1. 10 seconds difference in 50 M kicking speed with and without fins is not really magical. After having tested thousands of swimmers for this over the past 13 years, we have found that only those with excellent ankle flexibility will be able to do this. In general, the worse the ankle flexibility, the greater the difference in time between the two kicks. It is a good reality check for those that need work on ankle flexibility.

  2. How much time do you leave in between the kick with fins, and without?
    Also how would you go about doing this ‘free kick test’ in a 25m pool?

  3. What if my daughter is using long fins? Then what is the time adjustment? My eldest girl, 10, uses the DMC Elite 2 fins (short) while my younger girl, 8, uses Finis Long fins.

  4. Would you use the same 10 second difference in a 25 yrd or meter pool going a 50? Plus what is your advice about the turn? Would it be better to only do a 25 to negate the turn with a 5 second difference.

  5. The 10 second differential relates to a 50 yard or meter kick. It doesn’t matter if the turn is open or flipped so long as it is done the same way both times. I prefer doing 50 because the legs can tire on the second 25.

  6. Yes for fly and back, but we tend to use it primarily for free kick. For dolphin kick, we test the speed underwater streamlined on stomach vs the freestyle sprint stroke to help determine how many dolphin kicks should be taken on the starts and turns. Often coaches are teaching swimmers to take more kicks underwater, when that may not make sense.