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The Pros and Cons of Using a Kickboard for Swimming

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When using a kickboard for swimming, you enter a realm of possibilities. This blog aims to delve into the depths of this aquatic tool, exploring its advantages and drawbacks.

From enhancing leg strength to potential injuries, we will navigate through the waters of using a kickboard for swimming. Join us as we uncover the nuances of this swimming accessory and provide insights on how it can impact your aquatic journey.

Pros of Using a Kickboard

Improves Leg Strength

Kickboards are a valuable tool for enhancing leg strength in swimmers.

By isolating your kicks, you’re not just building strength – you’re crafting endurance and explosive power. The result? A full-body swimming performance that’ll leave others in your wake. So grab a kickboard and kick your way to faster laps.

Enhances Technique

Kickboards are your secret weapon for mastering the art of the kick.

By isolating your leg movements, they let you zoom in on your technique, helping you sculpt a more powerful and efficient flutter. It’s not just about leg strength – it’s about fine-tuning the engine that drives your entire swim. With each kick, you’re building the foundation for a smoother, faster stroke overall.

Provides Buoyancy

One of the key benefits of using a kickboard for swimming is the buoyancy it offers.

Kickboards support your upper body, keeping it afloat while you are swimming. They also allow you to take short breaks during intense workouts, promoting better stamina and endurance in the water.

Cons of Using a Kickboard

Potential Injuries

Shoulder Issues

Beware the kickboard trap: While great for leg workouts, these foam helpers can be shoulder saboteurs.

The repetitive motion and fixed arm position can strain your shoulders, leading to aches or injuries. To keep your shoulders happy, focus on proper form and mix up your routine. Remember, a balanced swim workout is key to staying injury-free in the long run.

Back and Neck Strain

Another drawback of using a kickboard for swimming is the possibility of experiencing back and neck strain.

Improper body positioning while holding onto the kickboard can cause unnecessary stress on your back and neck muscles. To prevent strain, focus on maintaining a neutral spine alignment and avoid overarching your back during kickboard workouts.

Technique Problems

Sloppy Body Position

One common issue swimmers face when using a kickboard for swimming is developing a sloppy body position.

Holding onto the kickboard may lead to improper alignment of the body, affecting your overall swimming posture. Concentrate on engaging your core muscles and keeping your body streamlined to improve your technique.

Different Kicking Style

Using a kickboard can sometimes result in adopting a different kicking style than you would use in regular swimming.

This discrepancy in kicking techniques may impact your overall stroke efficiency and muscle engagement. Be mindful of maintaining consistency in your kicking style across different swim exercises to enhance your performance.

Limited Upper Body Workout

Neglects Arm Muscles

While kickboards are beneficial for lower body strength, they often neglect the engagement of arm muscles during workouts.

Relying solely on kickboards may lead to underdeveloped arm strength, which is crucial for propulsion and coordination in swimming strokes. Consider incorporating additional upper body exercises into your routine for balanced muscle development.

Less Comprehensive Exercise

Using a kickboard exclusively may limit the variety and comprehensiveness of your swim workout routine. To ensure holistic fitness improvement, it’s essential to integrate different training tools and techniques that target various muscle groups and aspects of swimming performance.

How to Use a Kickboard for Swimming

Proper technique and positioning

Swim Training with Kickboard: Pool Fence DIY, an expert in swim training with kickboards, emphasizes the importance of proper technique and positioning. To maximize your workout benefits, focus on maintaining a streamlined body position while kicking with the board. Ensure that your legs engage in powerful movements to strengthen your leg muscles effectively.

Balancing kickboard use with other swimming exercises

Incorporating kickboard exercises into your swim routine can offer unique advantages. By balancing kickboard use with other swimming exercises, you can target different muscle groups and enhance overall performance.

Consider alternating between kickboard drills and traditional strokes to improve your swimming technique comprehensively.

Recommended duration and frequency of use

Consider the recommended duration and frequency of use.

Aim to include kickboard workouts in your routine 2-3 times per week for optimal results. Start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as you build endurance and strength in your legs.

Alternatives to Kickboards

Pull buoys

Pull buoys are foam devices placed between the thighs.


  • Isolates upper body, allowing focus on arm technique and strength
  • Improves body position and rotation
  • Helps develop a stronger pull


  • Can lead to over-reliance on upper body
  • Doesn’t allow for kick practice

Kickboards vs. Pull Buoys:

Kickboards focus on improving kicking speed and technique, building kick endurance, and enhancing overall swimming performance.

Pull buoys, on the other hand, help in isolating arm movements in front crawl and backstroke, promoting better control while swimming.

Swim fins

Innovative Fins

Swim fin are slippers worn on the feet.


  • Increases leg strength and ankle flexibility
  • Improves body position and kick technique
  • Helps swimmers feel the correct motion of an efficient kick


  • Can strain ankles if used for too long
  • May lead to dependence on extra propulsion

Kickboards vs. Swim Fins:

Kickboards provide buoyancy to the upper body and aid in learning new swimming strokes.

Swim fins are effective for developing better leg muscles, enhancing balance and breathing, and reducing the risk of drowning.

Hand paddles

Hand paddles are flat devices attached to hands to increase surface area.


  • Strengthens arms and shoulders
  • Improves feel for the water and catch phase of stroke
  • Helps correct hand entry and pull-through


  • Can lead to shoulder strain if used improperly
  • Not recommended for beginners or those with shoulder issues

Kickboards vs. Hand Paddles:

Kickboards isolate leg movements in breaststroke and help swimmers focus on their kick techniques.

Hand paddles can be beneficial for isolating arm movements in different swim strokes, improving stroke efficiency, and enhancing overall propulsion.

Who Should Use Kickboards?

Beginners vs. advanced swimmers

For Beginners: Kickboards serve as essential tools for novice swimmers to build leg strength and improve kicking endurance. They aid in mastering basic stroke techniques, providing stability and confidence in the water.

Beginners benefit from kickboard training by focusing on developing a strong foundation in swimming skills.

For Advanced Swimmers: Experienced swimmers can utilize kickboards to enhance their performance by refining specific aspects of their strokes.

Final Thoughts

Kickboards offer opportunities for advanced drills and technique improvements, allowing swimmers to target areas that require attention. Incorporating kickboard exercises into advanced training routines can lead to increased efficiency and speed in the water.

As we’ve explored in this post, they can be valuable aids for improving leg strength, body positioning, and breathing technique. However, their use also comes with potential drawbacks such as over-reliance and the risk of developing improper habits.

Whether you choose to incorporate kickboards into your swimming routine or not, the most important factor is consistent practice and a focus on proper technique. Happy swimming!


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