6-Beat Kick or Boil Kick


If you were to watch the women’s and men’s 100 and 200-backstroke final and the 100 and 200-freestyle final from the 2016 Olympic Games, you’d notice a common trait amongst all eight finalists. What’s that? They maintain a boil kick from start-to-finish, which means a robust 6-beat kick that takes place just below the water’s surface. Kicking in this manner guarantees an ideal body position and full speed from the legs. To add this Olympic skill to your repertoire, you must commit to kicking like crazy in practice.

To swim your fastest freestyle ever, maintain an intense 6-beat kick throughout each freestyle arm cycle (even when breathing). It won’t be easy at first, but I guarantee it will be a whole lot faster than your current stroke. The next step is to ratchet up your fitness so you can swim full throttle for an entire race. Start by swimming every fourth 25 that way in practice, then every third 25, and so on.

Coach Nick Baker
Olympic Coach, Author, and Founder of Peak Performance Swim Camp