The Down Kick

So the down kick is the phase of the kick where the tops of feet are forcefully kicking towards the bottom of the pool. You want your toes plantarflexed the entire time, so having plantar flexion during the down kick is really really necessary. As far as muscle groups, you’re firing from your quads, your tibialis posterior, your plantartaris, and your hip muscles. You want to see 180 degrees of knee extension at the end of this phase. So really what that means is you want the leg to be entirely straight when at the bottom of the down kick. Also, you want the leg to finish in front of the body which is similar to the follow through of kicking a soccer ball. This is another great analogy that I love to use, because the reality is when you go and kick a soccer ball, you might make contact with the ball pretty in line with the body, but you always want to finish with the foot in front of the body so you’re kind of guiding the ball on where you want it to go, and also how fast you want that ball to move. So it’s really important to make sure that that down-kick finishes in front of the body line. That will ensure that you are actually flicking all the way through and pushing that water towards the bottom, and you’re using all the muscle groups so we’re talking about the quads, the posterior tibialis the plantar and hip muscles.