Plantar flexion, this is a lot of talk in the world of swimming, especially for people who are great at kicking Backstroke kicks still require plantar flexion just like the flutter kick does plantar flexion is just a fancy word for saying how far can you pull your toes away from your body. The reason plantar flexion is important is it increases the surface area of the foot, which moves more water and allows the swimmer to generate more propulsion. You cannot increase someone’s plantar flexion that much, because at the end of the day it deals with stretching muscles, I mean it deals with stretching tendons and ligaments and not muscles. So some people are just naturally born with looser ankles than others. Loose ankles are not ideal outside of the swimming pool because you’re walking down the street and if you have pretty unstable ankles and you stepped on a rock, you might roll your ankle pretty aggressively, whereas someone who has a pretty structured sound stable ankle, they step on a rock. That’s what those tendons and ligaments are there for it’s to restabilize the joint to make sure that you don’t hurt the joints- it’s a protective mechanism. So, whatever plantar flexion you have, you still want to use it to your advantage whether you have a ton or not. You want to make sure that you’re pointing your toes actively away from your body when you’re kicking in Backstroke to ensure that you’re increasing the surface area of the tops of your feet.