Kick Stations

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

Lately we haven’t had as much lane space as we are accustomed to, and one day last week we had nearly 40 high-school-aged swimmers in 4 lanes. We did the following kick stations that allowed us to put nearly 20 swimmers in one lane for the first station while spreading the other 20 out over the three remaining lanes. Turned out to be a pretty good kick set.

Challenge Kick Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This set is a spin-off from the 15-minute Kick for Distance Test Set from yesterday.

Use the distances achieved in that set (1/3 of total distance achieved in that set) to set a goal for this one:


(5:00 kick for distance + 200 ez free) @9:00

Divide the swimmers into two teams — the team that successfully achieves their 5:00 goal the most times wins (think of a good reward for winning).

15- Minute Kick for Distance Test Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This is one of my favorite kick sets. For each of the blue times, the swimmer is trying to kick as far as possible. I use a wrench banging on the side of the pool to tell each successive group when their time is up. When they have completed the time, they pick their head up and check their distance (I have set kickboards on the side of the pool every 5m/yards) to the nearest meter. Returning to the wall, they immediately start the 200 ez.

The goal for 2:10= 2x the achieved 1:00 Distance.

Goal for 4:30 = 2x the 2:10 distance

Goal for 4:20 = beat the 4:30 distance.

Goal for 2:00 = beat the 2:10 distance.

Goal for :50 = beat the 1:00 distance.

Total time kicked is 15:00, so we write down the distances and add them up for total distance kicked in 15:00.

Broken 400 Kick For Time

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This kick set worked well with the wide range of kicking speeds in our group. Swimmers aim for the fastest total 400 time (25+50+75+100+75+50+25=400), always doing a 50 easy on a :50 interval. 6 easy 50s means there is a total of 5:00 “active recovery” in the total set. Coach can start the watch and just subtract 5:00 from the total time at the end of the second 25. We had swimmers pick one kick (stroke) for the first round and then they can change for the 2nd round.

Underwater Kicking Power & Lightning Speed Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We did this set at the end of a long practice that included dryland that was heavy on the legs and a long kick set. The goal was to work some underwater power and then get some “lightning speed” underwater kicks at the end of each round. It worked well, with a few of our swimmers setting personal bests & team records at the 25m underwater kicking distance.

For the part written in green, one athlete wore the belt/cord and a partner stood on the deck and held the cord to provide the resistance.

Turn and Racing Technique Workout for Age Groupers

Mike Cook, Mason Makos

This is the workout we did for 12 and unders before the last qualifier heading into JO’s.  A little bit of everything. Hope it helps -Coach Mike


12×75 (50 free/25 back) @1:20

All open turns emphasizing throwing our hips and legs into wall fast with good head position.

12×25 kick (25 easy choice/25 fast free)@35

Main set

12×35@1:15 (all choice) start at 10 meter. Execute perfect turn 4 fast strokes out of turn.  Nothing good happens near the wall if we slow down

12×15 fast free no breath

(Alternate through these)

Kick set to emphasize short bursts at end of races with partners

Go to the 10 as a group.  Now go to the 15. Now to the wall

Cycle through 12 times

Repeat the main cycle but with 4 main stroke and 2 free

Repeat kick cycle 6 times but go to the 15. Than go to wall. Last one the whole 25 fast

Main set 2 racing the 100. Do with fins


2×100 free @2:00

1×25 easy kick on back

Strong first 25 and race that middle 50 and get home. Don’t be afraid of the race accept the challenge

4×25 from a dive walk around. One each stroke. All out with great finishes.No fins.  (Backstroke big girl/boy finishes)

Mid-D Free and Kick Set with Coach Jeb Beaver of Monocacy Aquatic Club

Jeb Beaver
Monocacy Aquatic Club

Mid Distance

10 x 100
1)       25 kick fast 75 swim mod 1:40
2)       50 kick fast 50 swim
3)       75 kick fast 25 swim
4)       100 kick fast
5)       75 kick fast 25 swim
6)       50 kick fast 50 swim
7)       25 kick fast 75 swim
8)       100 swim easy
9)       100 @ 500 pace
10)   100 kick all out
200 easy

500 Free Set UP!

100, 200 , 300 , 400 = make the interval with enough rest to hit pace times
Non milers Guys 31 or faster for mile Girls 34 or faster

100 @ 1:20 or 1:30
4 x 50 @mile pace 40
200 @ 2:20 or 2:30
4 x 50 @ mile pace 45
300 @ 3:20 or 3:30
4 x 50 @ mile pace 50
400 @ 4:20 or 4:30
4 x 50 @ mile pace 55
Rest 1 min
500 Free all out

Broken 175s for Kicking Prowess

Ryan Woodruff

Lynchburg YMCA

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This set is designed to encourage swimmers to practice strong kicking through the middle and end of 200 events. Time the total round (50+75+50), with the goal being to beat one’s lifetime best 200 time. Typically, breaststrokers and flyers will have the easiest time achieving this goal.

6x through @ 4:00:

50 fast swim
:10 rest
75 fast kick with a board
:10 rest
50 fast swim

Swimming Fast with Tired Legs

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We don’t do a lot of kick sets in isolation as I don’t think it relates well to racing.  This is one example of a set where we combined some intense kicking with race-pace swimming.  We did this is a 25m pool. The 50 at 200 pace is significantly harder with fatigued legs, but this is an absolutely essential skill to swim a good 200 race. FPA = Fastest Possible Average
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