Tip Of The Week. - The Kick
In open water swimming or endurance swimming the main goal of the kick is to assist in maintaining a good body position in the water to reduce drag. In the below picture you can see how streamline the swimmer is with the blue line indicating the water level (lane rope).Good kicking technique is about kicking with a relatively straight knee with the kicking movement being driven from the hips. Your ankles should be relaxed, toes pointed and turned in slightly so that you may find that the big toes are gently tapping against each other throughout the kick cycle.
One of the main issues I see with the kick of those new to swimming as well as some that aren't that new is that they are kicking from the knee which causes them to get out of breath quickly and therefore they find freestyle much harder than it should be. The knee kick tends to cause the body to sink in the water creating more drag than necessary as can be seen in the below picture. One of the leading causes of kicking with a bent knee is a lack of awareness of how you should be kicking whilst swimming. It can also be caused by poor flexibility in the leg muscles and ankles.