In order to swim in an efficient manner or while doing light exercises, it is required that you coordinate your stroke with a suitable kick. While some strokes make use of a flutter kick, only one employs the scissor kick. FitnessVigil discusses both these techniques in detail.
Did You Know?
Sidestroke that employs the scissor kick is no longer used by competitive swimmers.
As far as swimming goes, flutter and scissor kicks are different styles of swimming. In the context of exercises, these are abdominal exercises designed to reduce belly fat. The following FitnessVigil article explains the difference between flutter and scissor kicks in the context of swimming and exercise.
Flutter Vs. Scissor Kicks
Flutter Kicks – Freestyle
When it comes to doing a freestyle stroke or a backstroke in swimming, one cannot forget the flutter kick. You simply cannot execute these strokes without knowing the flutter kick. When done correctly, this kick pushes you forward through the water even without moving the arms. The lessons of the basics of freestyle swimming are first started off by teaching the flutter kickwith a kick board.
The flutter kick is characterized by alternating upward and downward motion of legs with slight bending of the knees. Thus, while swimming using the flutter kick, your right leg should move upward, when your left leg moves downward. When executing the flutter kick, make sure that your feet do not rise above the surface of the water. So, your feet shouldn’t make a splash when your legs are moving up and down. Thus, the legs move in a wave-like fashion that generate propulsion.
As aforementioned, the flutter kick generates a force that helps you navigate through water. The kick generates enough power to allow you to swim at a high speed. No wonder, among all the swimming strokes, the freestyle stroke that uses the flutter kick covers distances in the shortest amount of time.
Scissor Kicks – Sidestroke
The scissor kick, on the other hand, is used in sidestroke. It is also called the relaxed stroke because there are no vigorous movements, and one can even have a conversation while executing the stroke. The scissor kick has to be executed in 2 steps: (i) the kick; and (ii) the glide. The kick generates the thrust needed to move in the forward direction. The more the thrust that is generated, the more time you get to glide. Simply put, a powerful kick will allow you to glide for a longer duration. Unlike flutter kick that involves continuous movement of legs, the ‘glide’ phase of the scissor kick does not require the swimmer to move his legs.
Flutter kick exercises are often recommended to reduce belly fat and to build abdominal muscles. The following exercise when done regularly provides core strength and helps tone up the thighs and calf muscles.
Start the exercise by resting on your back with your hand placed below the buttocks with your head up. Your hands should form a fist with the thumbs facing up. The legs should be in an elevated position with the feet 6 inches above the floor. Now, move the right leg upwards by a few inches, without raising the left leg. In the next step, lower the right leg, and at the same time, raise the left leg. Continue this alternating up-and-down movement of the legs, with the knees slightly bent and the feet 6 inches off the floor.
Scissor kicks are a great way to build and strengthen the abdominals. This is one of the best abs workout that engages different muscle groups to give you a ripped core and improve postural integrity. Here’s how to do it:
The starting position of flutter and scissor kick exercise is the same, i.e., lying on the back with head raised, hands below the buttocks, and legs elevated. Now, instead of raising the left or right leg a few inches up, you have to move the leg straight up, perpendicular to the floor plane. Now, lower the leg to its starting position, and while it is brought down, move the other leg up. Repeat this leg movement until you feel tired.