Better Freestyle with Side Kick, Russian Number, and The Brick

by SwimSwam 2

November 10th, 2015 Gear, Industry, News, Video

Courtesy of James Fike, inventor of THE BRICK

The Brick (courtesy of Fike Swim Products)Getting faster is never just about training harder, you have to train smarter too. This means improving inefficiencies in your stroke. The focus is often on body position and head position as the main offenders but the arms are key players as well. They play a critical role in all four strokes for two reasons. The first one is obvious- pulling you through the water. The second is less obvious- staying out of the way!

When your arms re-enter the water after each stroke they should extend forward through the water like surfboards riding the surface, not angled down towards the bottom. Diving the arms down creates an angle of resistance that catches water, slows you down, and forces you to take more strokes and burn more energy than you need to. It also pushes up on your upper body, lowering your hips and legs and making it more difficult to productively kick.

Watch the video on how to fix this common bad habit and try the workout below. You can also visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our complete library of training and technical videos, as well as like our Facebook page for written workouts and tips.

4 Rounds:

4 x 25 yards/meters Side Kick with The Brick
50 easy working on keeping the arms up out front
50 Russian Number

DRILLS in the video:

1. Side Kick = kicking with one hand laying on The Brick and the other at your side, head tucked against the outstretched arm and looking down

2. Russian Number = stroke count + time for a 50 yards/meters.

Alternatives to The Brick include a regular board and also paddles. But the problem with a regular board is that it has very high buoyancy and will push up on your arm, making the drill easier and less effective at giving your arms new muscle memory. And paddles are strapped to your hand, again making the drill easier and less effective by reducing feel and the need for your arm and hand to make proper adjustments to ride the water.

THE BRICK is the world’s first-ever weighted kickboard. At 6lbs it turns any kick set into a total body workout that actually improves a swimmer’s body position in the water—even after the kicking is done. Some of the biggest names in swimming have adopted The Brick, including 6 of the top 20 Division I college teams.

Developed by Fike Swim Products, The Brick is a patent-pending board that floats just enough to support its own weight, so it sinks when a swimmer rests his/her arms on top, forcing the swimmer’s core, upper body, and legs to work to maintain body position on top of the water while kicking.  The Brick elevates any traditional kick set, plus it can be used for submerged kick sets, vertical kicking, and other drills that aren’t possible with a traditional, hyper-buoyant board.

But The Brick isn’t just about faster kicking, it’s about faster swimming. After using The Brick a swimmer feels higher in the water, like they’re swimming downhill, and is more aware of their body position long after the set is over.

USA Swimming coaches have had this to say about The Brick:

“It’s awesome. One of the best pieces of equipment I have used since the snorkel. Love how it enables you to kick in a natural position. You feel your core immediately. Great job with this.”

– Coach Bob Y.

“The shipment came in after practice so I tried them out for an IM kick set. Loved it but will be very sore. I have never been one to coordinate dolphin kick with a kick board but it felt very natural with the Brick.”

– Coach Matt L.

The Brick has benefits for every stroke:

BREASTSTROKERS feel faster heel speed and a more powerful kick that drives straight back;

BUTTERFLIERS and BACKSTROKERS can easily stay submerged for underwater kick sets; and

FREESTYLERS and BACKSTROKERS who try to sandbag a kick set with limp legs will sink!

The Brick is for swimmers of all types and levels, from novice to professional, from the lap swimmer to the triathlete to the synchro swimmer working on their skulls and egg beaters.

For more information on how The Brick can transform your swimming, check out our YouTube channel and website, and like us on Facebook.

European customers can sign up at to be notified when The Brick is available there.

The Brick (courtesy of Fike Swim Products)

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 9.05.24 AMAbout Fike Swim Products

Fike Swim Products was born when founder James Fike put a brick on top of a kickboard and transformed just another legs-only kick set into a total body workout felt into the next day. Since then it’s been our mission to create unique swim equipment with the single-minded goal of making you faster. We don’t sell toys. We create tools to help you reach your potential.

About Founder James Fike

James Fike has always had a passion for swimming. He started swimming competitively at age 5, ultimately training under Eddie Reese at The University of Texas from 1999-2003 where he had the privilege of swimming alongside some of the greatest swimmers in the history of the sport. James has continued swimming through all the phases of his life- from working as an investment banker, to getting his MBA back at UT, and back to working in corporate America. Finally, his passion for the sport led him to opening The Fort Worth Swim School, which teaches students of all ages and abilities and works to foster his same lifelong love for the sport.

Now, what started with a brick and kickboard and a drive for always finding new ways to grow in the pool, has become Fike Swim Products, a company dedicated to helping you Train Different!

James Fike, creator of The Brick

James Fike, creator of The Brick

Swimming News is courtesy of Fike Swim Products, a SwimSwam partner.


  1. Aikeimi says:

    When, where, how can we get the Brick in Australia? Really keen to try it out!

    • Fike Swim says:

      Hi Aikeimi, we’re working on our Australia store currently but don’t have a timeline for opening yet. We’ll post updates to our facebook page so be sure to like it. We’re definitely excited about Australia, it’s one of the best swimming communities in the world! Stay tuned.

Leave a Reply

Name will be published. Email address will not. By commenting you agree to our Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!