Originally Posted by efdoucette
... It's a little embarrassing to be kicking and not moving. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
My advice would be not to get hung up on it as it's just a means to an end imo. Luckily, in freestyle the kick is a steering device more than a source of propulsion (in TI anyway).
It seems to me obvious that the uplift of the kicking leg has to create less drag than the kick itself, but that, for instance in backstroke, it is very easy for the uplift to create MORE drag than the kick delivers propulsion. If you think about it the leg's calf is streamlined toward the shin not the other way around (the shin is pointy and the calf muscle is bulging). When I just float on my back and then start kicking I find it can quickly brake my movement. It can easily feels as if kicking is counterproductive. I don't worry about it as it doesn't seem important. Kicking is for rotation and balance more than for propulsion.
However I think ... that not only does the kick need to come from the hips but it needs to be a little whiplike, not just straight. If you imagine a submarine with a leg for propulsion shaped like a human leg that simply moved up and down in an arc I think it would move backwards! The movements also need to be small (well I guess that's why it's called flutter kick!) i.e occuring entirely within a small arc of movement maybe no more than 10'.