Breaststroke is a swimming style in which the swimmer is on his or her chest and the torso does not rotate. It is the most popular recreational style due to the swimmer’s head being out of the water a large portion of the time, and that it can swim comfortably at slow speeds. In most swimming classes, beginners learn either the breaststroke swimming or the front crawl first. However, at competition level, swimming breaststroke at speed requires comparable endurance and strength to other strokes. Some people refer to breaststroke swimming as the “frog” stroke, as the arms and legs move somewhat like a frog swimming in the water. The stroke itself is the slowest of any competitive strokes and thought to be the oldest of all swimming strokes.
THE UNDERWATER PHASE OF BREASTSTROKE SWIMMING
Don’t rush through this! Hold your streamlining and only go from one movement to the next when you feel a deceleration. Stay in a tight long shape and don’t look for the surface when you’re ready to swim!
To have an efficient glide your head must be face down in the water with your arms extended out in front with hands together. The more streamlined and narrow your body is, the faster and more efficiently it will move through the water.
The timing of the pull, kick and glide are essential to giving breaststroke some efficiency. One of the most common mistakes people make with breaststroke timing is to pull and kick at the same time. This results in very slow movement through the water.
Keep your elbows in tension at the front of your recovery. On your out skull, keep your hands shallow and don’t bend your elbows. On your inscull, your elbows lead and should slam into the side of your ribs!
- Shoot Your Arms Forward
This will help set your pace and tempo in the water. If you focus on getting your hands out in front of you, then you can start the next stroke to keep you moving forward quicker. Of course, you must remember to make sure your kick keeps up!
- Timing is Everything
You want your arms to be catching the water while your heels are coming up to your hips. Sometimes the timing of the arms and legs are off. To fix this I think about “kicking my arms forward”.
“POWERFUL” KICK TO SUPPORT FULL STROKE
POINT 1: Draw your heels up towards your bottom, but don’t let your heels pop out of the water
POINT 2: Focus on your thigh not dropping under you as it creates a lot of resistance
MUST READ:- How to reduce Frontal Drag
POINT 3: Use the inside of your calf muscle as the propulsive surface
POINT 4: Kick back and down – and squeeze up!
POINT 5: Kick is relatively small. Heels come up “wide” toward butt, kick together finishing with feet “kissing” (do not bring heels up together and kick out).
POINT 6: Remember to have fingertips touch heels to encourage “wide” kick recovery. Do not hinge at the waist.
The propulsion for breaststroke swimming comes from having a powerful leg kick, but speed over a longer distance comes from the glide phase of the stroke.
Firstly develop the power and technique of your leg kick by kicking whilst holing onto a float or kick board. Ensure your leg kick is complete by bringing your feet together and straightening out your legs at the end of each kick phase. Each kick should be a powerful whip action, keeping your knees relatively close together.
The power and strength of your leg kick can be enhanced and improved by holding the float in a vertical position in the water. This will add frontal resistance and make the exercise more intense and therefore will force your legs to have to kick with more power and work harder.