Secret to Perfect Breaststroke Technique: What You Need to Know

05/12/2019

While breaststroke is arguably one of the most commonly used strokes, it is also one of the badly executed strokes by swimmers, beginners and experienced. It is also the most technical out of all the strokes and just like the others, the goal is to be as efficient as you can be. To add, it may be considered one of the slowest strokes, as it is the least streamlined, involving perfect timing and a strong kick.

In this post, we will be spilling the beans to the secret to perfect breaststroke technique. Pay close attention, as this guide will help you master the breaststroke technique. Hopefully, you get to apply what you will learn here once you have finished reading this article. Keep reading if you want to know more.

The Secret to Perfect Breaststroke Technique

It is important that you are aware of your face position, wherein your feet and hands are in collaboration and in a straight line. When doing the breaststroke, it is very important that you have a wide distance for every stroke. Experienced swimmers do a tremendous amount of work, especially on stroke count, in which you won’t need to make unnecessary head movements while your body travels quickly below the water’s surface.

When doing breaststroke, the majority of the force originates from a pairing of the arms and legs. With the arms, you may make it look at it more on the propeller type, with sweeping motions instead of push and pull, like you would in butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle.

If you would notice, experienced swimmers incorporate feet movement that is predominantly backward. It is also noteworthy that the flexibility of your ankle is advantageous, as well as knee joint and hip mobility. When you are breathing, you surely would want to move along with every stroke instead of having to perform a different head movement. Some swimmers do the arm stroke to catch the water while his neck, back, and body moves instead of your head bobbing down and up just to take a breath. In addition, it is essential to look at your front when breathing, without much nodding and involvement with stroke length.

Modern-day breaststrokers recover their hands near the water’s surface. In fact, several popular breaststrokers carry their hands, right above the surface. To add, some try to get their hands up in the front portion of their chin while keeping them as close to the surface as possible, while they recover forward to a full extension.

At the beginning of your stroke, you may opt to put pressure upwards, creating a widened position wherein your head come up to breath. In result, the breath comes at the start of the in-sweeping motion of your stroke. Once your kick is towards completion, you may notice acceleration on the feet. With this, you are exacting more power due to your kicking motion. It should be noted, however, that while some swimmers cut their kicks short or don’t bring their legs together, we think that this only causes inefficiency.

The best breaststrokers have their hips near the water’s surface. After the first extension, they press their hands outwards, catching the water from a now wider position, just outside your shoulder. In this position, your in-sweep motion begins. This may just be the most propulsive component of doing the technique. Once the in-sweep happens, your head is moving up to breathe; then after you breathe, it is vital that you recover your hands forward. It is also important that you get your hands forward and back to the frontal or base position.

Some Tips That Will Help You Improve the Breaststroke Technique

While in the water

  • To be better on this technique, your head must be facing forward and is in a straight line along with the rest of your body.
  • You also should remember to keep your legs, shoulders, and hips in a horizontal position. However, don’t forget to slope the body a little, which allows your leg kick to remain under the water.
  • In case you didn’t know, the leg kick mostly uses your abdomen muscles. With this, it is important to prevent your hips from dropping into the water. In addition, your legs must always be right behind you instead of below you.
  • Lastly, you should try keeping your shoulders and neck relaxed to help the arm movement while reducing strain. It may also be helpful if you look in a downward position when you glide. This technique effectively avoids straining the neck.

Timing

  • It is imperative that go know how good timing of the leg kick and arm action helps you improve the breaststroke.
  • With this, try timing your leg kick and arm action, which allows you to propel in the water.
  • Your arms will certainly be propulsive when your legs recover. Meanwhile, your legs become propulsive when your hands are recovering.

Breathing

  • To breathe, you may try lifting your shoulder when you carry your face to the surface. Prevent raising your head and let your head rise naturally with your shoulders. This allows your chin to rest just right above the surface of the water.
  • Try to lift your head instead of your shoulders only leads to pain in your back. It also potentially lowers your hips, but may also increase resistance.
  • You may also try inhaling using your mouth prior to letting the shoulders drop when you sweep using your arms. In addition, exhalation generally occurs in the glide.

Turning

  • When turning, your hands must be able to get ahold of the wall at, below, or above the water’s surface.
  • You may also try rotating your body when your hips pike, feet plant, and knees tuck.
  • Try moving your hand over the head, which effectively spears and pushes through the water when you kick the wall.
  • It would also be helpful for you if you stay parallel and streamlined to the surface of the water.
  • To improve the breaststroke technique, you may also try to keep your hands as close to your body, while you return your arms to your head’s front while powerfully kicking, which effectively continues momentum.

Conclusion

As mentioned, breaststroke is one of the strokes, in which it is very easy to do the stroke poorly but a great challenge to do it correctly. When teaching or developing an athlete, we do think it is very important that you focus on how to do the stroke well, slowly but surely, instead of doing lots of it poorly. With this guide, we hope that you will be able to apply this new knowledge to improve your breaststroke technique.

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