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Breaststroke Kick Technique

How good is your leg kick?

Breaststroke kick is the powerhouse of breaststroke swimming stroke. Get this wrong and you go nowhere.  

Breaststroke Made Easy

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Breaststroke Made Easy

"Made me correct some bad habits I didn't know I had. Absolutely brilliant!"

$4.99

Click for more info

The leg action provides the largest amount of propulsion in the stroke and swimmers will favour a wedge kick or a whip kick depending on which comes most naturally.  Either way, the kick is a vital component of the timing and coordination of the overall stroke.

For an in-depth look at all aspects of breaststroke together with some simple practical exercises to help perfect the technique, download How To Swim Breaststroke.  

Click here to download your copy.

During breast stroke it is important for a swimmer or swimming teacher to recognise the difference between the wedge kick and the whip kick.

Get Power From Your Breaststroke Kick

Correct technique is essential for maximising the propulsion and momentum gained from a good leg kick.

For a whip kick, the legs kick in a whip-like action with the knees remaining close together. For a wedge kick the legs kick in a wider, more deliberate circular path.

The leg kick as a whole should be a simultaneous and flowing action, providing the majority of the propulsion.

Overhead view of breaststroke leg kick technique.

Knees bend as the heels are drawn up towards the seat and toes are turned out ready for the heels and soles of the feet to drive the water backwards.

Turning the feet out and exposing the soles of the feet to the water gives a larger surface area from which to provide power for the kick than if the toes and feet remained pointed backwards.

The legs sweep outwards, around and slightly downwards in a flowing circular path, accelerating as they kick and return together and straight, providing a streamlined body position.

Click on a stroke part below for more in-depth details.

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Common Leg Kick Mistakes

The feet cause most of the problems when it comes to kicking.  Failure to turn the feet out will result in a lack of power and that feeling of going nowhere.  

Failure to turn out both feet and only turning out one foot will result in something known as a screw kick.  This is where one leg kicks correctly and the other swings around providing no propulsion at all.  

The best exercise for correcting these common faults is to swim on your back (supine) with a woggle or noodle held under the arms for support.  Then the swimmer is able to sit up slightly and watch their own leg kick as they perform it.

Breaststroke leg kick technique

Kicking in slow motion at first making a conscious effort to turn out both feet and ensure both legs and feet are symmetrical is best before attempting to add power.

Fine-tune your leg kick with these simple exercises

Download these documents to your computer, tablet or mobile device and fine-tune your breaststroke leg kick.  The exercises below are designed to isolate the leg kick action so that you can focus on the included tips and technique points. 

Holding the poolside

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Supine with a noodle under arms

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Holding a float under each arm

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Holding one float out in front

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Supine with hands on hips

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Prone with arms in front

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Holding vertical float

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Click here for more breaststroke exercises.

All of these documents are PDF format and are compatible with all tablet and mobile devices.  Some computers may need PDF reading software such as Adobe Acrobat.

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