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Breaststroke Swimming Technique

Which part are you getting wrong?

Breaststroke swimming technique is the oldest and slowest of the four basic swimming strokes.  It is also the most inefficient of all strokes, which is what makes it the slowest.

Propulsion from the arms and legs is an alternate action that takes place under the water. The arm and leg actions for this stroke are relatively wide, causing resistance against movement.  A large frontal resistance area is created as the heels draw up towards the seat and the breathing technique inclines the body position also increasing resistance.

These are the main reasons that make this stroke inefficient and slow.  The powerful leg kick, followed by a brief glide give the stroke some momentary efficiency and a some forward movement.

Breaststroke Swimming Parts In More Detail

Click or touch on an image for more information.

For some specific exercises that focus on each part of the stroke, click here.

Propulsion from the arm pull and leg kick is a consecutive action that takes place under the water.

A large frontal resistance area is created as the heels draw up towards the seat and the breathing technique inclines the body position also increasing resistance.  These are the main reasons that make this stroke inefficient and slow.

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Ideal For Adult Beginners

This stroke is normally one of the first strokes to be taught, especially to adults, as the head and face is clear of the water, giving the swimmer a greater perception of their whereabouts and their buoyancy. 

There are variations in the overall technique, ranging from a slow recreational style to a more precise competitive style.

How Can I Make My Swimming Stroke Smooth?

It is the 'pull, breathe, kick, glide' sequence that gives the overall stroke it's smooth, effortless flow. 

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

The arm action should also be simultaneous and flowing and overall provides the smallest propulsive phase of the four strokes.

Body position should be as flat and streamlined as possible with an inclination from the head to the feet so that the leg kick recovery takes place under the water.

The stroke action gives a natural body lift which gives the ideal breathing point with each stroke and a streamlined body position during the timing sequence of the arm and leg action is essential to capitalise on the propulsive phases of the stroke.

You will find some simple yet effective exercises to improve your breaststroke swimming in my book 'How To Swim Breaststroke'. Click here to download a free sample and take a look.

Alternatively click here for some basic technical exercises.

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