You know your breaststroke body position is in good shape when you find yourself gliding effortlessly through the water. Is that not happening for you?
It's not just about your position relative to the water surface. It's also about the 'shape' that you create as you pull and kick.
Are you looking for that smooth, effortless technique? Read on.
The body 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 head movement should be kept to a minimum, and the shoulders should remain level throughout the stroke.
The main aim should be good streamlining; however, the underwater recovery movements of the arms and legs, together with lifting the head to breathe, all compromise the overall body position.
To reduce resistance created by these movements, as the propulsive phase of an arm pull or leg kick takes place, the opposite end of the body remains still and streamlined.
In other words, as the legs kick to provide propulsion, the arms should be extending forwards to create the optimum streamlined body position at the front.
Similarly, as the arms pull around, the legs should be in their glide phase to create the same streamlined body position at the back.
It is common for beginners to have a more significantly angled body position with the legs deeper underwater. This is especially the case for nervous beginners cautious about lifting their feet from the pool floor.
The most common mistake with the body position for breaststroke is being too flat in the water. The cause is usually the face becoming submerged too much, causing the hips, legs and feet to rise to the surface.
Submerging the head too much could then make lifting the face to the front to breathe more difficult. It could also lead to the feet breaking the water's surface as they kick and therefore losing power.
The angled body position can be perfected with a simple push and glide exercise. Push and glide from the poolside with the head and face up above the water surface. You can use buoyancy aids for this exercise if you need them.
Arm pull and leg kick techniques and breathing and coordination help maintain an effective breaststroke body position. My book 'How To Swim Breaststroke' has it all in hand.
Download my book today!