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A well-executed breaststroke timing sequence is key to achieving a smooth and efficient swimming stroke. Get it right, and you will effortlessly glide through the water.
Breaststroke timing and coordination is a continuous alternating action, where one propulsive phase takes over as one ends.
Incorrect timing will make good leg kick and arm techniques cancel each other out and render them ineffective.
The timing and coordination for breaststroke can be summed up with the following sequence:
Pull - Breathe - Kick - Glide
A good way of practising the timing sequence is to perform it in slow motion. Forget trying to cover any distance at first and practice each part, one at a time.
In a short time, you will find the pieces all falling into place and you swimming along without really trying.
FREE EBOOK: all of the technique tips here can be found in my 'Breaststroke Technique' book, along with a couple of bonus drills to help you perfect some essential parts of the stroke.
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If remembering the sequence and getting it together is tricky, try 'kicking your hands forwards'. In other words, as your legs kick back in their circular action, your arms should be stretching forwards.
A streamlined body position at the end of the timing sequence is essential to capitalise on the propulsive phases of the stroke.
Consider breaststroke timing in another way: when the arms are pulling in their propulsive phase, the legs are together and streamlined, and when the legs are kicking to provide propulsion, the arms are streamlined.
Full body extension, where the legs and arms are together and streamlined, is essential for the glide phase before the next stroke cycle.
As breaststroke is a simultaneous stroke, it is common to kick with the legs and pull with the arms at the same time.
The result will be a very inefficient swimming stroke as the arms and legs counteract each other.
To ensure the timing and coordination of the arms and legs are correct, the swimmer must focus on performing an arm pull followed by a leg kick or on 'kicking their hands forwards'. In other words, as their legs kick around and back, their arms must extend forwards.
Correct timing ensures that the arms and legs work efficiently and are extended together during the glide phase.
You've got a better understanding of the timing and coordination, so now fine-tune your arm pull and leg kick techniques and discover a smooth, effortless swimming stroke. 'How To Swim Breaststroke' has got you covered.
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