How To Swim Breaststroke

Top tips that have the most effect...

As an adult learning how to swim breaststroke, your chances of success are very high. Breaststroke is the most effortless swimming stroke to learn when you're an adult, but it doesn't come without frustrations. You could be pulling and kicking and feeling like you're getting nowhere fast or getting somewhere but are exhausted in the process. 

Look no further. I have taken breaststroke technique and broken it down into separate parts to make it clear to see what each part of your body should be doing. 

In the video clip below, watch how the arms pull the head up to breathe, and the legs kick the head down to exhale while the stroke remains smooth and seamless.

Breaststroke technique in 2 minutes...

Breaststroke parts in more detail...

12 Steps to Better Breaststroke Technique

1.  The stroke begins with the body in a stretched out, horizontal position with the face in the water. 

2.  The upper body lifts as the arms pull, and the head lifts to breathe.

breaststroke body position basic technique

3. Breaststroke leg kick takes place under the water and begins with the legs in an extended position with feet together.

4. The knees bend to bring the heels towards the butt, and the feet flex into an outward turned position simultaneously.

FREE EBOOK:  all 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.

Don't miss out!  Click here to grab a FREE copy of my book. 

Basic breaststroke leg kick technique

5. With the feet now turned outwards, they accelerate in a curved pathway, with the soles of the feet exposed to the water to provide propulsion.

6. The feet then snap together, and the legs finish together to form a streamlined shape.

Breaststroke leg kick action showing circular whip kick

7. The arms begin extended out front with palms facing downwards.

8. The arms then pull in a circular movement, outwards and downwards, followed by a movement inwards and forwards.

9. The hands finish together with extended arms and elbows tucked in to maintain a streamlined shape.

Breaststroke arm technique for beginners

10.  Breathing inwards takes place every time the arms pull back to allow the body to lift and the head to rise.

11.  Breathing outwards occurs as the legs kick back and the arms extend forwards - think 'blow your hands forwards'.

12.  The coordination of the stroke can be broken down into a repeated pattern of 'pull, breathe, kick, glide'. 

How To Swim Breaststroke With A Simple Guidebook

If you are serious about improving your breaststroke swimming technique, then grab a copy of my book 'How To Swim Breaststroke'.

This unbelievably popular book contains simple drills and pro coaching points to fine-tune your technique.  

Click below to download my book today. 

How To Swim Breaststroke with ease and confidence.
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I have problems swimming relaxed breaststroke. 'The breathing technique for breaststroke occurs every stroke and should be an inhalation above the water and an exhalation below or across the water's surface.'

Please explain when to inhale and exhale for breaststroke. 'Inhaling and exhaling during breaststroke, or any swimming stroke for that matter, should always occur through the mouth and not the nose.'

My problem is that my legs sink when swimming breaststroke. 'You could be right in your assumption that your breaststroke leg kick is not strong enough, and that is the cause of your legs sinking as you swim.'

I'm having difficulty breathing in breaststroke. I've learnt to swim the strokes underwater, and now I have to come up to breathe, and I'm finding it hard. 'The breaststroke breathing technique is enormously frustrating for an adult to learn because, in theory, it’s a simple action. Yet, physically, it’s tricky to get the hang of, especially for an adult.' 

I'm having a lot of difficulty working out why my legs sink when swimming breaststroke.  'The majority of the power and momentum for breaststroke comes from the leg kick. The whip action of the circular kick gives the boost to not only move along but to remain at or near the water surface.'

I would like some tips on how to swim breaststroke with more speed. 'The propulsion for breaststroke comes from having a powerful leg kick, but speed over a longer distance comes from the glide phase of the stroke.'

How can I learn breaststroke easily and which swimming stroke is best to learn first?  'Breaststroke is usually the best stroke to learn first especially if you are an adult beginner to swimming.' 

How can I stop my arms from getting tired, and how can I swim in a little bit deeper water Help! 'Two issues need to be addressed here. Firstly you need to build up your confidence with swimming in deeper water and secondly, there needs to be a change made to your breaststroke technique.'

I need some help with the breathing technique for breaststroke. 'Very frustrating not being able to get your head above the water's surface and, therefore, not being able to breathe!'

Why is the timing of Breaststroke swimming important?  'Breaststroke is the least efficient of the four basic swimming strokes. This is because of the wide leg kick and arm pull, and the overall body position creates a large frontal resistance.'

I am trying to learn to swim breaststroke with my head above the water. 'A smooth, effortless breaststroke swum with the head above the water surface comes from being completely relaxed during the stroke and having a body position that is angled slightly with the legs and feet deeper in the water.'

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