How To Swim Breaststroke

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Top tips that have the most effect...

Is it time to change the way you learn how to swim breaststroke? Are you frustrated with pulling and kicking and feeling like you're getting nowhere fast? Or maybe you are getting somewhere but are exhausted in the process. 

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

Top 12 tips to smoother breaststroke swimming techniquePoor breaststroke swimming technique will get you nowhere

Breaststroke technique in 2 minutes...



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 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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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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Breaststroke parts in more detail...


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.' 

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Breathing Technique For Breaststroke Not rated yet
I need some help with the breathing technique for breaststroke. I signed up for swimming lessons a few months ago and I'm at lesson 12 but still can't …

Swimming Breaststroke With Head Above The Water Not rated yet
I am currently trying to master the breaststroke. In between lessons I go back to the pool 1 - 2 times a week to practice. From watching other swimmers …

Breaststroke Arms Get Tired Not rated yet
I can’t really swim. I can only swim in about 2ft of water because when my breaststroke arms get tired I put them on the floor. How can I stop my arms …

Timing of Breaststroke Swimming Not rated yet
Why is the timing of Breaststroke swimming important? Breaststroke is the least efficient of the four basic swimming strokes. This is because of …

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