Legs Sink When Swimming Breaststroke

My problem is that my legs sink when swimming breaststroke. While I was doing the breaststroke, my legs sank whenever, after I kicked. Is it because my kick is not strong enough?

Thanks for contacting me with a question about your breaststroke technique.

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.

The power of the kick is vital for maintaining the movement and momentum of the stroke, and the majority of the drive of the stroke should come from the leg kick. Correct body position and a smooth glide will also help maintain momentum and reduce or prevent your legs from sinking.

Ensure that when you kick, you drive your heels back and around in a whip-like action. The surface area of the underside of each foot and your heel should be facing backwards as if pushing away from the pool wall. That way, they can push on the water to provide maximum power.

basic breaststroke leg kick technique

To help strengthen your leg kick, try kicking whilst holding a kickboard or float. Hold the kickboard in both hands with arms out straight in front of you. Try not to bare your weight on the kickboard at all. Instead, relax and allow it to float.

If you find this tricky, you can try the exercise with two kickboards, one held under each arm.

Do not be put off if you feel you are not moving. The kickboards provide resistance to the front, and therefore, they are an excellent way of helping to increase leg kick strength.

After each whip-like leg kick, the feet should be pointed backwards and inline to provide a streamlined shape as they glide. If the feet remain turned out or toes remain turned up after the legs come together, they will cause drag and almost certainly sink.

If possible, ensure you submerge your face with each stroke or at least keep your chin on the water surface and your eyes facing forwards and not upwards. This will encourage and flatter and, therefore, more streamlined body position.


Although breaststroke can swim with the body at an angle in the water, if the angle is too steep, this results in increased frontal resistance. Combine this with a weak leg kick,, and you will go nowhere fast!

My ebook How To Swim Breaststroke contains over 20 separate swimming exercises to help all parts of breaststroke, including breathing and timing. You can download it, print out the parts you need and take them to your pool to try out. Click the link below for more information.

The Simple Breaststroke Book

How To Swim Breaststroke with ease and confidence.
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