Swim Breaststroke With More Speed
I would like some tips on how to swim breaststroke with more speed. Which parts of my breaststroke technique could I change to gain 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.
Firstly develop the power and technique of your leg kick by kicking whilst holing onto a float or kick board. Ensure your leg kick is complete by bringing your feet together and straightening out your legs at the end of each kick phase. Each kick should be a powerful whip action, keeping your knees relatively close together.
The power and strength of your leg kick can be enhanced and improved by holding the float in a vertical position in the water. This will add frontal resistance and make the exercise more intense and therefore will force your legs to have to kick with more power and work harder.
Next ensure that your arms are fully extended at the end of each arm pull phase. The circular motion of the arm action should be a small circle just in front of you. A common mistake is to pull wide and allow the hands to pull past the shoulders. Fully extending the arms and hands after each arm pull will ensure that the maximum distance is covered with each stroke.
Correct timing ensures an effective glide phase.
The glide phase occurs just after the legs kick back and round and arms extend forward. Wait momentarily and glide to a second or two with arms together and feet together in a streamlined position in the water.
A good swimming exercise for improving breaststroke timing and body position is to swim using two leg kicks and one arm pull cycles. In other words swim a breaststroke cycle normally (pull, breathe, kick, glide) and then hold the glide position with the arms and add an additional leg kick.
You can experiment with gliding for different lengths of time. The longer the glide, the less strokes it will take to get to the end of the pool, but glide for too long and you will slow down and lose momentum.
Competitive breaststroke contains virtually no glide phase, as the arms pull as soon as the leg kick is complete. The speed of the stroke comes from the power and strength of the arm pull and the leg kick, combined with the arms and legs fully extending to gain as much distance per stroke cycle as possible.
A combination of all of the above tips and exercises will help make your breaststroke faster.
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- learn correct breathing technique
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The Breaststroke Book
$4.99 Click for more info
- learn to breathe
- swim smoothly
- gain strength & power
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