Breaststroke is a rare and old swimming style. Its ‘frog kick’ and undulating pace may make it seem harder to learn. You can master breaststroke if you grasp its components. This detailed guide breaks down breaststroke into its components to improve your performance.
Breaststroke is rhythmic and synchronized by body alignment, kick, arm movement, and breathing.
Body placement: A good breaststroke starts with proper body placement. Breaststroke requires a more upright, chest-down position than other strokes. The body should dive forward and rise again with the hips near the water.
Kick: The ‘whip kick’ or ‘frog kick’ propels breaststroke swimmers. Starting with the legs bent and feet turned outwards, the legs are extended and brought together to push water backward. During this move, knees must stay near. The kick ends with straight legs, prepared for the following cycle.
Arm Movement: Breaststroke’s “pull phase” and “glide” are circular arm motions. With arms extended forward, palms down, the pull sweeps outward and downward in a semicircular motion. The elbows bend, drawing the arms back toward the chest. The glide phase begins when the hands squeeze together and extend forward again during the recovery phase.
Breaststroke breathing is closely linked to the stroke cycle. Your arms pull, lifting your head and shoulders above the water for inhalation. Exhale and lower your head and torso into the water as you force your arms forward in recovery. Breaststroke has a cyclical, rhythmic breathing pattern.
Breaststroke momentum and resistance depend on time. ‘Pull, breathe, kick, glide’ is a standard. After the arm pulls, you breathe as your torso lifts, kick while your arms recover, and glide before starting the next cycle.
These basics must be carefully coordinated and timed to perfect the breaststroke. Breaststroke features distinct stages of forceful movement and sleek glide, unlike freestyle. A dance of strength and beauty, exertion and recovery.