How to swim a perfect breaststroke
Even the most advanced swimmers agree that Breaststroke is one of the most challenging strokes to fully master (unless it’s in your DNA…). It constantly challenges the brain for correct timing. Below are our Top Tips for how to swim a perfect breaststroke:
Timing – timing is everything when it comes to swimming. When it comes to breaststroke, many swimmers struggle to get it right. Often, swimmers are great with the order in which to ‘pull’ (and breathe in), ‘kick’ and ‘glide’. But then they tend to pause when they take that breath, instead of during the glide. TIP: it is best to pause when your body is in streamline position.
Kicking – isn’t a bigger breaststroke kick better? No. If you want to do it perfectly, your knees won’t go wider than your shoulders. The wider your kick, the more resistance you create in the water. TIP: keep the power in your kick by keeping your knees under the surface and within shoulder width.
Time your breath before the pull – lifting your head up to breathe makes your hips sink. Some swimmers do this a little bit too much, which causes drag which slows you down and makes it hard to quickly lunge forward again. The same goes for your hands if you put them up too high when you push your hands forward to recovery. TIP: keep your streamline tight and try to stay on the surface. Time your breath before the pull.
Your elbows – it happens to a lot of swimmers doing breaststroke: they drop their elbows on their pull. When you do this, it actually reduces the amount of water you would otherwise be able to pull with each stroke. TIP: try to begin your pull by bending at the elbows and keeping your hands and forearms in line with each other. Your arms will turn into giant paddles!
Speed – yes, breaststroke is a slower stroke, BUT it is harder to keep your momentum going when you swim it too slow. TIP: timing and technique is everything with this one, so make sure to focus on that while maintaining the perfect speed.
Arms and hands positions – did you know in a breaststroke race, if your hands go down to your hips, you could be disqualified because it’s against the rules? Your sculling arms (yes, pizza arms!) help you to lift your head up to breathe and to move forward at the same time. But if they are too wide, it will put too much strain onto your shoulders and make it harder to breathe. It will also slow you down, because now you have to push your hands and arms further and against the water from your hips instead of your chest! TIP: keep focused on those sculling arms.
During our classes, if you have any questions about any stroke, please know that coach is here to help!