Breaststroke is one of the four main competitive swimming strokes. It’s the slowest when compared to backstroke, butterfly, and freestyle, but it’s also one of the most complicated due to the techniques and training involved. Improving your breaststroke and building your technique will involve a lot of practice, but there are also aids that can help you quickly improve. After the success of Adam Peaty’s record-breaking streak this year, many ambitious swimmers are working hard to try and achieve a similar level of success. In this brief post, we’ll be talking about a couple of ways to improve your breaststroke so you can swim faster, just like Peaty.
Purchase Equipment to Help You Train
Sometimes, improving your technique will involve outside help to train your body. FINIS produce several products such as the FINIS Positive Drive Fins that will help you improve your breaststroke. They help you build power in your kicks, enabling you to swim faster after plenty of training. They’re comfortable, secure and will greatly improve your breaststroke speed. Another option is the FINIS kick pro, a cuff that is meant to be worn around the knees to improve your kicking technique. It works by limiting the distance between your legs, thus reducing the range of motion your leg muscles have. This helps to engage your core muscles and trains your kicks to be more efficient. These two FINIS devices can be paired together to greatly enhance your breaststroke speed.
Wear Your Best Suit
Save your best performance suit for race day when you're really going to give it your all and those hundredths of seconds make all the difference. We offer a range of performance suits all designed with performance-enhancing benefits. The Adidas Adizero XVI suits even offer breaststroke specific suits with seams in carefully placed positions designed to support vital muscles used in the kicking motion. We also offer a huge range of performance suits such as the brand new Speedo SS18 performance suits, and even the Arena Carbon Flex VX instinct collection with suits designed from Arena's top athletes including Adam Peaty! Check out our entire range of racing suits here!
Identify Your Mistakes
While tools can definitely help you improve, you need to identify mistakes in your technique if you want to improve further. If you know someone who is well-versed in the breaststroke, then having them monitor you while you practice is a great way to identify potential mistakes. However, if you don’t, then here are some of the common places to troubleshoot.
Timing -If you’re kicking at the same time that you’re pulling, then you’re doing it wrong. The kick and pull should not happen simultaneously. Instead, separate the two so that you move further with a single stroke. Practice by pulling, gliding, kicking, then gliding again. Once you’ve mastered the movements, reduce the glide time. They should be close to simultaneous but still separated. Training aids such as kickboards and pull buoys will also help isolate your top half or bottom half so you can focus solely on the kicking or the pulling.
Head Position - Adjusting the position of your head is important to increase your speed. Breaststroke has plenty of resistance points, and facing forward only increases this. If you’re able to see your arms when you pull, then you’re not looking down enough. Practice your breathing technique and aim to point your head down, not forward.
Body Position - Body position is important to make yourself more streamlined in the water, thus improving the efficiency of your pulls and kicks. Keep your back as straight as possible, and make sure your hips aren’t too low.
We hope these tips have given you some insight into how you can improve your breaststroke. Remember that although it’s one of the slowest competitive swimming disciplines, it’s also tough and requires a lot of training.