The breaststroke is the most technically complex swimming stroke and can be hard to improve your technique as your legs need more forward propulsion than your arms. There are many mistakes that many swimmers make that affect their technique. Here are a few tips to help improve your technique and your breaststroke time.
Are you tensing your muscles on the inside of your thighs and calves? The forward motion in the water comes from the inside of your legs, so be sure to relax your muscles! Try to focus on these muscles in your next drill and see if this increases your swim time and then try to bear your last lap by one leg kick less than the last.
Make sure that your feet are rotated outwards properly. If you try to do breaststroke without your toes flexed in the wrong direction, your propulsion will be much less effective. If you are struggling to increase your leg movements, swim with your arms by your sides and focus solely on your leg movement and ankles.
Try to make your movements symmetrical. What applies to your arms in breaststroke also applies to your legs. Make sure that your legs move simultaneously during both the catch and outsweep phases of the technique.
Watch our video on: BACKSTROKE DRILLS - Breaststroke Legs
If your elbows are not in line with your hands throughout your arm pull, you will find it harder to get propulsion and pull in the water. Make a circular movement with your hands and arms, with clenched fists and without letting your head drop below the water. This will allow you to focus on your arm movements and be able to improve your technique.
Watch the wrists! Make sure you don’t rotate, fold or drop your hands in relation to your forearms. Try to keep them straight as they move through the water so they will increase your pull in the water. Your arm movement should always be in front of you. If your hands disappear underneath your body or shoulder line, then you are making a mistake.
Watch our video on: TYR - How To: Proper Pull in Breaststroke
The breaststroke technique is all about rhythm and coordination. Make most of your forward propulsion come from your leg kicks and make sure you keep your head in line with your shoulders. This will help to minimise water resistance and help improve swim time.
Watch our video on: Swim Tips with Bob Bowman - Better Breaststroke
If you are still struggling, you can also use training aids to help assist with your arm and leg movements. You can add resistance with fins and paddles or simplify your stroke with a swim snorkel. Check them out here: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/swimming-training-aids.html