Look at the line on the bottom of the pool. Well done, that is the first step to being better prepared and equipped with the knowledge and skills to assist your little one through to becoming a confident and happy little swimmer. It is a unique kick that uses rounded, lateral and completely splashless leg motion, where the soles of the feet push the water rather than the tops of the feet as in other strokes. Kick with the sole of your foot, not the top of your foot as in all other kicks. #4: breaststroke pull with flutter kick. Doing so should aim your arms downhill into the water, and lead the rest of your body into the glide position. Maintain your core tension and straight spine, so that when your upper body rises, your feet drop a bit. This drill requires you to swim the breaststroke while making a physical effort to … Use this opportunity to inhale. I am not getting any pull from half a stroke. Notice that without raising your chin, your mouth clears the water. Think of a knife spreading peanut butter on a slice of bread. How to Swim with Vadim Shoykhet & Gregory Feldman . Flex your foot, curling your toes up from the very beginning of the power phase. Beginning your inhale in the praying position encourages a drag-producing pause before the recovery. Step 4: Do another stroke. Try keeping your knees still while you move your heels back and up slowly behind you. Allows for feel of kick in varying body positions. For stability on the wall, your feet should be about shoulder width apart. Here is the full opening movement: *The gliding with your hands on the front should vary depending on your stroke, distance… However, this shows you are looking at the water! Although this position is a necessary part of the breaststroke, for breathing as well as better kicking, it is also a position of drag. By correctly sequencing and balancing the actions of the arm stroke, breathing, kick and glide, each individual action of the stroke works better. Exercise 1 Breaststroke arms standing (poolside or shoulder high in water) By. Backstroke kicking: Kick on your side as described above with your head facing up in the position for backstroke. 3. This probably means that your hands are not quite deep enough in the water, and are catching air as you press outward or while changing directions. This drill done well will synchronize movement and develop a smooth, effective style. This is also the point in the stroke when you draw your heels up toward your buttocks, preparing to start the power phase of your kick. 2. Most swimmers hold their head too high. If your kick starts your stroke, then it is likely that the breathing will be out of time, and will reduce the productivity of the kick. Simply download my book ' How To Swim Breaststroke' and a get a full set of breaststroke drills, covering all strokes parts, from body position to timing and coordination. This drill helps keep hands and elbows in the proper position at the hand entry. Freestyle legs: swim the breaststroke with your arms and freestyle with your legs, keeping your head … Push off with force. I can't see my stroke when my hands are under my chest. Heighten the hand position and the catch phase of the stroke and feel the water on the forearm. The arm stroke has been described as a heart-shaped pull, a box-shaped pull, even a straight-arm circle, half formed with each arm. This drill is great for working on body position (hips up, full side-to-side rotation). Try to use the lift at the corners to breathe without any independent head movement. 5. Your extended arm should feel weightless. You have a brief window of opportunity for breathing between the corners and the praying position. To overcome this drag, the breaststroke recovery must be an active part of the stroke, rather than a resting phase, as in other strokes. Aim to lower your chest more than three inches at first, until you feel your body float downhill. Assists learning rhythm and the undulating motion for both strokes. Each article includes one or several drills/exercises to be mastered. Inhale only when you feel lift at the corners, and sweep quickly inward, then without a pause, shoot into the recovery. Step 2: As your elbows fold quickly inward to the praying position, shrug your shoulders up. Swim regular breaststroke. Breaststroke is known for its unique “frog kick,” that requires you to flex your feet rather than … No “karate-chop” hands allowed! Freestyle and backstroke are referred to the long-axis strokes, as you are rotating on the long-axis of your body (head-to-toe) while swimming. Achieve the downhill floating position. Level 2, 8 Parkview Drive The one-pull, two-kicks drill will allow the swimmer to maintain a tight streamline position as they add in an extra kick at the first arm cycle (2). It also should allow you to fully focus more on the productivity of the arm stroke alone, without any assistance from the breaststroke kick. When executing the switch, begin by lifting the elbow of the arm on the water surface (top arm) and recovering it over the line of your body. As well as using good force during the power phase, your kick must also gain speed all the way until your legs are straight. Improvements in breaststroke across the board, over the past twenty years, are largely due to rule changes that allow better use of leverage and the elimination of drag. As you shoot your hands and forearms forward, and drop your chest down and forward, notice too that your recovery carries more speed. There is no recovery motion. High elbow with pull, emphasises forearm pull and body rotation. The goal of the following breaststroke recovery drills is to minimize drag by quickening the transition between arm stroke and recovery, and developing a long, fast and compact recovery that works with the line of the stroke. 100 easy freestyle. Alternate three strokes butterfly with three strokes breaststroke. The breaststroke kick is a large sweeping kick. Freestyle kicking: Kick on your side with your bottom arm (the one closer to the bottom of the pool) extended straight out of your shoulder line before your head. It is your kick that should produce most of the forward motion. Make sure you are using a productive sculling action, outward then inward, accelerating your hands throughout the stroke. Develop both arm pulls and keep recovering elbow high; heightens awareness of where the hand enters the water. Incorrect timing will make good leg kick and arm techniques cancel each other out and render them ineffective. Here are a few simple breaststroke drills that will help you improve your timing and maximize your speed. If the transition from outsweep to insweep is too gradual, you will not feel it or benefit from it. Increase the quickness of your figure eights. This could mean that your kicks are both happening before that point. Allows swimmers to concentrate on timing of kick and breathing. Make sure you are looking at the bottom of the pool and not forward. 1. As your arms form an arrow beyond your face, there is a perfect space for your head to return to the water between your arms as you kick. Narrow Kick. The session plan. Many novice breaststrokers make the mistake of pulling their elbows too far back on each pull. Breaststroke and butterfly, the short axis strokes, are called such because you are rotating on the short axis of your body. Without a board, keep your hands extended, at your side. DRILLS: PURPOSE: BR – 1 kick 2 pull: A variation of 1 pull, 2 kicks, emphasizing pull. Just get your elbows closer than they were originally. Sydney Olympic Park. Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch. Begin your arm stroke, sweeping out, maintaining firm wrists and high elbows. Also make sure you are changing the pitch of your hands, going into the corners with your thumbs down, and coming out with your thumbs up. With a straight spine, I am slightly piked at the hips. Created with Sketch. This is fine. BODY POSITION DRILLS Because drag is an inherent part of the breaststroke, achieving excellent body position is essential in maximizing the forward motion of the stroke. Using a rocking motion allows the swimmer to transition to recovery more quickly, avoiding drag. Also, make sure that you are not drawing your knees up toward your abdomen, but drawing your heels up toward your buttocks instead. Alternate four strokes of backstroke with three strokes of freestyle. Try beginning the shrug earlier, before your elbows fold in too far. Drill: Underwater Breast Pull This drill is similar to the flat breast stroke pull except that the body is underwater and the head faces the bottom of the pool at all times. Quad 1 Your hands can recover under or over the water but your elbows should remain below the surface. Promotes synchronisation of stroke and body roll. Backstroke, like freestyle, is swum on the side, not the back. Breaststroke timing and coordination is a continuous alternating action, where one propulsive phase takes over as one ends. Then at 10 and 2 o’clock. Your hands are acting like propeller blades, and subtle changes in hand pitch and speed will change your body position and speed. It also has a great deal of potential drag. Step 3: Do another stroke. Allows swimmers to do butterfly for longer distances until endurance has been built up. You may also do breaststroke kick on your back. Helps correct hand entry position & deep entry. In the Fast Recovery Breaststroke Pull Technique requires a swimmer to swim with a FAST Tempo. Make sure you are using flexed feet to kick, and that your feet are following a rounded path, outward and then inward. Focuses on feeling of correct entry point. Make sure your elbows and wrists are firm. Make sure that you are maintaining a firm spine, so that when you do a dolphin down-beat, your upper body goes up, instead of bouncing. The flutter kick is meant to work like a metronome to help you achieve a quicker arm stroke. I end up with the soles of my feet together by the end of the kick. My head goes back into the water before my hands recover. This drill also emphasizes the undulation of the hips, streamline position of the arm recovery, and power of the kick. Fig.2. Just make sure that you are not lifting that water upward, or you will be creating drag. Note that your swimming strokes are a combination of sculling motions that allow you to hold the water as your large body core muscles act as the engine. Shrug your shoulders up then down and forward, and, shoot to streamline. A common buoy is a figure-eight shape, but they come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. More. Descend your score by taking less strokes and/or completing the 50 in less seconds with each successive 50. Your shoulder shrug will also help you transition to the downhill position. Try to make your chest join the forward motion of your arms as they extend forward. Since the breaststroke arm stroke is much more compact than the other strokes, it produces much less forward motion. It is a matter to using your upper body, including your head as a counter-weight to your legs. If your hands have already left the long position during the outsweep, the insweep will be slower and less effective. Glide and rest for three to five seconds. Like freestyle and backstroke, the core is the center of power, but in breaststroke, there is no side-to-side roll, instead, there is a tipping or rocking type motion. Swim a Freestyle Pull Drill With a Buoy. Also make sure your knees remain stable. You are lucky to have excellent ankle flexibility. Press your arm pit toward the pool bottom to get your hip at the surface of the water. Glide and rest for three to five seconds. While it has remained a simultaneous stroke, many theories about what the arms do have been developed. Doing so collapses the leverage effect in the stroke, making you swim flat. However, if you have to keep swimming for more than a very short distance, it will be require less swimming time to cover that distance if you rest during your glide, but carry some momentum into the next stroke. Focus on rhythm (early hips) and body position. Then you will be able to use your peripheral vision to see the wall while maintaining a beneficial stable head position. Promotes learning the need to rotate the hips in both Freestyle and Backstroke. Keep your elbows high at the surface of the water, and sweep your hands underneath (this is known as the “windshield wiper” drill). 3. 4. You might find yourself having to kick again to regain forward motion. As long as your chest is slightly lower than your hips, you have achieved a downhill position, and will move forward better during the glide than if your hips and chest were equal in depth, or worse, that your hips were the lowest part of your float. Make sure you are pushing water with the soles and not the tops of your feet. Choose a pull buoy, a foam flotation device, that is a comfortable fit for your body. This is a great “AB” workout. When you are treading water, you are sculling your hands through the water to hold yourself up and counteract gravity. When you return to swimming with an open palm, your hands will feel as large as kickboards! To learn rhythm and the undulating motion for both strokes. Try it again with less depth. Use a low chin breathing position, with a quick arm recovery, so your head will drop between your elbows as soon as they are straight, threading the needle with your arms and head, as you achieve a full upper body streamline during the kick rather than after it. Let’s look deeper into these common mistakes: 1.) Making this change will improve your glide productivity, because you will have less frontal resistance. Work on keeping your elbows high through the entire outsweep corners and then draw your elbows firmly together just in front of your rib cage. Also, it is important at this point to draw your heels back, to achieve lift for your upper body. Accelerate through the outsweep corners and insweep. To avoid the slowing effects of drag, it is very important not to pause in this position. Driving, working at a computer, and other common activities also contribute to this. Again, swim a set of 8 x 25 yards, though you probably will need to rest longer than 20 seconds between swims. This is a great way to get into a rhythm and promote full rotation along the long axis. By Howcast. Also like freestyle, balance on the short axis in order to keep hips at the surface of the water. Assists entry, dolphin action, and breath control. The goal of the following drills for breaststroke body position is to learn to use core tension to achieve the best floating technique, while minimizing drag and maximizing glide productivity. In-Sweep Drill. When you need a breath, stand and breathe, then resume your floating position. Sports House Try swinging your heels outward more, when you are drawing your heels back. Why Do It: Keeping the head in line for the start of the pull not only keeps you in a more streamline position longer, but also makes it easier to engage the lats and to take advantage of the natural rise of the body to the pull. Then, as you transition to your quick, narrow recovery, shrug your shoulders forward and down. At the end of each arm cycle, hold your streamline position and preform an additional kick. A good rocking motion does not have to be extreme to be effective, it just has to be a unified body action, so each stroke action works as a counterbalance to the others. Look not further. SCULLING – Sculling is performed by sweeping your hands through the water, holding your elbows still. The best kickers have a very narrow profile with their legs, yet good ankle flexibility to … When I drop my chest into the water, my face submerges. Make sure you are kicking with flexed feet, and that your body position during the glide is downhill. Allows for concentration on path of single-arm and carry-over to full stroke. This could mean you are not maintaining a straight spine during breathing, but rocking your head back as you lift your chin. In the outsweep, the palms face out from the streamlined position and separate slightly from the front to the side. Lessons: 112 Videos. The goal of the following breathing drills is to learn the correct timing of the breaststroke breathing and to unify the head and body into a single action that benefits the stroke. 8 x 50 breaststroke drill on 1:00. The consequence of doing this can be a swayed back and high hips, making your feet come out of the water. The head should never move, while the rest of the body rotates around it. I am getting a lot of bubbles in my outsweep. Because drag is an inherent part of the breaststroke, achieving excellent body position is essential in maximizing the forward motion of the stroke. I can't get my elbows very close together. Once you finish gliding you will changethe direction of your hands and move them towards the lanes. I end up going uphill in the breathing position. My kick starts as my arm stroke recovery starts. Step 1: Push off the wall preparing to swim breaststroke, arms extended. Howcast. How to Do It: 1. For example: If you swim 50 freestyle with 20 strokes per 25 in a time of 0:40, you would have a score of 80 (20 + 20 + 40). Breaststroke - Drills. Allows for concentration on path of single-arm and carry-over to full stroke. When you lose the rhythm, stand up and start again. o’clock. Achieving an advantageous breaststroke glide position, Feeling effective core tension and stability, Using ankle rotation to keep hold of the water, Using your senses to recognize a productive kick, Learning to feel the water with the forearm, Understanding the changing elbow position, Recovering with the rocking motion of the stroke, Eliminating any pause between insweep and recovery, Learning the correct timing of the inhale, Transferring power through the rocking action of the stroke, Maintaining the forward line of the stroke, Using the most efficient breaststroke timing, Learning the correct sequence of stroke actions, Avoiding cancelling out the effect of one stroke action with another, Practicing the correct timing of the breaststroke, Recognizing when to start the next stroke, Using momentum to rest and benefit the next stroke, Learning to rest during the glide instead of the recovery. Be sure your arms are aligned forward from the shoulders, elbows and wrists. This will keep all your stroke actions moving in a unified line forward. Step 4: Continue practicing until you achieve your inhale as your face naturally rises to its high point. Breaststroke kicking: Kick only with a soft kickboard that will allow you to maintain a good body position for breaststroke. Repeat. Kick. The drag of wide knees, moving in the opposite direction that you are headed, in addition to the drag of the extra movement to position your feet wide, is hard to overcome. Heighten your awareness of the completion of the stroke and body roll. Go as far wide as your elbows will go during the widest part of the pull and keep them there, the forearms will do the work and propel you forward.  Steps:  1. Now take a look at this short video to give you an overview of what you need to Know! For swimmers that have a very wide kick, or kick the water to the side instead of kicking the water back. Fold your elbow in at the end of the insweep and shrug. To make the most of the insweep, it is important to maintain high, still elbows. Use your chest to achieve your glide position, rather than your head. The Pull •The shape of the pull dictates how well you maintain forward speed –Unlocks the body surge � Reduce your stroke until you can see your hands the whole time. Hold on to the water as you accelerate into the corners, maintaining a firm spine all the way through your neck. Great for learning to glide and lots of breath control. Step 5: Continue to practice for several lengths of the pool. This actually shows that you have succeeded in shifting your weight forward for encouraging a more productive glide, as well as a longer recovery. It could also mean that your feet are not flexed just before the power phase of the kick. Make sure your spine is not swayed, positioning your hips too high in the water to begin the kick with your feet submerged. By producing an integrated rocking motion between the head and legs, with the hips as stable as possible in the middle, the productivity of the arm stroke, kick and glide is increased, and points of potential drag are minimized. With your arms at your sides, shrug your shoulders up, then roll them forward and down. If you start your next stroke before you have achieved total streamline, you will be working harder than you need to. Breaststroke drills for every level of swimmer. Allows for focus on single arm and improves rotation. With my face forward, I cannot push off underwater. Breaststroke is the only stroke with a recovery that passes through the water rather than over it, leading to the potential for a great deal of drag. This indicates your arms are stroking in the collapsed position. You must produce little drag during the recovery. This way your head and body will work together to maintain the forward line of the stroke. By doing arm then leg action, you will produce more forward motion with less effort, and be able to rest during the glide phase. 3. It does take practice. Make complete use of your flexibility. Approach the praying position and shrug your shoulders up as your elbows fold in front of your chest, then down and forward giving more speed to the recovery. Your breathing window occurs when your mouth clears the water, through the high point in the stroke, near the praying position. My head is not in streamline until after the kick. As your hands change directions at the corners, feel the lift produced for your head and upper body. The extended arm (bottom arm) stays extended to maintain a streamlined body position, until the elbow of the recovery arm has passed over your head. This is not an easy drill, but with practice, you will master it. This will prepare you for a more powerful in-sweep and recovery. Glide and rest for three to five seconds. Hold your hands together and count to three before starting the next arm stroke. Try adjusting your knees to be slightly farther apart. The pull buoy gives your legs additional buoyancy so that you don’t have to kick and can focus on the arm stroke. Make sure that you are preparing to breathe at the corners and not later, or you can get stuck in an uphill position, and miss the opportunity to time your recovery to the forward motion of the stroke. Or, have the swimmer drape her arms over a laneline or a noodle…like this. Heighten recovery phase of the stroke and keep elbows high. Otherwise, hips will quickly sink without a kick to hold them up. Inhale at the high point in the stroke until your face returns to the water as you kick, with the forward line of the recovery. Allow your chest to be low through the recovery, and high during breathing. When your hands meet at the end of your insweep, that is the end of the power phase, so just let go of the water and return your hands to the extended position. Looking forward will cause a lot of resistance. Either way, after gliding, you will turn your palms outward to begin the arm stroke. Water wells up in the middle at the end of my insweep. To concentrate on the catch phase of the stroke. This probably means you are raising your chin at this point. 6. Achieving an effective rocking motion requires the swimmer to maintain a stable hip position, while the head and legs switch back and forth between the extremes of the tipping float. Focus on arm conditioning and body roll, Focus on high elbow recovery, hand entry and hand acceleration. My elbows end up back like chicken wings. Your knees must be stable, so your lower legs and feet can rotate around them. This is not easy. You should have the arms stretchedto the front while gliding, this way you create less drag and will be able to move forward more easily. In an effort to overcome drag, and increase forward motion, the breaststroke arm stroke has evolved immensely over time. Some swimmers have tried to avoid drag by developing over-the-water recovery styles, with varying degrees of success. The point of the drill is to keep your stroke compact, entirely within your field of vision, thereby reducing drag and effort. With free and back, emphasize a long body line, hip and shoulder rotation, minimizing resistance. Promotes synchronising breathing and emphasises kick in streamline position. Modify your knee position so it is comfortable for you. Although you can catch a breath at this point in the stroke by raising your chin, doing so compromises the forward line of the stroke as your head tilts back, in effect, putting on the brakes. In fact, kicking this way produces almost as much drag as it does forward motion, so your gain from each kick is practically nothing, as you go forward, then backward. Also make sure you are pitching your hands thumbs-down for the outsweep, and thumbs-up for the insweep, and using a quick and accelerating stroke. Learning Path for the Breaststroke Below you will find an overview of our series of articles to learn the breaststroke. The water line should be around the forehead and chin, not the ears and top of head. Assists synchronising arm speed with kicking on side. Breaststroke Pull (Arm Movement) The arms move through three main phases namely the outsweep, insweep, and the recovery phase. Then, drop your chest down and forward, as you move into the recovery. For the most part, swimmers have chosen to overcome the drag of the traditional in water recovery by increasing speed into, and streamlining during and after the recovery. My elbows fold into my rib cage, not in front of it. Speeds up stroke tempo, adds a dolphin like wave motion to the stroke. You have to shrug your shoulders up and then forward and down to feel it assist in the speed of the recovery. Make sure you are looking at the bottom of the pool and not forward. Make use of the whole thing to produce the most forward momentum. My hands begin recovery out of the water. I am not gliding very far before I float to the surface. My elbows don't stay high when I sweep inward. Share with friends. I have her lie on her belly with arms extended over the water. However, most swimmers reach that point when they THINK they are at 10 and 2 o’clock. When your hands meet in the middle, your elbows can fold in toward your sides. Sweep your hands outward and into the corners. Make sure that when approaching the corners you are accelerating through. Head Above Water. The shrug helps me go up, but not forward. Keep your elbows high as you skull your hands out and round. 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