Go Swimming has everything you need to know about swimming. If you are a parent, a non swimmer or just want to improve your technique this is the section for you.

In British Swimming you will find information about the world of high performance sport, including the disciplines of Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Para-Swimming.

The ASA is the governing body for the sport in England. In this section you will find all you need to know about joining a club or competing in England and becoming a swimming teacher or coach.

The IoS delivers the ASA’s courses and is a member organisation. Whether you are a teacher, coach, employer or club you will find everything you need to know about qualifications or educating your workforce.

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Keeping abreast of things

Keeping abreast of things

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As assistant coach at the British Gas Intensive Training Centre (ITC) at Bath, Graeme Antwhistle oversaw two of his squad – Michael Jamieson and Andrew Willis – reach the 200m Breaststroke final at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai.

With another of his swimmers, Kris Gilchrist, ranked seventh fastest in the world last season in the same event, it’s fair to say Graeme knows what he’s talking about when it comes to breaststroke technique.

And while we know you’re not looking to make the Olympic squad, improving your breaststroke technique can have a huge impact on your endurance and the number of muscles you’re working, adding up to a more efficient, calorie-busting swim.

Streamline The Stroke

  • Streamlining your stroke is the best way to improve your breaststroke efficiency. While you might feel like you're smoothly travelling through the water compared to front crawl or butterfly, in reality you can probably be doing more to stay streamlined.
  • Aim to minimise your drag as much as possible - hold your glide position for as long as you can to maintain your forward momentum.
  • Doing this will reduce your stroke count.

Timing

  • Timing is vital to an efficient breaststroke. Think about the progression of your hands and your kick.
  • During the stroke, try to time your hands travelling forwards to the streamline position before you start to kick and push the water backwards.
  • The best technique is to pull the water slowly at first, accelerating in to your chest then throw your hands back to the streamline position as fast as possible, once you have pulled on the water.
  • To get the maximum output from the kick, slowly raise your heels towards your bum then accelerate your leg kick back to a streamline position with your heels back together and your toes pointed to minimise resistance.

Swim narrow

  • The most efficient breaststroke is NOT the traditional frog movement with a wide kick and wide pull - try and swim narrow!
  • Only pull as wide as you have the strength to do. Imaging fixing your hands on the water, pulling your chest towards your hands rather than the other way round.
  • Only kick as wide as your shoulder width, directing the water behind you for better propulsion rather than out to the sides.

Further Reading

  1. Watch Advanced Technique Videos to see world class breaststroke technique in action
  2. Head to Shape Up and Tone for the essentials on breaststroke technique
  3. Leave a comment below or head to Ask an Expert with a specific question about your breaststroke technique.

Useful?

Talk

  • 5

    5.42pm 10th March 2012
    Lucy

    Hi i’m doing my county 100m breastroke race tomorrow i’m 14 years old and am currently a 1.25.22 and need to beat a 12 year old who has just beaten me at a 1.24.36! any tips would help alot and would be extremely gratful
    Thankyou

  • 4

    10.51am 21st February 2012
    Roger Teasdale from Herts and Beds ASA member

    Unfortunately     Without asking a Lady her age it would be hard to say what a good time for her would be?
    Would also need to see why the pull was prefered to the kick or glide.
    As article says Breaststroke is a technical stroke and the timing of all parts is critical in the pusuit of the best times.

    Would fall back to you to get a coach or teacher at pool to cast an eye over your swim and advice as is difficult to give direct advise over an email.

    Can get ASA approved times for County and Regional times from your areas web site

    Sorry not of Direct help   No more replies please as this is a web site for all not and for comments about the article really

  • 3

    9.46am 17th February 2012
    Bridget Plowright from King's Lynn. Norfolk

    I am currently swimming at about 50 seconds per length 25m pool breaststroke and want to improve my speed a little.  I know I am not swimming as efficiently as I could but being self taught I am not sure how to improve without slipping back into old habits.  Do you think I should be satisfied with the 25m in 50 seconds?  I think it is my kick that lets me down - I certainly don’t do the % recommended, most of my power is in my shoulders.  Any advice on how to improve would be welcomed.

  • 2

    5.32pm 29th December 2011
    roger teasdale from herts and beds asa member

    breaststroke kick should be the most propulsive part of the whole stroke   Generally 60% is kick with about upto 35% in pull the rest being the glide (which most swimmers forget to do)    Training percentagaes variant upon the swimmer if not a strong kick then should do more and try to vary with 2 kick one pull 3 kick one pulls etc plus other drills from coaches available ,  main focus on accelerating all the time from buttocks to streamline and to fully finish kick by ensuring feet and ankles touch together pointing down to pool then on touching pointing back for the glide part       Ps   Fly rules !!

  • 1

    4.56pm 22nd December 2011
    Bill Dutton from Warrington Dolphins

    Hello,first of all I hate Breastroke! I am a 67 year old masters swimmer and love IM which means Breastroke is the most important stroke! My question is:
    How much kicking should you do in training?
    How much kicking training do international swimmers do?
    ie Liesel Jones,who I think is the best!
    What % of the kick comes from the legs compared to the arms?
    Thank you
    PS. I still prefer the fly!!

Go Swimming has everything you need to know about swimming. If you are a parent, a non swimmer or just want to improve your technique this is the section for you.

In British Swimming you will find information about the world of high performance sport, including the disciplines of Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Para-Swimming.

The ASA is the governing body for the sport in England. In this section you will find all you need to know about joining a club or competing in England and becoming a swimming teacher or coach.

The IoS delivers the ASA’s courses and is a member organisation. Whether you are a teacher, coach, employer or club you will find everything you need to know about qualifications or educating your workforce.

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