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Breaststroke - Timing Your Breath

Posted by Glenn Mills on Nov 02, 2010 08:57AM

When swimmers are learning breaststroke, they generally follow their instinct when it's time to breathe.  This focal point can help you determine if you're going to air at the most efficient spot in your stroke.

Why Do It:
Breaststroke can frequently turn into a "muscle" stroke rather than a "finesse" stroke and this simple point can help you determine which way you're headed when swimming breaststroke... toward muscling the stroke, or finessing it.

How to Do It:
 Start swimming breaststroke the way you normally do, and you're going to focus all your attention on your hands.
2.  As you start your pull, lift yourself directly to air.  If this feels absolutely normal to you, chances are you're putting way too much emphasis on the outsweep, and using this to climb up to air.  This is instinct, and uses a lot of energy, or muscle.  Chances are the eyes are up too early as well.
3.  Swim a bit more breaststroke, and allow the hands to sweep out, and go UP to air as the hands start their insweep, or catch.  This means your head will need to stay down a bit longer than you're probably used to.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
As in other breaststroke drills, pay attention to what your eyes are doing.  Make sure you don't actually SEE your arms during the outsweep  Instead, keep your eyes below the arms until you feel the arms starting to come in or back.  Alternating between breathing during the outsweep, or breathing during the insweep, will make you more aware of what you're doing in breaststroke, and help you discover a more efficient stroke.

Archived Comments

Responded Nov 02, 2010 06:40PM

Great tip!

Responded Nov 03, 2010 07:08PM

Great video! Can you also shoot a clip from a breaststroker outside the water and talk about head position when breathing. Should it raise or stay in line with the core body? Thanks!

Responded Nov 03, 2010 07:18PM

There are plenty of clips like that on our DVDs featuring Brendan Hansen, Eric Shanteau or the other great breaststrokers we've worked with. Go to the DVD section and pick one up... You'll get exactly what you requested. :)

Responded Nov 04, 2010 02:25AM

Heyy Glenn i like it..thanxs for letting me do the demonstration...

Responded Nov 04, 2010 02:55AM

You the man David. See you in the morning. :)

Responded Nov 07, 2010 09:30PM

Great video; greater lesson. thx Glenn

Responded Nov 08, 2010 08:46PM

This helps more then a lot!!!!!!!!!!......

Juliette Diaz

Responded Nov 21, 2011 07:04PM

Just make sure some portion of your head surfaces before the in-stroke is initiated on your START and TURNs.

Responded Nov 21, 2011 07:21PM

Yep. That's one of the reasons to initiate the "lift" to air at the beginning of the pull back. Rules are rules and thanks.

The Pool

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