Breaststroke is the only competitive stroke where both the arms and the legs are recovered under the water. This makes it the slowest stroke, as there is more resistance to forward movement. The kick in breaststroke is not a very natural movement; so many beginners learn this stroke last. Breaststroke is a very technically demanding stroke. It takes a lot of skill to perform this stroke well. Here are some stroke tips which should help improve breaststroke technique.

Checklist – Arms

Arms stretch forward
Hands are turned outwards (halfway), so palms face out and down
Hands pull out with elbows straight
When hands are outside shoulders, elbows bend
Hands lead in, sweeping down
Hands get faster until they come together
Hands are stretched forward with palms down

Checklist – Kick

As hands come together, legs begin recovery
Feet stay close together, heels travel up to hips
Knees remain where they are
Toes are curled up
Feet are turned out
Feet whip out and round in a circle
Hips rise to surface
Legs are fully stretched
Feet are swept together

Checklist – Body position and breathing

Hips stay close to the surface
Recovery is streamlined
Head breaks the surface
Head and shoulders come upwards and forwards as hands sweep in
Breathe in when head comes up (when hands start to come together)
Breathe out when face is in water (as arms stretch forward)
Breathe every stroke

Remember, because Breaststroke is such a technical stroke it requires a lot of practice. There will always be sections of the stroke you find difficult, therefore you must try to improve these weaknesses. Stroke drills provide you with the best opportunity to improve your stroke. There a number of different drills that can be used in training. Pay particular attention to your kick. This is the secret to good breaststroke.