Breaststroke

Training Multiple Strokes

Even if you are a triathlete who competes only in freestyle, it is important to train more than one stroke.  Swimming, is the perfect example of a repetitive motion activity.  Even a sprinter, who in general, does fewer overall yards than other freestylers, does thousands of shoulder rotations in their career. It is important to…

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Connect the Dots to Swim Faster

Connection is an important concept for swimming faster, but not often discussed. Simply put connection is all of the motions in a stroke flowing smoothly together to maximize the production and delivery of power to create forward momentum. What does that mean to your stroke? When we develop our stroke mechanics it is common to…

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Knowing Which Breaststroke Kick is Fastest

I have said many times that breaststroke has more successful variations than all other strokes combined. The problem is knowing what works best for you. Here is a great experiment you can do: My description is based on a short-course yards pool. First, create a baseline.  Using your current kick, push off the wall and…

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How to Get Out of a Muscle Memory Rut

Muscle memory allows us to perform complex repetitive motions without thinking about them.   Could you imagine early man trying to hunt if they had to actively think about how to walk?  The mind would be so preoccupied with flexing the ankle, bending the knee, rotating the hip that we would get eaten by the first…

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Breaststroke Timing

There are two common timings used for breaststroke. One correct, the other, not so much. The two big mistakes are: Breathing at the end of the pull instead of first Stopping the arms at the body instead of up front in the streamline. These two problems generally go together and lead to a slower breast…

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Breaststroke variation: Finding your Best

There are more successful variations in breaststroke then in every other stroke combined. This makes for a challenge when coaching swimmers. There is no one single set of mechanics to target. When I work with a swimmer on their breaststroke I follow some guide lines to help them find their best possible stroke. The Arms…

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Breaststroke Glide

There are opposing opinions out there on the glide phase of the breaststroke. One camp will tell you glide longer while others are telling you that gliding longer slows you down.  I’d like to weigh in with some common-sense advice for your breaststroke. The first thing I want you to remember is that breaststroke has…

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Hypoxic Training

The term hypoxic is the adjective form of hypoxia which is defined as in adequate oxygen in the blood.  Swimmers have traditionally used hypoxic work in their training when they are limiting their breathing to one breath every three, four, five, six or more strokes. I grew up doing this form of training, as did…

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The much misunderstood “distance per stroke”

Many of you have heard from your coaches, or individual reading, to work on your distance per stroke.  Distance per stroke is generally defined as how far (distance) can you travel on one pull (stroke) or stroke cycle (one pull with each arm).  I’m not disagreeing with my coaching peers, distance per stroke is an…

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The evolution of stroke mechanics and why that is important to you!

Last week when I sat thinking about the breaststroke for my blog, I struggled with what others will think about my emphasis on adduction (that is the motion of squeezing the legs together).  You see, these days several top breaststrokers are being very successful with a much narrower kick that emphasizes the whip of the…

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