SANTA CLARA, California, July 16. BREASTSTROKE speed is greatly influenced from the kick, probably moreso than any other stroke because the kick is isolated from the arm movement during a stroke cycle.
Breaststroke kick utilizes transverse hip motion (internal and external rotation) opposed to sagittal plane motion (flexion and extension) in the other three strokes. Specifically, breaststroke requires a large amount of hip internal rotation, helping the swimmer outsweep their feet and have a greater force production capacity.
If you have difficulties with your breaststroke kick, try this self myofascial release (SMR). Place a tennis ball or a similarly-sized ball on the tensor fasciae latae muscle, just below the hip bone. Hold the ball at a tender spot on the muscle for two to three minutes.
Watch the video below to hear Dr. G. John Mullen explain the reasons why the tensor fasciae latae muscle is important to breaststroke kick, and why all types of swimmers are prone to tight muscles after long periods of inactivity (particularly sitting).
If you need more tips, check out Mobility for Swimmers.