Fitter And Faster Drill Of The Week: Underwater Breaststroke

Drill Of Week

Welcome to the “Fitter and Faster Drill of the Week” sponsored by The Fitter and Faster Swim Tour presented by Swimming World will be providing you with a weekly tip or drill from an elite level swimmer to add to your training regimen.

This week’s drill is Underwater Breaststroke Swim by 2012 Olympian Clark Burckle. Although most drills are executed at a reduced speed, this drill slows the stroke way down for an extra emphasis on technique. Burckle explained, “It sounds incredibly simple, but it works on my favorite things that I like to focus on while I’m racing breaststroke…body line, breath control and distance per stroke.”

Start this drill by pushing off underwater in the most efficient body line possible. This means holding a very tight streamline with an extended reach from your fingertips to your toes. Keep the head very still, just like you should while swimming breaststroke. After each stroke, make sure you hold the glide as long as you can. Try counting your strokes. In this case, less is more; Burckle’s goal is only 3-4 strokes per 25.

Underwater Breaststroke will help you find the fastest and most effective body line for breaststroke. Pushing yourself to complete an entire 25 underwater will develop your hypoxic strength. The more you are able to hold your breath, the easier it will be for you to avoid spinning your wheels when you fatigue. The goal is to be able to hold your stroke for the entire race. Better breath control will allow you to take full advantage of every single wall. You will be able stay underwater on the last wall for a solid pullout instead of popping up for air. Slowing the stroke way down for this drill will emphasize the need for a glide after every stroke. This minimizes fatigue and maximizes forward motion.

Try the Underwater Breaststroke Drill in practice or to warm-up for your next breaststroke race.


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Jan. 30, 2016

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Apr. 23, 24 2016

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Breaststroke, Butterfly and Turns – St. Helena, CA

May 14, 15, 2016

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