Fitter And Faster Swim Drill Of The Week: Breaststroke Kick Progression

Welcome to the “Swim Drill of the Week” sponsored by The Fitter and Faster Swim Tour presented by Swimoutlet.com. Swimming World will be bringing you a drill, concept, or tip that you can implement with your team on a regular basis. While certain weeks may be more appropriate for specific levels of swimming (club, high school, college, or masters), Drill Of The Week excerpts are meant to be flexible for your needs and inclusive for all levels of swimming.

This week’s drill is a breaststroke kick progression to work on the timing, power, and proper finish of the breaststroke kick. This progression involves three separate breaststroke drills in sequence, meant to hone in on perfecting the kick. Take a look at the progression below and the description that follows:

25 breaststroke kick hands in front

25 breaststroke kick hands on butt

25 breaststroke drill 2 kicks/1 pull or 25 breaststroke separation drill

The progression starts with a 25 of breaststroke kick with your hands in front. This sets up a high body position and makes sure the legs are snapping back in line with the rest of the body at the end of each kick. Swimmers should be engaged all the way through their fingertips during this drill, extending their arms long in front and maintaining a good line through their entire body. It is common to see a slight “lunge” forward with the hips at the end of each kick. This will vary from swimmer to swimmer, but regardless of the degree make sure that the lunge is directed forward, not just up and down.

Next, swimmers will complete a 25 of breaststroke kick with their hands over their butt. This will naturally drop their body position, but the point of the drill is for them to compensate with a more powerful kick and exaggerated lunge forward from their lower belly and hips. After kicking with their hands in front, this will bring awareness to where their hips should be during their kick and give them an increased sense of body awareness.

Finally, swimmers will complete a 25 of 2 kicks/1 pull breaststroke drill or separation drill, either of which will work on their timing after they have checked in with their body position. Using this drill progression through warm-up or before a secondary set can help your swimmers check in with their kick and establish a routine of perfecting the most important part of breaststroke. Happy swimming!

All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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