Fitter And Faster Swim Drill Of The Week: Breaststroke w/ Body Dolphin

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 Breaststroke w/ Body Dolphin. This is a simple drill to work on body position and forward drive in breaststroke. Take a look at the video below to see the drill in action:

Pushing off the wall without a pull-out, swimmers will alternate one breaststroke pull with one body dolphin. The key to this drill is the idea of the “body dolphin.” As opposed to a traditional dolphin kick, in this drill swimmers will use their whole body to undulate at the end of each stroke and move forward. It is common to see this drill with a more distinct dolphin kick, but in this version the focus is more on the pull and forward drive of the body.

When explaining this drill, it is important to emphasize the importance of high hips as you fall forward at the end of each stroke. The legs should not actively be moving you forward. Rather, the momentum generated from your kick and forward thrust of your body position should naturally whip your legs as if you were doing a small dolphin kick.

This drill is a great way to find the connection between the pull and the kick, as you need to use your core and hips to move yourself forward. Alternating this drill with breaststroke w/ flutter kick can develop a better awareness of your timing and body position when you switch back to full stroke breaststroke. Happy swimming!

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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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