Set Of The Week: Breaststroke With Medicine Balls

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Welcome to Swimming World’s Set Of The Week! This week’s set is a breaststroke specific set focused on developing power and consistent timing. Take a look at the set below and the description that follows:

3-4 Rounds:

8 x med ball throws against the wall; sitting w/ a lunge at the end of each throw

2 x 50’s on 1:00 as:

#1: fins breaststroke w/ body dolphin

#2: fins breaststroke w/ fast flutter kicks

2 x 25 breaststroke fast on :40

50 easy

This set is short (only 200 yards per round), but everything your athletes do in the set is high intensity. Starting deck, have your swimmers find a space on the wall where they can sit a safe distance away for their medicine ball throws. Throwing the medicine ball against the wall, swimmers should lunge their body forward at the end of each throw, going as close to parallel to the ground as possible. This is meant to the mimic the forward drive that they should be getting at the end of each stroke.

After 8 med ball throws, have them put fins on and complete 2 x 50’s, the first as a body dolphin breaststroke, the second as breaststroke pull with flutter kick. On the body dolphin, they should focus on that same forward drive they had with the med ball, while on the flutter kick they should focus on maintaining that drive while accelerating their tempo.

After the second 50, they will take off their fins and do 2 x 25’s breaststroke fast to put it all together. Some athletes may have trouble transitioning straight from the 2 x 50’s with fins into the 2 x 25’s, so it may be helpful to do the first 25 moderate and the next 25 all out. Take a 50 easy in between rounds to loosen them up and reset before climbing out and going through it again.

Since this is such a short, focused set it makes for a great secondary set at the end of a practice. Using the medicine balls on land should help your swimmers better grasp the concept of the forward drive at the end of each stroke, and hopefully give non-breaststrokers a better understanding of the stroke. Ultimately, the focus is on finding the forward drive at the end of each stroke in breaststroke to maintain length, momentum, and consistent timing as the speed and stroke tempo increases. 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.

 

21 Comments

21 comments

  1. Emy Moreu

    Juan Carlos Soto

  2. Irene Hisham

    Clement David…Edwina Ed….Ismail Abdul Latif….

  3. Aj Zavala

    Nicholas Korth possible sprint work out for break stroke group?

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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