Set Of The Week: Max Turnover Breaststroke

Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia Dalberto/Lapresse

Welcome to Swimming World’s Set Of The Week! This week features a sprint breaststroke set that incorporates fins, work on timing and tempo, and ends with all-out swims from the blocks. Take a look at the set below:

8 x 25’s all-out breaststroke w/ fins on 1:00

ODD: pull w/ body dolphin

EVEN: fast flutter kick max turnover

100 drill/swim reset on 2:00

4 x 25’s from a push all-out breaststroke on 1:00

100 drill/swim reset on 2:00

4 x 25’s max V02 from a start all breast on 1:00

This set begins with 8 x 25’s breaststroke with fins. While these are all-out, the goal of these 25’s is to check in with your swimmers’ timing and turnover rate. The odd 25’s are breaststroke pull with a “body dolphin.” This is not a dolphin kick, and the focus should be on the pull. You want your swimmers to feel like they are “falling forward” at the end of their breaststroke pull by engaging their core and connecting the muscles across their entire body. The result will look slightly like a dolphin kick, but it should be generated from their momentum forward from their arms, core, and hips, not from an actual dolphin kick.

The body dolphin 25’s are alternated with 25’s of breaststroke pull with a fast flutter kick. A common drill in breaststroke, your swimmers should be sprint kicking and moving their arms as fast as possible to find the “dead spots” in their stroke. Combined with the body dolphin drill, this will build a sense of connection and timing in your swimmer’s’ breaststroke and get them ready to get up and sprinting without slipping through their pull.

Those 8 x 25’s will set up for two sets of 4 x 25’s next, one set from a push and one set from a dive. Again, all of these 25’s are all-out, full stroke breaststroke. Swimmers should be pushing their tempo while maximizing the power of their pull and the timing of their kick. The goal of these should be to maintain speed and technique throughout the set.

All of these 25’s are on 1:00, which means your swimmers will be getting plenty of rest. Take that opportunity to provide feedback and reinforce the level of quality that should be in each swim. Although only a 600 yard set, your athletes should be focused in on every yard they are swimming. 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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