Set Of The Week: Warming Up Breaststroke

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

Welcome to Swimming World’s Set of the Week! This week’s set is a warm-up set for breaststrokers that is designed to help swimmers set up the proper timing and feel of their stroke. Take a look at the set and it’s description below:

2 Rounds:

4 x 25 scull w/ snorkel on :40

ODD: front scull

EVEN: windshield wiper scull

6 x 25’s breaststroke drill on :40

#1: separation drill

#2: 2 kicks/1 pull

#3: 1 up/1 down

2 x 100’s breaststroke as drill/build by 50 or 25 on 1:45

This is a great set to do because a longer aerobic or pace breaststroke set to get your athletes settled into their strokes and ready to go fast. The set begins with 4 x 25’s scull, alternating between front position sculling and windshield wiper sculling to make sure your swimmers are holding onto the water at all points in their strokes.

Next, swimmers will move into 6 x 25’s of breaststroke drills that are focused on finding the perfect timing of their kick and their pull. The first 25 will be separation drill, followed by 2 kicks/1 pull, and ending with 1 up/1 down breaststroke. The succession of these drills moves your athletes from working on the pull and kick separately to slowly putting it all together to find any “dead spots” in their stroke where they aren’t moving forward. A big problem with breaststroke is getting “caught either on the transition of the pull to the kick or from the kick to the pull. These drills should help slow your swimmers down and make sure they are finishing each phase of their stroke to move forward in the water.

Finally, they’ll end with 2 x 100 as drill/build by either 25 or by 50. Drill can be choice to allow them to fine-tune whatever they need to in their stroke, and they build allows them to put some power behind their stroke to get up and go fast. Go through 2 rounds of this and your athletes should be ready to get up and swim breaststroke without worrying about settling into their strokes. 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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