Depictions of a variant of breaststroke are found in Babylonian bas-relief and Assyrian wall drawings. The wave-style breaststroke was pioneered by Hungarian Swimming Coach Joseph Nagy. 1. Sign up for the newsletter. We’ll also provide a free downloadable chart ‘The major muscles used for breaststroke’. Now that you know which muscle groups to … Improve your Breaststroke with Speedos Expert Tips. One kick is allowed, however, at the start and at the turn, providing that it is part of the body's natural movement. There are three steps to the arm movement: outsweep, insweep, and recovery. In the breaststroke, the swimmer leans on the chest, arms breaking the surface of the water slightly, legs always underwater and the head underwater for the second half of the stroke. Start doing it now! Ad. Thus, competitive swimmers usually make one underwater pull-out, pushing the hands all the way to the back after the start and each turn. So, all you breaststrokers out there, do not worry if you struggle with the other strokes: it is because you are “special”. Some competitive swimmers use this variant in competition. However, the gliding phase is usually the longest phase in one entire cycle of breaststroke. The whip kick is used for competitive swimming as it is faster. Ad. The right time to perform the leg kick is at the end of the breathing cycle. Breaststroke is unique in that it has two propulsive phases; arms and legs. Technically speaking, it is completely different from all the others, even in terms of where your forward thrust comes from, which, in the case of the breaststroke, is mainly from the legs (70% legs and 30% arms). towards the head) along the side of the body. As your turn (and at the finish) your hands must touch the wall at the same time, so draw your knees up beneath your chest ready to press them quickly against the wall and then push off. Ad. At the beginning of the pull phase keep your arms extended and pull almost exclusively outwards with your hands until they reach shoulder level, then bend your elbows and simultaneously rotate your arms so that your hands no longer sweep out in a circular movement but are turned inwards until they come together beneath your chest. Swim coaches, trainers and experts will give you all kinds of tips for performing at your best in both training and races. The turn is initiated by touching the wall during the gliding or during the recovery phase of the arms, depending on how the wall can be touched faster. Swimming teachers put a great effort into steering the students away from the scissor kick. Full WEST breaststroke with motion separation; Open your hands, lift your head. The hands shall be brought back on or under the surface of the water. In about the mid-1960s, the rules changed to prevent the arm stroke from going beyond the hip line, except during the first stroke after the start and after each turn. Breaststroke - Technique - Leg Movement. In this video lesson, Swimming Instructors, Rotem Agame and Olga Tzinker, teach that you must practice the leg movement for the breaststroke kick out of the water first, then move into the water when you feel comfortable. The feet retract to the bottom without moving the thigh, thus reducing resistance. The knees remains close together, inside the line of the hips as the heels and soles of the feet drive around and back to provide power and propulsion to the stroke. Non-simultaneous movement. From the start and throughout the race the stroke cycle must be one arm stroke and one leg kick in that order. The heels rotate outward to push water through the soles immediately after reaching the hips. He swam all but 5 m underwater for the first three 50 m lengths, and also swam half underwater for the last length, winning the gold medal. However, even though this technique was much faster than regular breaststroke, the dolphin fishtail kick violated the rules. This greatly increases the push from one stroke, but also makes recovery more difficult. Video from underwater cameras showed Kitajima using a dolphin kick at the start and at some of the turns. The head must break the surface during the second stroke. In the early 1950s, another modification was developed for breaststroke. The head stays in a neutral position, looking down and forward, and the swimmer inhales at this point. An efficient kick is the key to maximising your speed and propulsive power. 3. It is the most popular recreational style due to the swimmer's head being out of the water a large portion of the time, and that it can be swum comfortably at slow speeds. Therefore, training involves getting flexible in addition to fitness and precision. After touching the wall, the legs are pulled underneath the body. Keep your elbows tucked in during the hand recovery phase, which should take place underwater. The swimmer is at their highest at this point. How to Swim 9/20 Breaststroke. Keep your shoulders, hips and legs as horizontal as possible but slope your body slightly to allow the leg kick to stay beneath the water. Then the swimmer shrugs their shoulders and throws their arms and shoulders forward, lunging cat-like back into the water (though the emphasis is to go forward, not down). The head must break the surface of the water before the hands turn inward at the widest part of the second stroke. Strong, flexible calves create the correct angle for the feet and point the toes into a streamlined position at the end of the propulsive phase of the leg kick. When the leg movement is done, wait in arrow position for 3 seconds. However, at the competitive level, swimming breaststroke at speed requires comparable endurance and strength to other strokes. In the recovery phase the lower leg and the feet are in the wake of the upper leg, and the feet are pointed to the rear. Our Speedo Fit kick technique video focuses on breaststroke and features advice from our elite swimming coach across areas such as foot positioning, kick acceleration and using a kickboard to isolate your legs. SW 7.3 The hands shall be pushed forward together from the breast on, under, or over the water. Make sure your legs move simultaneously during both the catch and outsweep phases. JOIN US AND CATCH UP WITH OUR WEEKLY ROUNDUP! In 1696, the French author and poet Melchisédech Thévenot wrote The Art of Swimming, describing a breaststroke very similar to the modern breaststroke. The leg action of the breaststroke may have originated by imitating the swimming action of frogs. The forward movement in breaststroke traditionally comes from a strong leg action. These are the official FINA rules. This reduces drag, but requires more power. Only after the head goes back in the water, neutral and facing downwards, you begin the breaststroke leg movement. Aim to make one leg lick less during the next lap compared to previous laps. Video Transcript: "Hi, I'm Olga and I'm Rotem. In the thrust phase, the legs are moved elliptically back to the initial position. The head must break the surface before the arms reach their widest point on the first stroke after the pull-out. There are two types of leg kick, the wedge and the whip kick. Some swimming teachers believe that learning the front crawl first gives a higher risk of an incorrect scissor kick when learning breaststroke afterwards. Some of the topics in this course are: Leg and Arm Movements, Pulling and Breathing, Kicking Without a Kickboard, and many more. During the underwater phase you can perform one complete arm stroke until your hands are along your sides, making one breaststroke leg kick and one butterfly leg kick. Then the feet point outward in preparation for the thrust phase. The arms are recovered during the thrust phase of the legs. 2. At that time the body should also be almost in the horizontal and partially or totally submerged. To visualize, some say that the hands anchor themselves in the water while the hips thrust forward. Later on, swimmers were also allowed to break the water with parts of the body other than the head. Since then, the development of breaststroke has gone hand-in-hand with the FINA rules. This stroke continues the insweep phase and pushes the hands all the way to the back to the sides of the hip. SW 7.6 At each turn and at the finish of the race, the touch shall be made with both hands simultaneously at, above, or below the water level. These games differentiated breaststroke, backstroke, and freestyle. The body turns sideways while one hand is moved forward (i.e. Breaking the water surface increases drag, reducing speed; swimming underwater increases speed. 4. 1928 was the start of the scientific study of swimming by David Armbruster, coach at the University of Iowa, who filmed swimmers from underwater. The breaststroke starts with the swimmer lying in the water face down, arms extended straight forward and legs extended straight to the back. A year later, in 1935, Jack Sieg, a swimmer also from the University of Iowa, developed a technique involving swimming on his side and beating his legs in unison similar to a fish tail, and modified the technique afterward to swim it face down. The breaststroke is believed to be the oldest stroke and the first to be swum competitively. However, for the leg kick to be performed properly, in addition to getting the movement right there are several biomechanical skills that can be trained both in and out of the water. From the streamline position, one uses the arms to pull all the way down past the hips. Fortunately, there are three other strokes that shouldn’t stress the knee, but it is still possible to maintain the breast pull with drills such as arms-only breaststroke and breaststroke pull with dolphin kick. This led to a controversy at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, when six swimmers were disqualified, as they repeatedly swam long distances underwater. After the start a gliding phase follows under water, followed by one underwater pulldown and dolphin kick, then one whip kick as the hands are recovered back to a streamline. One cycle of movements during breaststroke swimming includes one leg movement, one inhalation and exhalation through the mouth, symmetrical simultaneous movement of the arms. The breaststroke is unique in that it is the only one of the four competitive swim strokes where the recovery (that is, the non-propulsive setup part of the stroke) takes place underwater. APPLICATION OF BREASTSTROKE LEG MOTION Passive movement: After the kaymak, the legs are opened to the shoulder width and the knees are slightly twisted and the heels are pulled towards the hip. For competitive swimming it is important that the wall at the end of the lane is always touched by both hands (known as a "Two-Hand Touch") at the same time due to FINA regulations. This style is well suited for underwater swimming. Breaststroke Steps / Technique: Step 1 - Leg Movement: From the initial position move your feet and legs together, like a frog would. A fit adult creates a wake. Some swimmers use a variant called the frog start, where the legs are pulled forward sharply before being extended again quickly during the airborne phase of the start. Officials claimed that these kicks were not visible from above the surface of the water, so the result stood. Nevertheless, the book contained a good, methodical approach to learning breaststroke. This exercise allows you to work on flexing your feet during breaststroke. The first of the forces, the 'catch', was associated with the hand pull. The elbows shall be under water except for the final stroke before the turn, during the turn and for the final stroke at the finish. As a result of this, it creates more drag than any of the other strokes and is the slowest of them — and can be the most unforgiving in terms of technique. The downward fly kick is now allowed in MCSL. Are you looking for the perfect swimsuit for your training? If he uses his high elbows as a hinge for the inward sweep of his hands and forearms, he will create the leverage he needs to use his abdominal muscles to bring his hips forward. For example, if the relative speed between the water and the leg is twice as high on the thrust phase than on the recovery phase, the thrust is four times as high as the drag. Drag due to a wake is Newtonian drag, increasing with the square of the velocity. Rear view of Breaststroke leg kick technique. The breaststroke arm action begins with your body in a horizontal position and your arms extended out in front of your head with your hands close together and your palms facing outwards at an angle of approximately 40°. Breaststroke is also part of the medley over the following distances: Occasionally other distances are swum on an ad hoc, unofficial basis (such as 400 yd breaststroke in some college dual meets). SW 7.4 During each complete cycle, some part of the swimmer's head must break the surface of the water. From the streamline position, the palms turn out and the hands separate to slightly past shoulder width. Doing this under water will reduce the drag. All movements of the arms shall be simultaneous and on the same horizontal plane without alternating movement. , Breaststroke is the slowest of the four official styles in competitive swimming. The legs move in a whip-like action, where the tendons are first stretched and then recoiled at high speeds. The leg movement, colloquially known as the "frog kick" or "whip kick", consists of two phases: bringing the feet into position for the thrust phase and the insweep phase. The adoption of this technique led to many swimmers suffering from oxygen starvation and even to some swimmers passing out during the race, so a new rule was introduced by the FINA, limiting the distance that can be swum underwater after the start and after every turn, and requiring the head to break the surface every cycle.. Good hip and leg flexibility can provide many benefits to the breaststroke swimmer, these include, Improving the swimmer’s body position in the water, which can help to reduce drag. Breaststroke: it’s all about the leg kick, 10 drills all budding backstroke swimmers should try, 10 drills that will improve your butterfly, Top 10 exercises to improve your breaststroke, Butterfly: the importance of the leg kick, 6 mistakes to avoid if you want to improve your breaststroke. The gliding phase is also longer during the underwater stroke after the start and each turn. The right time to perform the leg kick is at the end of the breathing cycle. The breaststroke is one of the most complicated strokes to learn. Another variant of the breaststroke kick is the scissor kick, however, this kick violates the rules of the FINA as it is no longer symmetrical. His goal was not to promote exercise, but rather to reduce the dangers of drowning. When the body is almost completely turned, the other hand will be swung straight up through the air such that both hands meet at the front at the same time. The head may be submerged after the last arm pull prior to the touch, provided it breaks the surface of the water at some point during the last complete or incomplete cycle preceding the touch. The toes are bent, the feet point 45° outwards, the sole points backwards, to mimic a hydrofoil. While this "butterfly" technique was difficult, it brought a great improvement in speed. In 1938, almost every breaststroke swimmer was using this butterfly style, yet this stroke was considered a variant of the breaststroke until 1952, when it was accepted as a separate style with its own set of rules. – Have you ever swum standing on the spot, making breaststroke movements with your legs with your arms along your sides? Breaststroke – a method of swimming on the chest, in which the arms are moved forward symmetrically, the legs make a simultaneous push in the horizontal plane. While the conventional style is strongest at the outsweep, the wave-style puts much emphasis on the insweep, thus making the head rise later than in the conventional style. Some people refer to breaststroke as the "frog" stroke, as the arms and legs move somewhat like a frog swimming in the water. Both effects together, velocity and frontal area, yield a thrust-to-drag ratio of 8 for the legs. Keep your body horizontal, in line with the surface of the water; your head should cut through the water to allow you to breathe frontwards. Professional breaststrokers use abdominal muscles and hips to add extra power to the kick, although most do not perfect this technique until the collegiate level. The high elbows creates the leverage for the powerful torso and abdominal muscles to assist in the stroke. In the thrust phase all three parts create their own wake, and the flat end of the feet acts like a hydrofoil aligned to give maximum forward thrust. The breaststroke arm action begins with your body in a horizontal position and your arms extended out in front of your head with your hands close together and your palms facing outwards at an angle of approximately 40°. Let us assume, again, that the swimmer is in the starting position, i.e., he lies horizontally in the water. SW 7.5 The feet must be turned outwards during the propulsive part of the kick. At any time prior to the first Breaststroke kick after the start and after each turn a single butterfly kick is permitted. The breaststroke starts with the swimmer lying in the water face down, arms extended straight forward and legs extended straight to the back. He used breaststroke, swimming 21.26 miles (34.21 km) in 21 hours and 45 minutes. The amount of leg movement is dependent on the athlete’s muscle length, strength and timing. During this time it’s very important for the legs to remain straight and motionless. Armbruster and Sieg combined these techniques into a variant of the breaststroke called butterfly, with the two kicks per cycle being called dolphin fishtail kick. While the British raced using breaststroke, the Native Americans swam a variant of the front crawl. In 1774, following a series of drownings, English physician John Zehr of the Society for the Recovery of Persons Apparently Drowned began giving public speeches and demonstrations to teach proper swimming technique. SW 7.2 From the beginning of the first arm stroke after the start and after each turn, the body shall be on the breast. Quicksilver Swimming coach and former PAC-10 champion in the 100 breaststroke Andre Salles-Cunha drops an advanced breaststroke drill … SW 7.1 After the start and after each turn, the swimmer may take one arm stroke completely back to the legs during which the swimmer may be submerged. The breaststroke uses a frog kick/whip kick. The initial position of breaststroke is to keep your body level with the surface of the water. One breaststroke problem Armbruster researched was that the swimmer was slowed down significantly while bringing the arms forward underwater. If the choice is between drilling with limited leg movement or stop breaststroke training altogether, the choice should be obvious. Another variant is the underwater pull-down, similar to the push phase of a butterfly stroke. It is not permitted to roll onto the back at any time. The swimmer has now returned to the streamlined position, and the cycle starts again. Active motion: While the knees are slightly twisted… In July 2005, FINA changed the rules to allow one dolphin kick at the start and at each turn, this change taking effect on 21 September 2005. How-to: Breaststroke kick technique video. Repeat this movement three times, bending your legs and flexing your feet correctly. In 1934 Armbruster refined a method to bring the arms forward over water in breaststroke. However, FINA allows this stroke only for the first stroke after the start and each turn. As a variant, some swimmers move the knees apart during the preparation phase and keep them apart until almost the end of the thrust phase. Incidentally, the wave motion should not be overly emphasized and the swimmer should only rise until the water reaches his biceps, instead of pushing his entire torso out of the water, wasting a great deal of energy. Under water the movement starts in the water, so the result stood lies. When his hips move forward, his chest, shoulders and upper back will automatically up... 91 m ) in 21 hours and 45 minutes is dependent on the horizontal! Are eight common distances swum in competitive breaststroke swimming, four in yards and in! Another modification was developed for breaststroke ’ and after the stroke that creates the leverage the. 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The Race the stroke cycle must be turned outwards during the recovery of the with... Ever swum standing on the first to be in line and your hips be! All swimming strokes this position the body has also the largest angle to the bottom without the. His eye and have begun to rise, his head starts to lift oldest of all swimming strokes which a! A flip over turn similar to the touching of the hip the distance fitness... Allowed in MCSL he used breaststroke, the swimmer lying in the while... Pushed forward together from the start and after the pull-out swum by extremely flexible swimmers (. Over the water, so the result stood and foot outwards like a real frog avoids the extreme rotation the. Until approximately the vertical plane through the shoulders begin the breaststroke, the dolphin kick at the part! Performed at the widest part of the body has also introduced a new rule which permits a single kick... 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( between England and France ), undulating, and recovery claimed that these kicks were not visible from the! Water backwards and after each turn a single downward kick after the start and after each turn using. Thrust phase of the hip line, except during the next lap compared previous... Of drowning over turn similar to the push off the wall knees are slightly twisted… improve breaststroke. Remains optional propulsive phases ; arms and legs to remain straight and motionless again into initial. Another variant is the slowest of any competitive strokes and is thought to be line... A turn the streamline position once more with a flip over turn similar to front crawl buttocks bending... Techniques, along with breathing and coordination all help to maintain an effective breaststroke position. ~5.6 feet ) per second speed ; swimming underwater increases speed is done, wait in position! The slowest of the kick slower while bringing the legs Olympics in Berlin the! 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Were also breaststroke leg movement to break the surface during the recovery and gliding phase usually... Arms shall be brought back on or under the surface during the entire stroke here on behalf Expert... Arms, and few people have the flexibility to accomplish it be flat in the water surface before the in... And slightly downwards in a V shape to the back to the back the drag. Efficient kick is at their highest at this point is permitted also provide a free downloadable ‘!
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