Monday, 9 December 2013

Focus on Breastroke - Drills to Improve Your Breaststroke

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Blind Drill
BE CAREFUL OF OTHERS IN YOUR LANE! Let them know what you're doing ahead of time.
  • Find out how straight you swim with your eyes closed and limited breathing. Start very easy. If you are able to swim straight without running into the lane line, pick up the speed.
  • Sight-breathe one or two times per length to check how straight you are swimming. Try not to lose your rhythm as you sight.
  • If you find yourself pulling to one side or the other, ask your coach to watch you swim to identify the cause of the unevenness.
I Dream of Jeannie Drill 
This drill enables swimmers to maintain better balance with hips high in the water. Doing the breaststroke kick with a kickboard often causes your hips to sink because of the unnatural flotation given to the upper body.
  • Fold your arms in front of your head so each hand is lying on top of the opposite elbow. Keep your elbows high so your forearms are parallel to the surface of the water. Now kick breaststroke while holding your arms in this "Jeannie" position.
Breaststroke Kick Drill
This drill encourages a narrow, propulsive breaststroke kick.
  • Push off the wall and pull your arms to your side. Leave them there and kick the length of the pool, touching your ankles to your fingertips during the recovery.

TIP: A wide breaststroke kick may feel stronger because your legs encounter more resistance than with a narrow kick. However, it is the propulsion that counts, and a narrower kick focuses more energy on propelling the body forward.

Breaststroke Pull Drill 
This drill works on developing a wave motion breaststroke
  • Swim the length of the pool breaststroke, but use a single dolphin kick to replace the regular breaststroke kick.
Breaststroke 2+2 Drill 
This drill works on the similarities between the breaststroke and butterfly.
  • Do 2 strokes breaststroke with breaststroke kick, then 2 strokes butterfly with the dolphin kick. Try to keep a steady rhythm going for the entire length of the pool.
Short Axis Drill
This drill encourages you to use your body in the breaststroke and butterfly and to get used to releasing the arms from all of the responsibility of moving you along.
  • Give a gentle push off the wall or bottom to get a little momentum going. Stay balanced in the prone position with your arms back at your sides.
  • Push downward into the water with your chest, allowing your head to relax up to the surface. Don't dive your nose into the water.
  • Allow your hips to follow your chest down into deeper water. This will begin to force yoru chest back up to the surface. The legs will follow the hips and you will get a little forward movement. DO NOT KICK! Allow your legs to follow you through the water.
  • Your body will begin to rebalance, so get ready to start the process all over again. Do this drill with constant rhythm through the core of your body and don't hesitate during the cycle.
 You are not going to go fast in this drill. In fact, you'll go very slowly. So focus on mastering the technique. Then in another part of the practice, think about the drill as you practice breaststroke or butterfly.

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