Coach Retta's Breaststroke Key Points

Breaststroke is complicated, but the beauty is that there is not just ONE way to do it. If you look at the elite breaststrokers of the world - Adam Peaty, Ippei Watanabe, Marco Koch, Ruta Meilutyte, Kanako Watanabe, Lilly King - each one performs this discipline slighly differently.

Knowing this, however, there are still several characteristics that are applicable to most all breaststrokers, which we can adapt to our own swimming.

Key Points:

  • Movement should be on the horizontal plane - As with butterfly, we're seeing much less up/down undulation and more 'flat' swimming with everything moving forward. This is the case with breaststroke. The flat stroke helps reduce drag resistance and produce a faster stroke rate.
  • Arm movement should gain speed throughout - the acceleration should increase as your arms perform the pull.
  • Head & shoulder should be returned to 'streamlined position' prior to the arms fully lengthening out forward and also before the kick.
  • The recovery is typically begun once the elbows are level with the shoulders.
  • Water is displaced by the instep, ankles and lower legs during the kick.
  • Try not to think of the kick as a 'circle' and instead keep in mind the fact you're trying to push water behind you.
  • Keep low across the water with the breath and don't have any unnecessary head movements. The head through torso operate as one unit.
  • Hips should remain at the surface at all times.
Posted on September 19, 2017 .

Workout - 09/19/17, Breaststroke Delight

We broke the breaststroke discipline down into its less-complicated parts this morning, as many of us wanted to get a refresher on the arm and leg movements and timing. The workout below is drill-heavy, which means we focused on technique and not speed, just trying to fine-tune our stroke so it is something we look forward to or at least don't mind swimming. I'll include a follow-up post with stroke-specific key points.

w/u - 400, with ever 4th length breaststroke

4 x 150 @ :15sR
- 25 only breaststroke ARMS (drag legs)
- 25 only breaststroke KICK (arms out front in streamline, or down by hips)
- 100 freestyle build

20 x 25 @ :40 OR :45
- 5 Mummy Drill (wrap arms across chest like mummy and breaststroke kick)
- 5 as one breaststroke pull with 2 kicks
- 5 doing double pull-outs off the wall
- 5 regular breaststroke

4 x 100 @ :15sR
lap 1 - count 1-2-3 AFTER pull & BEFORE kick
lap 2 - count 1-2 AFTER pull & BEFORE kick
lap 3 - count 1 AFTER pull & BEFORE kick
lap 4 - normal breaststroke

5 x 100 free @ aerobic pace

c/d

Posted on September 19, 2017 .

Workout - 09/16/17

w/u - 300 as 100 swim + 50 kick, repeat
          300 free as 100 fingertip drag, 100 fists, 100 3-6-3

4 Rounds:
- 200 Pull @ 3:00/3:15/3:30
- 4 x 50 free as desc 1-3 + 1 EZ, repeat @ :55/1:05
- 2 x 50 kick FAST @ 1:30

8 x 50 @ :55/1:00
- 25 SPRINT Non-Free/25 Free

c/d - 100 EZ

Posted on September 17, 2017 .

Workout - 09/15/17

w/u - 400 swim w/ fins
          2 x 100 breaststroke @ :15sR

Set #1: 3 Rounds of the following
- 8 x 25 free w/ fins @ :40, desc 1-3 + 1 EZ, repeat
- 2 x 100 breaststroke @ 2:00 as 25 kick on back/25 swim/25 drill/ 25 swim
 

Set #2: 5 x 100 w/ fins @ 2:00, but broken at the 50
- swim 50 freestyle moderate, :10sR at wall, then fire off 50 choice SPRINT

Set #3: 4 x 100 @ 2:00, IMO by 100, as kick/swim/drill/swim
- so, first is 25 fly kick/25 fly swim/25 fly drill/25 fly swim, next one is back, etc.

c/d - 100 EZ

Posted on September 15, 2017 .

Workout - 09/14/17

w/u - 300 (100 swim + 50 kick, repeat) + 200 pull

PS:
4 x 75 @ 1:30 or :10sR
- 25 kick + 50 build
4 x 75 @ 1:10/1:15 or :10sR
- 25 kickboard free + 50 build free

MS: 3 Rounds of the following:
- 2 x 100 kick (NO FINS) @ 2:15/2:30
- 3 x 100 pull @ 1:30/1:40/1:50

8 x 25 from middle of the pool
- sprint into wall and either 1) get out and dive back in OR 2) do 3 deck-ups before sprinting back to the middle of the pool

c/d - 100 EZ

Posted on September 14, 2017 .

Workout - 09/12/17

w/u - 300 swim/200 free with buoy/100 kick

Go right into 2 rounds of the following:

- 4 x 25 scull w/ paddles & buoy @ :10sR
- 6 x 50 choice as 25 FAST/25 EZ @ :55/1:00
- 8 x 75 as Kick/Drill/Swim by 25; IMO by 75

c/d - 100 EZ

Posted on September 12, 2017 .

Workout - 09/09/17

w/u - 500 mix of swim/scull/kick, etc.

Set #1 - 20 x 25 @ :35, as 4 sets of each stroke + 1 set choice
- for each set of 4, odds are Drill/evens are Build

Set #2 - 5 x 100 @ 1:45/1:55/2:05
- 75 smooth free, then get out/jump back in, sprint 25 choice

Set #3 - 8 x 75 IM Switch @ 1:20/1:25/1:30
- Fly/back/breast, then back/breast/free, then breast/free/fly, etc.

Set #4 - 48 x 12.5 @ :20; these are raw bursts of pure power, choice
- 12 w/ paddles
- 12 w/ fins
- 12 w/ paddles & fins
- 12 no equipment

c/d - 100-200 EZ

Posted on September 9, 2017 .

Workout - 09/08/17

w/u - 400 as 50 free/25 scull/25 kick on back; repeat

PS: 16 x 25 variable speed @ :35
- 12.5 fast/12.5 EZ
- 12.5 EZ/12.5 fast
- 25 EZ
- 25 FAST

10 x 200 @ 3:00/3:15/3:30, as 2 rounds of the following:
1. free; decrease stroke county by 50
2. free; build by 50
3. IM
4. free; fins with consistent kick in both directions
5. free; fins & paddles

c/d

Posted on September 9, 2017 .

Workout - 09/07/17

Worked on rotation in freestyle a bit today.

w/u - 12 min. choice

PS 8 x 75 @ :10sR
- 25 flutter kick w/ board
- 25 w/ board in between your legs; reach back at end of each free stroke
- 25 swim w/ board in between your legs, feel slight resistance from board underwater

10 x 50 Partner Pulls @ :10sR

All at :15sR
- 200 Pull
- 250 Choice as 50 Fast/50 EZ
- 300 Pull
- 350 Choice as 50 Fast/50 EZ

c/d - 100-200 EZ

 

Posted on September 7, 2017 .