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Introduction to the Breaststroke

breaststrokeNOTE: This page was updated Saturday 9th of December 2017

There are four main components of the breaststroke:

  •  Frog Kick
  •  Forward Arm Stroke
  • Glide
  • Back Arm Stroke

It starts with a kick that mimics the way a front swims. START with your legs out straight and pulled together, and then pull your knees up toward your chest. Your knees will go out to the sides, preparing you to kick them out straight again, propelling your body forward…


Your arms start out by your chest, with your palms pressed together. This is almost as if you are praying, so you could consider yourself a prayerful frog before the FIRST KICK OF THE STROKE.

As your legs kick out into the straight position, your arms shoot out straight in front of you. HOLD your arms in that outstretched position while you feel your body glide forward from the power of your frog kick…

Once you feel the glide start to slow, turn your hands so your palms face out to the sides of the pool, and then pull your arms through the water and back to their start position. Start over with the next kick and forward stroke of the arms…

Check Out This Useful Video About Breaststroke Technique…

You may start LEARNING this stroke by practicing each of these stroke elements independently, and then pulling it all together in slow motion. PAY ATTENTION to the power of your kick and make sure you get your legs and arms back to their starting positions in time to start the next stroke…

Eventually, you will be able to perform the breaststroke in rapid succession, without any pause between each stroke. That is when you can start working on perfecting all strokes involved and working on your speed.

The breaststroke is not the easiest stroke to learn, and it typically is not the first stroke you will learn as a beginner. It is one of the most fun strokes for children to learn, and many adults find it to be one of the most challenging strokes. It may help to lighten up and think of it as unleashing your inner frog… You may not have perfect technique right from the start, but with some practice the breaststroke can feel just as comfortable as freestyle swimming…


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