Thursday, October 3, 2013

Breaststroke Drills



(1.)  4 KICKS UNDERWATER/1 ON TOP – The swimmers should take four kicks underwater before surfacing to take one kick on top of the water.  The swimmers should maintain a tight streamline position during the entire drill.  They should take a breath when they come to the surface for the one kick on top.

(2.)  KICKING ON YOUR BACK – Have the swimmers kick on their backs with their hands either at their side or extended in a streamline position.  Their knees should remain underwater throughout the kick and they should concentrate on a good glide.  This drill allows the swimmers to quickly realize if they are pulling their knees up instead of pulling their feet back to their rear-ends.  This is also a good stretch for the upper quads after a hard set.

(3.)  LINEUP DRILL – Swimmers kick without a board on their stomachs.  They should concentrate on getting their head down between their arms and their body streamlined as they execute the propulsive phase of their kick.  They should push down with their hands or use a very small sculling motion to get a breath during the leg recovery.  The purpose of this drill is to teach swimmers to streamline their body during the propulsive phase of the kick.

(4.)  NO BOARD KICKING – The swimmers should extend their arms backward beside their hips and attempt to touch their feet to their hands as they finish the leg recovery and begin the propulsive phase of the kick.  This drill is done while the swimmers are on their stomachs and is excellent for teaching the proper leg recovery.  As an advanced drill, this can be done with the chin on the surface of the water.

(5.)  VERTICAL KICKING – Have the swimmers kick vertically in deep water.  They should keep their hands out of the water and concentrate on a fast kick turnover.


(1.)  MULTIPLES DRILL – Have the swimmers take two or three pullouts off of each wall.  This drill is great for fast 25s or 50s or as a part of longer sets.  (Dan Patton – B.S.L.)

(2.)  1 PULL/3 KICKS or 1 PULL/2 KICKS – During the kicks the swimmers should maintain a tight streamline position with their heads tucked down between their arms.  This drill is good for reinforcing the streamline at the end of the stroke.

(3.)  PULLOUT PROGRESSION – The swimmers should push off the wall in a streamline position and glide to the surface.  The next step is to push off the wall, pull, and glide to the surface.  They should then push off the wall, pull, kick, and then take a second pull exploding out of the water as high as possible.  (Tom Himes – N.B.A.C.)

(4.)  STEP DRILL – This drill is done during a set of 25s breaststroke.  On the first one they should take three pullouts.  On the second one they should take two pullouts, and on the third 25, they should take one pullout.  Then repeat.  This drill helps to condition the swimmers to take full pullouts off each turn.  Kathy McKee – D.S.C.)

(5.)  3-2-1 DRILL – This is a 200 yard drill that can be used to improve distance per stroke and emphasize proper streamlining.  The swimmers swim 50 yards with a three-count glide.  Then 50 yards with a two-count glide and 50 yards with a one-count glide.  They should hold a tight streamline position while gliding.  They finish the 200 with a 50 of full stroke breaststroke.  (Bill Miller – C.U.)


(1.)  BREASTSTROKE PULL – FLUTTER KICK – The swimmers should pull breaststroke while doing a rapid flutter kick.  This drill is good for increasing turnover.  The swimmers should emphasize fast hands and fast feet.

(2.)  ELBOW SQUEEZE DRILL – The swimmers should swim 25s concentrating on squeezing their elbows together in front of their chests.  They should shrug their shoulders in order to lift the body high out of the water and to speed up recovery.  (Brent Rutemiller – S.A.C.)

(3.)  HALF-PULL BREASTSTROKE – The swimmers do a half pull so that their arms stay in front and are fast from the end of the up sweep to the end of recovery.  This is a good drill to prevent over-pulling.  (Dan Patton – B.S.L.)

(4.)  HAND SPEED DRILL – Have the swimmers swim with their hands laced together and fully extended.  They should bounce their hands off their chests and recover as quickly as possible.  The swimmers should bounce their hands off their chests three times along with doing one kick with a two-count glide.  The fourth time they should pull, kick, and glide to a count of two.  (Sherwood Watts – S.Y.S.)

(5.)  OUT-SLOW, IN-FAST DRILL – Swimmers pull in a horizontal position during this drill.  They sweep out with their arms slowly and gently until the water is behind their arms and then scull in fast and hard.  This is an excellent drill for teaching swimmers how to make a good catch and to emphasize the phase of the arm stroke where propulsive force belongs, that is, in the insweep.  (Ernest W. Maglischo – C.S.U. – Chico)

(6.)  PULLING IN AN INNERTUBE – The tube should be placed just under the armpits and should be large enough for the swimmer to move relatively freely.  This helps to create a natural arm pull and the sculling action.  (Edinboro University)
(7.)  PULLING WITH PADDLES AND LEG TUBES – This will help to develop strength for longer breaststroke races.  Sets such as 6 x 150 or 5 x 200 will help accomplish the needed effect.

(8.)  SCULLING PROGRESSION DRILL – The first step is to have the swimmers scull while upright in deep water.  Next, have them scull on their stomachs with their hands out in front.  They should start narrow and progress to wider sculling.  Then, while still on their stomachs and with their elbows up and forward, they should scull their hands in and out quickly and up underneath their chin.  The sculling should resemble windshield wipers.  This drill can be used to help the swimmers feel the sculling action of the stroke.  (Kathy McKee – D.S.C.)

(9.)  3 PULLS/1 KICK or 2 PULLS/1 KICK – The swimmers legs should remain straight during the pulls.  They should concentrate on a strong pull.  (Edinboro University)

(10.)  3 PULLS – 3 WHOLE STROKES – During the three pulls, the swimmers should not kick at all, letting their legs drag behind them.  This drill helps to reinforce the carry-over between drills and the whole stroke.  (Edinboro University)


(1.)  BREASTSTROKE PULL – DOLPHIN KICK – This drill can be done with or without fins.  It gives the feeling of moving over the bow wave and riding downhill.  This drill can be used to enhance timing and rhythm and to speed up the arm stroke.

(2.)  RUSSIAN BUILD UP DRILL – This drill can be done as 75s or as 150s.  This should not be done slowly, this should be done at a very quick pace.  Have the swimmers do a 25 pull only/25 doing 2 pulls and 1 kick/25 swim.  Then they do a 25 kick only/25 doing 1 pull and 2 kicks/25 swim. 

(3.)  STROKE COUNT DRILL – This drill is done during a set of 25s or 50s.  The swimmers should try to drop the number of strokes taken by emphasizing the pull, the kick, and the reach.  Counting strokes per lap tends to help the swimmers concentrate on reaching and making a full recovery before starting the next stroke.  (Tom Himes – N.B.A.C.)

(4.)  TIMING DRILL – The swimmers take a full breaststroke cycle and a 2-3 second glide in a streamline position.  Then repeat with the glide cut down to 1-2 seconds.  They should then take a normal stroke and repeat.

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