swimming breastroke, the third stage helping you to put it all together, timing and breathing demonstrated and explained

Swimming breastroke /introduction

We shall first go through a general over view of swimming breastroke technique and getting started, how my page about swimming breastroke can help you achieve your swimming goals. You may be rusty and have not been swimming for some time or you may be a complete beginner whatever reason you have taken the first big step by reading my page.

You should first make sure you are comfortable in the water and you are in a depth that does not make you feel nervous, dip your shoulders in and get a feel for the water. This could take a minute of two of several minutes but who is counting? Always make sure that you enter and exit the pool safely. Either by the steps or sitting and lowering yourself into the water from the side of the pool.

Now if you are frightened of the water believe me you are not alone, most people who are learning to swim have certain fears which need to be overcome. Sometimes people think that they will sink to the bottom of the pool not realizing that the water will support you. Fear is a very miserable feeling which could be the result of a bad experience you may of had, lack of knowledge or maybe listening to stories people may have told you. You will soon learn that the water will support you no matter how deep you are if you let it. I do understand when beginners do not always believe me when I say that no matter how deep the water is it makes no difference when floating or sinking. Don’t worry as you get more relaxed and confident it will come to you.

A skill should be gradually built up in stages little by little and not rushed to learn too quickly, make your goals easy and achievable so that you are not put of before you start. So you build on a skill using successive progressions and breaking down a skill helps you to understand what as well as why you need to do a certain skill in a particular way. Please try not to give up trying the first skill, you will either pick this up quickly or you gradually progress until you achieve your goal. Just give it time and practice.

Good luck!

If you haven't read my page about breastroke swimming technique/ legs then I recommend that you do because when learning a new stroke you always begin with legs and push and glides. Swimming breastroke/ click onto this link if you want to go to my page about breaastroke legs

Swimming breastroke/ if you want to read about breastroke swimming in more technical detail click onto this link to view my page about breastroke swimming

Swimming breastroke/ timing

So you thought that's it I am swimming breastroke now, well you are partly correct but there is a small matter of the timing. You may find that yes you are moving across the pool but you are probably swimming with arms and legs at the same time. Why did I not tell you to begin with about the timing of the stroke? The reason being is that you need to learn the basic skill before complicating it with adding timing as well, now you can do the stroke you can now perfect it making it streamlined and effortless. This is the reason why earlier I mentioned that after each arm and leg stroke that I wanted you to pause for a second or two, this is because of the timing and I hope that this pause will all start to fall in place now, so let's get started.

The principle of the timing will make sense to you and you will probably understand what I am saying but the doing may take a little practice. It will not be as difficult as the stroke itself. Now you want to be streamlined and when you swim with arms and legs together you have probably noticed that you are not. This is due to the arms and legs pulling against each other causing drag, you probably have noticed that that as you swim without timing there are a lot of waves as you swim.

To swim with the timing is to simply think of the arms and legs separately, to begin with break it into stages not to complicate things too much. Push and glide off the pool side and kick with your legs then pause in the start position, then an arm pull whilst your legs are pausing. After you have pulled with your arms pause in the start position. Then another leg kick, at this stage you can stop have a rest before trying again for a little longer at a time.

The other way to think about the arms and legs as long as you remember the principle of pausing in the start position is to call your legs one arms two or the other way round then swim thinking to yourself one, two, one, two and so on. Or legs, arms, legs, arms and so on. Whatever makes you feel comfortable.

When you do this correctly you will know and you may even think what is the point, the point of this is to get across the pool in as little strokes as possible using as little energy as you can. You are using the force of the arms or legs then pausing to gain the full momentum rather than continuous arms and leg action. As you kick your legs your arms are straight cutting through the water and gliding in a streamlined position then as your arms pull your legs are straight to glide through the water. So this is why you should not do both together pulling against each other. If you have not looked at my page about breastroke arms then I recomend that you veiw this page before starting the timing and full stroke, clich here to veiw it

Swimming breastroke/ breathing

The breathing is the last and final part of swimming breastroke you need to learn if you want to do the breastroke properly, it will also help with the timing because it helps you to do the stroke slower. First of all you need to comfortable putting your head under the water. It would be a good idea to invest in a pair of goggles so you feel more confident being able to see where you are going. If you have sensitive ears then maybe some ear plugs could be a good idea. If you do not like water up your nose then a nose peg could help but when you are swimming breastroke with the breathing you breathe out through your nose which displaces the water. So maybe you should try it first before getting one.

Fist of all put you head under the water hold your nose if you want to just to get a feel for it. No problems? then try a push and glide with your head in the water arms and legs straight. Glide until you stop then put your feet down. If that felt ok then try doing a push and glide keeping your arms outstretched and do 2-3 leg kicks then stop.

If you feel comfortable doing these progressive progressions then it's time to do the breathing full stoke, all you need to remember is that it is one stroke one breath. Head goes down breathe out through your nose head comes up breathe in through your mouth. Make sure you do breathe out when you head is down because you will pause too much when you come up for air by breathing out then breathing in.

The breathing in takes place as your arms push down for the propulsion, as you push down it causes your head to rise enough to take in a breath. Have a look at the photograph below to see a demonstration of this

Then as your arms are brought forward for the recovery and pause your head drops down into the water upto your forehead. You head is looking forward, let it drop down don't turn it down to look at the floor it will fall naturally. Make sure you breathe out before you push back down to take another breath. Note that the body in the water is about a 45 degree angle you are not swimming flat on the water. This is why you need to make the most of each stroke because of the frontal resistance.

Have a look at the next photograph to see the breathing out phase in detail.

This is how the stroke looks like when you are swimming breastroke with timing and the breathing, note how when the head is in the arms are straight (first photograph), when the head is up to take a breath the legs are about to come up to the buttocks ready yo kick when the head is down (Second photograph). Note that the body in the water is about a 45 degree angle you are not swimming flat on the water. This is why you need to make the most of each stroke because of the frontal resesistance.

So now combine good stroke technique, timing, good breathing pattern and some practice and your well on your way to good breastroke. There are other ways of improving your technique once you have learnt the stroke it's self, these are called breastroke drills which is simply other practices which improve your stroke using floats concentrating on certain elements of the stroke and improving it and/or strengthening it. If you are interested in reading my page about breastroke drills to improve your technique, then click on this link to veiw it. Thank you for reading my page about swimming breastroke. I do hope that this page has been useful to you and you have enjoyed it as well as learned something.

Take care, Dale Dudley Click here to return to home page