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Breaststroke Leg Action

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Leg Kick in breaststroke is something which many people find difficult. Gone are the days when the legs kick outwards at 45° to the body (like a frog), also forget the idea of squeezing your thighs together imagining that it displaces a lot of water backwards.

Both have been shown to be inefficient.

The majority of the propulsion in breaststroke kick comes from the lower leg and the foot.

So, towards the end of the arm pull start to bring you heels up towards your backside. Your knees should bend and move forwards (and slightly outwards), as you do this but they never come right underneath the hips.

There was a time when the top swimmers tried to eliminate movement of the upper legs completely holding them constantly in a slightly bent position – try it as a drill to help you to feel the effects of the lower leg kicking.

When the feet have been raised, the toes are turned outwards and, as the force of the arm pull dies, the kick is executed by a whipping action of the lower leg and the foot which brings the toes back together again at the end in a pointed position.

Always try to finish the kick off completely almost bringing the two feet to touch each other.

Also try to time the kick so that at the point of maximum force the rest of the body is streamlined with your arms out in front of you and your head down in the water, having taken your breath towards the end of the arm pull.

If you are determined to improve your breaststroke, we would recommend a lot of lengths of kick-only with your arms held out in front of you holding a float. The muscles used in breaststroke leg kick are very different from those of the other strokes so don’t be surprised if you feel very slow at first.

Also try imagining that you are swimming down a large tube (both on full stroke and legs only). That way you can’t do the frog leg kick because you would bang your feet on the sides. This may help you to reduce the movement in your upper legs and learn to use your lower legs and feet.

REMEMBER:

PULL AND BREATH - KICK - GLIDE MOMENTARILY

   
 
   
 
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