If you struggle with breaststroke, your stroke timing might be to blame. Without proper timing, your breaststroke will fall apart, and you will find it really difficult to make it across the pool efficiently.
So, how do you fix your timing? Try three of our favorite breaststroke drills, plus a swim set designed to help you balance proper timing with speed and control.
What is Proper Breaststroke Timing?
It’s helpful to break your breaststroke into three steps:
- Pull: You’ll take a breath here as well. Focus on maintaining a high elbow catch and powering your arms forward!
- Kick: Kick as your arms shoot forward into streamline. Maintain your momentum with a strong kick between pulls.
- Glide: Spend a beat in streamline between each stroke to take advantage of the “glide.” How long you glide depends on your stroke tempo and the race you’re swimming. Swimmers racing the 200 breaststroke will glide more than swimmers racing the 50!
Every stroke, think “pull, kick, glide” to nail your timing!
3 Drills for Breaststroke Timing
Try this breaststroke drill progression that will help you find a comfortable breaststroke timing and tempo.
This drill is meant to help you slow down and really feel each part of your stroke.
Push off the wall (don’t do a pull out) and really drag out each part of the stroke. Focus on a perfect pull, kick and glide, in that order! Be patient, and don’t try to rush this drill. Take it slow.
3 Kicks, 1 Pull Drill
Next, try 3 Kicks, 1 Pull. This drill forces you to stretch out and hold streamline, which can help you develop your timing and improve the “glide” phase between strokes.
In streamline, take three breaststroke kicks, followed by one pull. Keep your streamline tight, and avoid diving down too deep for the kicks. Try to stay just under the surface of the water!
2 Kicks, 1 Pull Drill
Taking the previous drill further, try 2 Kicks, 1 Pull. During the two kicks, keep your streamline tight and maintain a strong bodyline, ideally parallel to the surface of the water.
This drill will speed up your stroke compared to the previous two drills, and you’ll start to get a feel for what your normal stroke should feel like.
Breaststroke Drill Set
Try this breaststroke swim set to incorporate some drill work and work on maintaining good technique for longer stretches. Log this workout in the MySwimPro app for detailed tracking, analytics and personalized intervals.
- 1×300 Freestyle Easy @ 5:00
- 4×50 IM Order @ 1:00
16×25 Breaststroke @ :40
- 4×25 BreaststrokeDelay Drill
- 4×25 3 Kick, 1 Pull Drill
- 4×25 2 Kick, 1 Pull Drill
- 4×25 Breaststroke (count your strokes!)
5×100 Freestyle & Breaststroke @ 2:00*
- 100 Freestyle
- 25 Breaststroke & 75 Freestyle
- 50 Breaststroke & 50 Freestyle
- 75 Breaststroke & 25 Freestyle
- 100 Breaststroke
*On these five 100s, focus on drawing out your stroke and getting a good glide between strokes. Don’t rush! Try to find a balance between speed and control.
1×100 Freestyle Easy @ 1:30
Breaststroke is really technical and takes a lot of practice to master, so stay consistent! Incorporate these drills into your training regularly and you’ll begin to see improvement over time. For more breaststroke workouts, technique tips and Training Plans, download the MySwimPro app.