Courtesy of Gary Hall Sr., 10-time World Record Holder, 3-time Olympian, 1976 Olympic Games US Flagbearer and The Race Club co-founder.
In this #swimisodes, Coach Gary Hall challenges Olympic champ Rebecca Soni do our favorite breaststroke speed swim drill, a 45 second Breaststroke Wall Kick. Stroke rate for breaststroke is quite variable, particularly for the 200. Regardless, the speed at which the legs are drawn forward and push backward to provide propulsion is critical. The legs must be drawn forward quickly in order to minimize the time in a very unfavorable drag position and they must accelerate backward quickly in order to generate more propulsion. One of the ways to improve strength in the Breaststroke kick is challenging yourself to do as many Wall Kick breaststroke kicks as you can in 1 minute. The breaststroke wall kick isolates the movement and allows the swimmer to feel the speed of the feet and legs kicking backward to create propulsion. Many breaststrokers think about kicking back as fast as they can, but it is also important to bring the feet up as quickly as possible. This takes practice. The point in the breaststroke with the highest frontal drag and where any swimmer, including Kevin Cordes, Brendan Hansen, and Adam Peaty, drops his speed to almost zero is when the legs are drawn forward. Combined with the Breaststroke wall kick test, we can measure the effectiveness of the breaststroke kick using velocity meter technology when you come to The Race Club.
Challenge yourself to 3 rounds of 45 second breaststroke wall kick and each round find a way to improve upon the last round. In this #swimisodes, you can clearly see where Olympic Gold Medalist and world record holder, Reb Soni puts on the brakes by coming up high for a breath and bringing her feet up, in setting herself up for the strike phase. With her low back flexibility, an amazing talent and a lot of kick speed work, she is an expert at reducing the necessary drag in breaststroke as much as possible. Breaststroke is a stop and go stroke and the fastest swimmers reduce drag and use a high kick rate. It’s no surprise that Rebecca Soni holds the Race Club record for number of kicks in 45 second breaststroke wall kick test. Watch to find out how many she did on her visit to The Race Club…
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I miss Rebecca Soni. She was fun to watch. And such a nice lady.
Yes! And a unique and superb breaststroke.
I like doing a variation of this drill too but I don’t want my swimmers working foot speed but doing half kicks. Soni was an amazing breatroker and her foot speed is impressive here but she is also not finishing any of those kicks.
What you really want to see is the water moving backward behind the swimmer with this drill. You are right. Fast legs with no propulsion doesn’t help. I could have put a beach ball floating behind Rebecca on this set and it would have ended up at the other end of the pool. She is fast…with propulsion, which is what really counts.
Nearly all of the propulsion comes at the beginning of the kick, not the end. There is some, but not much propulsion from the uplift of the legs at the end of the kick. It is small compared to the earlier phase of the kick.
I did this set last year with our IM/Breast group. The girls were much better than the guys. Also this can debouch any dolphin undulation which may not be desired.
My goal is to be the next Rebecca Soni.
Did this with my age group kids and they loved it. Tried it myself too – tough! As part of a circuit 4 rounds of :45 on :15 off worked the legs to failure easily. Also 1:1 rest ratio :45/:45 kept intensity high for kids another time we tried it. Really great exercise and nice to mix it up!
Glad you liked it! It is a tough set to hold the speed…yet most of the time the swimmers improve their number in 45 seconds from the previous round.
So 3 rounds of 45 sec, about how much rest between rounds? Thanks!
15 seconds….and try for five rounds.
Thank you for this??
You will thank me later!