Breaststroke is the toughest stroke to teach and learn, partly because it requires a completely different set of tools in order to do well than the other three strokes. It is also a stroke that does not offer any real recovery time, as the arms and legs must be working at all times during the stroke cycle. Therefore, you must build the tools for a better breaststroke and then get in great shape in order to sustain the speed you develop in the water. Here are some of my favorite dryland exercise videos to help your breaststroke get faster.
Hand speed is extremely important in doing the new, fast-stroke-rate, power breaststroke, used by Adam Peaty and Lilly King, among many others. The boxing breaststroke exercise is a great way to learn how to drive your hands through the pulling cycle quickly. In this video, Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Soni shows us a technique that enabled her to break world records. Try doing 3 rounds of this exercise for one minute with 30 seconds rest in between. Get your chin down to your chest each time as you drive the hands forward!
Having extreme lumbar extension flexibility is an important tool for power breaststroke. During the pulling motion, breaststrokers need to climb their shoulders as high out of the water as possible, while still maintaining a straight line backwards with the legs. World class swimmer, Zach Hayden, demonstrates how you can develop strength in the lower back and core, while improving lumbar flexibility. Try doing 3 rounds of one minute getting as high as you can get with the shoulders. Rest for 30 seconds between each set. Exhausting!
Among all swimmers, great breaststrokers may have the strongest quadricep muscles. The fast kicking cycle required of the new, fast-stroke-rate, power breaststroke demands strength in quads, hamstrings and calf muscles. Olympic gold medalist Roland Schoeman demonstrates a challenging exercise that requires coordination, balance and tremendous quadriceps, calf muscle and core strength. Have fun with this one, repeating 3 rounds of one minute of these with 30 seconds rest in between.
Yours in swimming,