Breaststroke Swimming

By | Last updated Dec 11, 2016

This style is largely used for recreational activities as the head is above the water and the swimmer can breathe easily. In this style the torso does not rotate and the swimmer is on his or her chest. The breast stroke is a comparatively slower swim stroke and one can just swim this style for comfort and fun. This stroke is also called the frog stroke as the arms and legs move resembling the movement of a frog. It is not used for serious competitions as one can’t gain enough speed and momentum with this style.

Breast Stroke Swimming Technique

breaststroke-styleIn the stroke, the feet kick backwards and apart resembling that of a frog and the arms extend forward under water. The head and the torso drop alternatively in the water again and again. After complete extension of the legs, they are brought together again and this movement helps the body to gain momentum and propel forward. After a certain set of kicks, one glides in the same position for a short moment after which kicking of the hands and legs is required again. Gliding like that is fun and hence this stroke is used for fun activities in the pool.

Head and body position in breast stroke

One has to take care of the proper posture of the body in breast stroke as this is very strenuous for the neck and one has to take care to avoid injuries to the neck due to overuse. The following points are very necessary to follow while performing the breast stroke:

  1. Swimming breast stroke with the head in the neutral position.
  2. One has to continue the leg movements.
  3. The head is above the water.

Arm movement in breast stroke

This movement begins with the out sweep of the hands. The hands separate and the arms move outwards until they are outside the shoulders. Palms should be facing downwards or slightly outwards. The arms stay in the water all the time and execute a semicircular movement. In this stroke, the arm recovery happens entirely in the water. The arm movement can be described in the following 5 phases:

  1. Glide phase: The swimmer is gliding forward on his chest with this arm outstretched and closes together and the palms facing downwards. The legs are pressed too with the toes pointed.
  2. Outsweep: Now the palms turn slightly outwards and the arms turn sideways until they are outside the shoulders. This shape resembles a ‘Y’ shape.
  3. Catch: The orientation of the arms change and the forearms and the palm face backwards. This gives propulsion to the body. Then one moves his forearms downward and backward while his elbows stay close to the water surface.
  4. Insweep: This is the propulsive phase of the arm stroke. After making the catch with the forearms, the arms move backwards and then inwards and upwards which leads the body to sweep diagonally backwards against the water.
  5. Recovery: Once the hands are close together under the chest, move it forward just below the water surface until they are extended again for the next stroke cycle.

Breast Stroke Kick

The breaststroke kick can be broken down into the following phases:

  1. Initial Position – Glide: This is the same in which the arms are outstretched close together and the palms are facing downwards. The legs are pressed too with the toes pointed.
  2. Recovery: This starts at the end of the propulsive phase of the arm stroke. The head and shoulders are above water and the hips are down and the body is inclined.
  3. Catch: The feet are ready to push against the water. The inside of your feet are now facing backwards and your feet are turned outwards.
  4. Outsweep: once the catch has been made you should sweep your legs backwards and outwards while pushing against the water with the inside of your feet and lower legs.
  5. Insweep: One continues to extend his legs backwards but then sweep those inwards. At the same time, his feet which were rotated outwards rotate inward. At the end of the in sweep his legs will be pressed together.
  6. Leg lift and back into Glide: Once your legs have been brought together at the end of the in sweep, they will move upward due to inertia.

Breathing in Breast Stroke

As soon as the swimmer begins to pull his arms, his head comes out of the water and he is supposed to take a quick breath. Then his face goes right back in as his legs begin to kick and push him forward. When doing the breathing in breaststroke, one wants to keep his head in a neutral position, always in the same position.


Breaststroke is one of the funny swimming strokes, this one is best done for recreational activities and for water games.

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