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Old 07-08-2013
TomBrooklyn TomBrooklyn is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 24
Default Breaststroke, Kick: How Is It Done?

How is the breaststroke kick done?

For reference, I have TI's Breaststroke For Everyone DVD; and have watched it repeatedly. As I'm sure you know, the kick is not specifically taught on the DVD. Is it intended that one just watch the way it is done by the swimmers and copy it?

Last edited by TomBrooklyn : 07-08-2013 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 07-09-2013
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380

Here is a link to a demo of the modern breaststroke kick by Rebecca Soni.

It's often recommended that you practise the kick on your back with hands at the hips,touching your hands with the heels on each kick. You can also watch your knees to make sure they don't come up too high.

Soni's kick is extremely narrow and no doubt her ankles and knees are very flexible.

Most non-elites have a much wider kick. Experimentation is probably called for.
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Old 07-17-2013
TomBrooklyn TomBrooklyn is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 24

Thanks for that link, Richard. That is helpful. Soni's explanation of where to point the feet seems to explain an otherwise baffling quip Terry L made in the beginning of the Breaststroke video about pointing the toes or feet out.

The video is truncated prematurely, however, at 1:09. Soni is cut off in mid-sentence saying: "Also, don't ___"
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Old 07-30-2013
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
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We are making changes to our web site that will allow us to provide content via digital downloads in the fall. In preparation for that I've created several ebooks with embedded video, including a series of three on the 'Different' Strokes. In the breaststroke edition, I do have exercises for learning and improving the kick.

Here's a quick advance tip. Strive to do the smallest kick you can that you still would describe as a breast kick.

1) Minimize knee flexion on recovery
2) Minimize knee/leg spread. Feet should not be uncomfortably close, but spread far less than you think you should.
3) Press quite gently. When you try to maximize power you mainly move the water. Yourself not so much.
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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Old 08-02-2013
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 647

A drill that I've found particularly useful for perfecting breaststroke kick is practicing it while on my back. I don't have to think about breathing or stroking, and I've found that it makes me very sensitive to every part of the kick. If I'm finishing my kick properly, I feel like I'm soaring in the water. If I don't do my kick recovery properly, I can feel myself grinding to a halt. Since I have a tendency not to turn my toes far enough outward on the first part of the kick, I focus on trying to make my heels move back faster than my toes.


Last edited by CoachBobM : 08-30-2013 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 09-30-2013
mt6127 mt6127 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12
Default think "catch" in your kick

I notice a common flaw of many breast stroke kicks is the swimmer squeezes their feet together to press on the water vs feeling pressure on their instep. One thing to try is to focus on relaxing the foot and let the heel lead the toes when pressing the extension of the leg. You should feel the water pressure turn your foot outward => a good catch! then you can allow your heels to extend straight back towards the wall behind you to maximum forward thrust. A relaxed foot has the added benefit of not locking your leg straight when completing the kick - if you tense your legs too extend you may wind up slowing your recovery (reloading the kick when you bring your heels back up towards your hips) which can cascade into timing problems with the arm pull when racing.
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