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moi
January 20th, 2015, 12:58 PM
Hello fellow-swimmers!

Could you please check out videos of my breaststroke. So far 50m breast is my best distance. But for the last two years I havenít been able to break 36+ seconds limit (SC).

Thatís a snippet of 50m at race speed:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_69PCicmc-0

I have more videos, but so far the forum allows me to add only one.

Mistakes, drills to fix them, stretching exercises?

Iím total amateur, 35 years old, itís my 6th year of competitive swimming.

Thanks!

Swimspire
January 20th, 2015, 06:24 PM
Looks like you need to work on adjusting your head position and achieving greater distance per stroke (without losing momentum). From this angle it also appears that you need to work on keeping your hips closer to the surface while you are swimming.

We have some breaststroke drill videos on Swimspire featuring Olympic silver medalist Kristy Kowal that you can watch to get some ideas: http://www.swimspire.com/breaststroke-drills-kristy-kowal-part-5/

Allen Stark
January 20th, 2015, 08:45 PM
As swimspire said,you need to work om your head position.The head should remain in neutral position at all times.The standard drill for this is swimming BR with a tennis ball under the chin.I can't be sure but it looks like you are overlapping your pull and your kick.You should be in streamline position with the kick completed before the pull begins.A good drill for this is swim a length with a 3 sec glide,then a 2 sec glide,then 1 sec,then no glide,but make sure you are extended in streamline.Finally,in your kick recovery,you have your knees too far apart.This breaks streamline and slows you down.The standard drill for this is swim BR with a pullbuoy between your knees(or at least right above your knees.There is a lot to like about your BR,but these things can make it faster.

amykhall
January 21st, 2015, 02:04 AM
Hello! Here's some videos to help with breaststroke: http://www.theraceclub.com/videos/swimisodes-rebecca-soni-dolphin-kick-breaststroke/

http://www.theraceclub.com/videos/swimisodes-breaststroke-rebecca-soni-kick-drill/
http://www.theraceclub.com/videos/how-to-swim-breaststroke/

What do you think?

Allen Stark
January 21st, 2015, 05:23 PM
These are really good drills.One caveat,this is showing the swimmer with hands overlapping,that is a good drill,but if you have your hands overlapping at the touch for the turn or finish,that is a DQ. Also in BR everything is a trade off between drag and propulsion.I find that for me,the drag at the moment of separation of the hands necessary to start the pull from the hand overlapping position slows me more than starting the pull with the hands pressed together(thumbs and first finger touching),but not overlapping.YMMV.It is undeniable that the shoulders need to be as far forward as possible and the arms really squeezing the head.

moi
January 22nd, 2015, 12:28 PM
Thank you all for the input! I'll try the drills and upload videos of the progress. And what drill can help me keeping pelvis as high as possible? BR pull with fly kick?

Allen Stark
January 22nd, 2015, 01:17 PM
Thank you all for the input! I'll try the drills and upload videos of the progress. And what drill can help me keeping pelvis as high as possible? BR pull with fly kick?

That is a good drill,but I suspect if you get your head position right it will take care of your hips.If the head is too high, the hips sink.

Swimspire
January 22nd, 2015, 07:51 PM
Thank you all for the input! I'll try the drills and upload videos of the progress. And what drill can help me keeping pelvis as high as possible? BR pull with fly kick?

Here is the link to all of the breaststroke drill series we have done with Kristy: http://www.swimspire.com/breaststroke-drill-video-series-olympian-kristy-kowal/

And this video, with Estonian national champion Merle Liivand, may also be of help. In the video, Merle demonstrates breaststroke where she kicks with a pullbuoy. This will be helpful in keeping your hips higher: http://www.swimspire.com/breaststroke-drills-estonian-national-champion-merle-liivand/

Like Allen said, there is definitely a lot to like about your breaststroke. The improvements you make will hopefully help you get past your current plateau. Good luck!

Water Rat
January 28th, 2015, 11:02 AM
my 2 cents:
knees are way too wide. 2 drills for this are 1) kick breaststroke with your hands at your butt and try to kick your hands with your heels. 2) kick breaststroke on your back.
head is up, butt is low. there's a direct correlation there. think about keeping your head, neck and back in constant alignment provided your eyes are down. almost like there's a rod from your head through your spine.
one thing you are doing well (among many by the way) is that you're not diving too deep to compensate for your hips. try to stay in the top 12" below the surface of the water.
i noticed a big diffrence in my stroke from narrowing my body/kick. it's drag 101. drag is not your friend!

moi
February 11th, 2015, 02:07 PM
Ok, this is what I have so far (twice slowed down):


http://youtu.be/icvP7c20lc0

It's not a race pace but I tried to do it properly and applying most of the power to the water. I was trying to cover my head with my arms (to get in streamline) as soon as I can. To keep neutral head position I tried to look down, right to the water surface. But my knees are still to far apart. After 40sec of the video you’ll see several tries with pullbuoy and kicking on the back.

And I really don’t like this improper position – my core is not aligned the moment I’m about to do a kick:

9404

secondheart
February 11th, 2015, 08:58 PM
Much better video.
Looking at frame 15 & 28 I notice a place where you may be able to make a minor improvement. Your left foot foot is pointing straight down and then brought up to the proper position. I believe this causes you to lose some leg lift to get a better and earlier glide. You might be doing the thrust in two motions instead of one.

Allen Stark
February 11th, 2015, 10:39 PM
I have looked at this several times.It is better and almost great.The problem seems subtle,but it is messing up your transition from pull phase to kick phase.You are keeping your back very stiff as you go from the arm insweep to recovery.This means that as you start your kick your body is swimming up hill.Your kick aims slightly down,which would be OK if it was a prelude to a propulsive undulation,but it isn't,instead you glide with your legs going down.
As you start the out sweep of the hands you push the hips forward appropriately,but as you shoot the arms forward you want to push your hips(and butt) back forcefully to get them closer to the surface and to get the front of your body into a horizontal,streamlined position.

Swimspire
February 13th, 2015, 07:34 AM
Your breaststroke definitely looks a lot better! Congratulations on making these technical improvements. One thing I noticed, especially in the kick at back, is that you are not bringing your feet together at the finish of the kick (bottom of the feet should ideally be touching) and you are allowing your feet to continue to drag under water instead of bringing them back to the surface.

Keep incorporating drills into your sets and your breaststroke will continue to improve. Good luck!

breastroker
February 20th, 2015, 08:37 PM
Nice improvement, especially the amount of time spent in streamline position with the head under water.

I would change your kick so that the heels come together with the feet pointing straight down. There is zero need to point the feet backwards at the end of the kick. By pointing the feet straight down you will feel an upwards movement of the legs, essentially pushing the lets and butt upwards nearer the waters surface. So much more streamlined.

The best way to get faster is drills, scull drills for the hands and fast kicking drills for the legs.

One drill that will help your finishing your kick will be vertical boards, using a kick board as a barge. Your kick will be very slow, hardly moving. But finishing your kick with the feet crashing into each other, soles touching, you can actually move along nicely.

secondheart
February 21st, 2015, 10:49 AM
I would change your kick so that the heels come together with the feet pointing straight down. There is zero need to point the feet backwards at the end of the kick.

.

Are you suggesting that the feet should be pointed perpendicular to the legs at the end of the leg thrust? I've check videos of several elite breaststrokers and none of them seem to end the leg thrust with their feet pointing straight down (Amanda Beard being one?) I apologize if I misunderstood what you meant but could you clarify?

moi
April 4th, 2015, 06:01 AM
This is now: https://youtu.be/VgQha-SrCTM - not a lot of improvement?
Had couple competitions and I'm still there: 36+ sec. One can check a clock on me ))

Allen Stark
April 4th, 2015, 12:27 PM
This is now: https://youtu.be/VgQha-SrCTM - not a lot of improvement?
Had couple competitions and I'm still there: 36+ sec. One can check a clock on me ))
My first thought was,looks pretty good,and it does.But there are a couple of things.First,I think that in a effort to recover your hands over the water you are shooting them too far up and not straight forward,slightly increasing drag.Second,as you begin the catch on your pull,you are moving your hand out to the side to anchor the catch.While that is how many of us were taught,it is non-propulsive and breaks streamline.Try making your catch more downward immediately.
How much AFAP BR are you swimming in workout? It may be that you are doing too much slower pace swimming for you to optimize your sprinting.

moi
April 4th, 2015, 01:27 PM
Try making your catch more downward immediately.
So it should be more like butterfly catch, right?


How much AFAP BR are you swimming in workout?
Not a lot - about 8-10x25

Allen Stark
April 5th, 2015, 01:59 AM
So it should be more like butterfly catch, right?


Not a lot - about 8-10x25

Somewhat like fly,but narrower.A few years ago I had a velocity analysis of my stroke and it showed I was slowing down while spreading my hands for the catch.I started going directly into the pull,making the pull narrower and found it was faster for me.
8-10 25s is great,but when are you doing them in the workout and what is the rest interval.Traditionally, coaches have had swimmers do sprints at the end of the workout,and I think that is a mistake. Do your sprinting while fresh,but after a good warm up.If you want to swim a 35 then you need to be swimming your 25s in high 18s or faster.If you can't do that,you are not getting enough rest. 25s with 10-15 sec rest is not sprinting,25s on the minute or 1:15 or even 1:30 can be.

moi
April 5th, 2015, 03:37 AM
I started going directly into the pull,making the pull narrower and found it was faster for me.

Ok, I'll try it.



25s with 10-15 sec rest is not sprinting,25s on the minute or 1:15 or even 1:30 can be.
Usually after 400m warm up I do sets like this: I sprint a 25, exhale in water for 40-60s, then sprint back a 25. Then do 50m of relaxed BR kicking on the back. Let my pulse down. Then do it over again.

robertsrobson
April 8th, 2015, 09:55 AM
Ok, I'll try it.



Usually after 400m warm up I do sets like this: I sprint a 25, exhale in water for 40-60s, then sprint back a 25. Then do 50m of relaxed BR kicking on the back. Let my pulse down. Then do it over again.

I may be confused, but are you doing the second 25 without breathing in between?

moi
April 8th, 2015, 10:06 AM
I may be confused, but are you doing the second 25 without breathing in between?

Ha-ha! No, no. Of course I breathe while sprinting.But as I stop I would usually breathe deep and calm, exhaling in water, to let my pulse down.

robertsrobson
April 13th, 2015, 09:14 AM
Ha-ha! No, no. Of course I breathe while sprinting.But as I stop I would usually breathe deep and calm, exhaling in water, to let my pulse down.

Ah! to reiterate Allen's point, I think that you can make some incremental improvements to your stroke but if you want to make a jump forward you need to drive more from the hips. Not being a coach, it's quite hard to explain but I think that it's like incorporating a dolphin kick into your kick, without flexing at the knee. You will get some undulation and your feet will rise and fall a little but you shouldn't get downward propulsion from this. Crossing that like will get you DQ'd. This should also keep your hips high in the water and therefore your body should end up nice and flat. I don't know if I described that well at all....

moi
April 13th, 2015, 09:30 AM
Ah! to reiterate Allen's point, I think that you can make some incremental improvements to your stroke but if you want to make a jump forward you need to drive more from the hips. Not being a coach, it's quite hard to explain but I think that it's like incorporating a dolphin kick into your kick, without flexing at the knee. You will get some undulation and your feet will rise and fall a little but you shouldn't get downward propulsion from this. Crossing that like will get you DQ'd. This should also keep your hips high in the water and therefore your body should end up nice and flat. I don't know if I described that well at all....

Yes, I think I understand it theoretically )) I'll try to work on this. Couple other people also mentioned me I needed to imcoporate lower back and hips to increase the propulsion.


If you want to swim a 35 then you need to be swimming your 25s in high 18s or faster
I checked the time and I sprint 25m only for 19s+ (with wall start, no dive)

robertsrobson
April 15th, 2015, 04:58 AM
I checked the time and I sprint 25m only for 19s+ (with wall start, no dive)

I wouldn't sweat over training times right now. They can be so variable. I did 30.3 SCM last year but would be lucky to break 17s on a 25 in training. I can reliably do a few 17s in succession, and would consider that to be about "race pace". You have to also consider that if you're checking the time clock yourself there's a margin for error.

orca1946
April 15th, 2015, 09:55 AM
This is good stuff to help me in my poor BR. Thanx for all the videos.

moi
June 4th, 2015, 12:45 PM
OK, as an update. I manage to improve my BR a little bit. I swam LC 50m at national masters championship (Russia) for 36.40 (before that I had SC for 36.10). That's the video: https://youtu.be/V59a3dOEK6c (me at lane 7, the closest one to you).

What I don't like here is a lot of undulations (reminds me Spitz's fly), especially with my head. Bad start, - I just fell into water and it looks this was where a lost to the leaders, doing really short underwater part.

Allen Stark
June 4th, 2015, 04:56 PM
OK, as an update. I manage to improve my BR a little bit. I swam LC 50m at national masters championship (Russia) for 36.40 (before that I had SC for 36.10). That's the video: https://youtu.be/V59a3dOEK6c (me at lane 7, the closest one to you).

What I don't like here is a lot of undulations (reminds me Spitz's fly), especially with my head. Bad start, - I just fell into water and it looks this was where a lost to the leaders, doing really short underwater part.

I couldn't see the start well enough to offer a suggestion. Your stroke looks very good,except,you are making too much effort to recover your hands above the water.You are shooting your hands a little up instead of straight forward. This is causing your torso to be angled up and increasing your drag.This adds to the non-propulsive part of your undulations.

tormol
June 7th, 2015, 10:35 AM
Hi there. It looks like you've gotten a lot of feedback. Here is mine. Breaststroke is a stroke that seems to vary a lot depending on strength, flexibility, and style. I would suggest finding what works for you and modifying over time. My suggestions are: 1) for most swimmers, the kick is a big part of a fast breaststroke. Practicing the kick and making sure you are fully closing the kick is important. I usually look for a strong finish as demonstrated by the feet being bumped into each other by the thrust of the kick; 2) Your arms are coming way back towards your body. Perhaps this works for your style and strength. For a 50 breast, I usually pull more in front of me and do not have such a return toward my body. For a 50 breast, my pull is almost more like a modified skull with a rapid turnover. This keeps me very streamline and my hips and kick higher in the water. For a 100 and 200, I have more of a longer pull. For IM's, it is somewhere in between. I am a breaststroker and have had to modify over time due to injuries, strength shifts, and less flexibility. Good luck!

moi
July 12th, 2015, 09:42 AM
Ok, itís a month till Kazan Masters WC. This is what I have to the present: (25m and 50m filmed)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4xyFv4biUs

Last 4 weeks Iíve been doing mostly aerobic swimming. Now itís time for more of speed work. Iím thinking to stick with the following program (intending to taper two weeks before my first start on Aug 11):


Monday
Warup Ė 400m, legs&arms drills Ė 400m, 4х 15, 2x25 and 1x50 @ 100%

Tuesady
Warup Ė 400m, 3 sets of 4x50 @ 90% @ 2:00 with good relaxed swim between sets.

Wednesday
Recovery, slow, relaxed swimming Ė 800m, 400m free, 200m breast

Thursday
Warup Ė 400m, 100m @ 100%, rest 2 min; 75m @ 100%, rest 1,5 min; 2x50m @ 100%, rest 1min. Repeat the set if possible.

Friday
Warup Ė 400m, legs&arms drills Ė 400m, 10x25 @ 100% @ 1:30

Allen Stark
July 18th, 2015, 09:32 PM
Sorry it took me so long to respond,but not much to say.At this angle I may be missing somethings,but this looks good.Much improved. Good luck at Kazan.