By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Tuesday, September 1, 2015
If you’ve ever wondered what the most effective breathing method is for the breaststroke, two time Olympic gold medalist, Mark Gangloff, can show you with the “Goggle Drill.” By keeping your head low to the water while maintaining a relaxed streamline, you’ll be able to take quicker breaths.
Drill Summary: As the swimmer does a breaststroke in line, they will do three different kinds of pulls. On the first, they keep their head down and flat in the water to maintain the streamline. On the second, they lift their head out of the water so the surface of the water touches their nose. Finally, on the third, the nose comes out of the water and the swimmer takes a breath while staying in line.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Saturday, August 1, 2015
Five time Big Ten champion head coach, Ray Looze, presents a breaststroke drill that will help you figure out if the weakness of your stroke is the pull or kick. By comparing this drill to fast 100 breaststroke swims, you’ll be able to target what to work on in practice.
Kick Pull Swimming
Drill Summary: For this drill, the swimmer does 25 meters of just breaststroke kicking, does a flip turn, then does 25 meters of pulling with a dolphin kick. When they return to the wall, they once again perform a flip turn, then swim down and back using a full breaststroke.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Wednesday, July 1, 2015
An easy way to cut some time in a breaststroke event is to perfect the pullout. In this drill, Ohio State University head men’s coach, Bill Wadley, will take you through a pullout progression that will ensure you’re cutting through the water as efficiently as possible.
Drill Summary: The first step of this progression is the push off. Coach Wadley instructs swimmers to push off with their feet, toes, ankles, knees and butt together in a straight line to improve the streamline. Step two involves gliding and a pull down. Push off the wall, glide, and pull down by turning the hands outward, gripping the water in a rounded grasp, and pull down toward the hips. Finish by shrugging the shoulders. Finally, step three adds the final recovery. After completing steps one and two, recover by leading with the hands, not the elbows, while bringing them back over the head.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Monday, June 1, 2015
Indiana University head coach, Ray Looze, uses these two drills to teach swimmers to pull correctly and maintain high hips while performing the breaststroke. Coach Looze believes it is the pull, not the kick, that is the most important part of a championship breaststroke.
Buoy Drill / Paddles and Buoy Pull
Drill Summary: A buoy is needed to complete this drill. Swimmers place the buoy between their thighs and swim two 25s, focusing on body position and only taking dolphin kicks to keep the hips high. As swimmers pull, they focus on pulling wide and horizontally. For the next progression, swimmers put on paddles, which will increase the surface area of their hands to take less strokes with more power.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Friday, May 1, 2015
14-time NCAA All-American Coley Stickels teaches swimmers the “Circle Fist Drill” to get them to shrug their shoulders and roll them forward, which are both key techniques to a great breaststroke. In addition to providing the correct shoulder motion, this drill also teaches athletes to lift with their forearms.
Circle Fist Drill
Drill Summary: The swimmer pushes off the wall and extends their arms straight out with their elbows locked and fists clenched. Next, the athlete creates a circle with their arms instead of taking a full breaststroke. The swimmer should use their forearms to lift, and shrug their shoulders to their earlobes. This drill is usually done with a flutter kick and speed isn’t important. An alternate version of this drill can be completed by putting on fins and alternating with fists and open hands.