Once a month we’re getting a clinic. This time two of our best swimmers, Manon and Simon, gave us a breaststroke clinic. They showed us the focus points of this specific stroke. For example, while kicking you should try to keep your knees as close to each other as possible. You can practice this while using a pullboy between your legs. Also, try to stay in a straight line while kicking. To maintain to straightest line, you should make sure you move your ankles towards your butt (instead of moving your knees to your belly).
Further, Simon told us that your speed mostly depends on the power of your kick. Since 80% of your speed depends on the power in your legs. Only 20% is influenced by your arms. That’s why you should make a small arm stroke and safe your energy for your legs. Make sure you don’t let your elbows go too far backwards. Another thing to keep in mind, is the fact that you want to go forward as fast as possible, so stretch your arms/hands forward (not downwards)!
Next, when you move your arms backwards (to make sure you’ll be able to get above the water to breathe), you should start moving your ankles towards your butt. While breathing, don’t lift your head to much. This will result in lowering your hips, which will slow you down. While being under water, you should look down to the bottom of the swimming pool.
Then, last but not least; the fall-back turn! When you finish your lane, touch the wall with both hands. Next fall back (as the name already implies) and push yourself from the wall while turning back to your stomach. While doing this, you should pay attention to your streamline. Make sure your head is between your arms and your abs are tightened.
Good luck practicing the breaststroke!
– Anouk (with a lot of help from Manon)