Breaststroke Technique – The Kick


The breaststroke kick can be both a difficult skill to learn and a difficult skill to teach. There are some drills on breastroke kick here but I found a great video by Rebecca Soni on how she performs the kick.

The first thing to understand is that the kick is very different to the other competitive strokes. For the freestyle, backstroke and butterfly, the water is pushed with the top and bottom of the feet. Yet in breaststroke the water is pushed with the inside of your foot. This is one key difference. To be able to push the most water you need to focus on turning your feet outwards as far as possible.

To be able to kick effectively you need to push as much water backwards as quickly as possible. It is therefore important to have the correct technique and also kick quickly. When teaching breaststroke kick to beginners, you need to give them the feeling of turning the feet outwards and forcing the water back with the inside of the feet. Quite often they will begin to point the knees outwards. This is counter-productive. As Soni explains in this video, she has her knees at hip width apart. Her knees do not point outwards. This allows her to force large amounts of water backwards with the inside of her feet and shins.

Having the knees only slightly separated allows the kicking action to be performed quickly. Soni has a realatively fast stroke rate in her races, especially for a 200m race. This kicking action generates large amounts of force but can be done quickly as the legs to not have to move far as the kicking action is quite compact. Separating your knees a little further is ok and it is important that you are comfortable. You need to ensure that you are not making a large circle action with your legs. This type of action is slow and does not push the water backwards.

Watch the video and practice the kicking action over and over. Take your time as it can take some time to master. Once you do your breaststroke will improve quickly.

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