All Things Breaststroke

At TYR, we believe the work never stops- which is why we’ve designed our series of How to videos to help athletes properly take their training to the next level.

This week we’re deep diving into all things breaststroke. So whether it’s the pull down or the kick, you’re totally covered.

Check out the videos and our tips below, plus stay tuned for more tutorials to come!

After propelling off the wall from a push, turn, or start a breaststroke swimmer should complete a proper pulldown. Here is how to ensure you do this with strong technique:

To begin, initiate a dolphin kick. Then separate your hands and sweep the arms out to a point slightly greater than shoulder-width, holding the palms angled toward the pool walls.

Bend elbows, open armpits and reach deep into the water with your fingertips. Sweep your hands in and down toward your feet while maintaining a high elbow position and straight body line.

Once your pull is complete sneak your arms up underneath your torso and chest then over the head, keeping them as close to the body as possible. Then lift your heels and begin your kick.

Practice Tip: Body position is vital to a breaststroke pulldown. To practice, focus on keeping your head, neck and spine in line throughout your pull down. This will ensure proper technique as you swim.

Proper kicking technique is critical to swimming the breaststroke. To ensure you’re using correct technique, there are three critical points to cover- the recovery, the catch and the propulsive phase.

Recovery: Draw your heels up toward your glutes, keeping your legs behind your hips to minimize resistance.

Catch: Turn your toes outward flexing toward the knee, and position your heels just under the water. Keep your knees close together.

Propulsive phase: Keep your heels just under the surface of the water. Use the insteps of your feet to sweep the water back, closing the legs and touching the big toes together to finish.

Practice Tip: A common struggle for athletes swimming the breaststroke is that their kick tends to be too big. To avoid this problem, try practicing your swim with a buoy between the thighs. This will help you to keep your kick tight and narrow.  

There are three phases to the breaststroke pull. The outsweep, the insweep and the recovery. Technique is incredibly important and ensures that you move properly as you transition from one position to the next.  


-Angle your hands slightly with your thumbs pointing down

-Sweep your hands below the surface, pushing the water outside the shoulders.


-Reposition your hands with fingers pointed down and elbows just under the water

-Shoulders and head should rise

-Take a breath


-Shoot your hands forward into a streamlined position

-Do not begin the next stroke until your first kick is completed

Practice Tip: When breathing during the insweep phase squeeze your shoulders and bring them up to your ears. To insure that you are throwing your body forward through the water into the recovery phase imagine yourself rotating your shoulders over your ears.