5 Breaststroke Mistakes That Are Slowing You Down

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Breaststroke is a beautiful and technical swimming stroke that requires precision and attention to detail. However, even experienced swimmers can fall into the trap of making common errors that hinder their performance. In this article, we will explore five common errors in breaststroke and provide tips on how to correct them, helping you enhance your breaststroke technique.

1. Incorrect Body Position

One of the most common errors in breaststroke is maintaining an incorrect body position. Many swimmers tend to swim with their hips too low in the water, causing increased drag and slowing them down. To correct this error, focus on engaging your core muscles and lifting your hips slightly higher in the water. This helps create a more streamlined shape and allows for better propulsion.

2. Improper Timing

Timing is crucial in breaststroke, yet many swimmers struggle with getting their arm and leg movements in sync. Some swimmers start their pull before their legs have completed the kick, leading to a disjointed stroke and decreased efficiency. To correct this error, focus on maintaining a rhythmic and coordinated motion, ensuring that your arms and legs work together in a fluid and synchronized manner.

3. Weak Kick

A common error in breaststroke is a weak kick, which can significantly affect forward propulsion. Some swimmers may kick too slowly or lack the necessary power to generate sufficient force. To improve your kick, focus on maximizing the surface area of your feet as they push against the water. Emphasize a strong and forceful snap of your legs, creating a whip-like motion that propels you forward with greater speed and efficiency.

4. Overreaching

Overreaching is a common error in breaststroke, where swimmers extend their arms too far forward during the pull phase. This causes excessive strain on the shoulders and results in a loss of power. To correct this error, aim for a shorter and more efficient arm pull. Keep your hands within shoulder-width and focus on pulling back towards your chest, maximizing the propulsive force generated by your arms.

5. Incorrect Head Position

Improper head position is another common error in breaststroke. Many swimmers tend to bury their head too deep in the water, causing their body to sink and creating unnecessary drag. To avoid this error, keep your head in a neutral position, looking straight ahead or slightly downward. This allows for better body alignment and promotes a smoother glide through the water.

By addressing these five common errors in breaststroke, you can enhance your technique and become a more proficient swimmer. Remember to maintain a proper body position, focus on timing, emphasize a powerful kick, avoid overreaching, and keep your head in the correct position. With practice and attention to detail, you can refine your breaststroke and swim with greater speed and efficiency.


Q1: How can I improve my breaststroke technique?

A1: To improve your breaststroke technique, focus on maintaining a neutral head position, using correct arm movements, executing an efficient leg kick, synchronizing your timing, and maintaining a proper body position. Consistent practice and attention to detail are key to refining your technique.

Q2: Why is body position important in breaststroke?

A2: Proper body position is essential in breaststroke as it reduces drag and allows for better propulsion through the water. Engaging your core muscles and lifting your hips slightly higher in the water helps create a more streamlined shape and enhances your overall stroke efficiency.

Q3: How can I correct my kick in breaststroke?

A3: To correct your kick in breaststroke, focus on a narrower and more forceful kick, keeping your knees close together and emphasizing a snap-like motion. This will increase your propulsion and enhance your overall stroke efficiency.

Q4: What is the correct timing for breaststroke?

A4: The correct timing for breaststroke involves a coordinated motion where your arms initiate the pull as your legs complete the kick. Focus on maintaining a rhythmic and synchronized movement to achieve a seamless and powerful stroke.

Q5: How can I avoid sinking hips in breaststroke?

A5: To avoid sinking hips in breaststroke, engage your core muscles and focus on lifting your hips slightly higher in the water. This promotes better body alignment and reduces resistance, allowing for a more streamlined and powerful stroke.

Q6: Should I breathe during breaststroke?

A6: Yes, breathing is an essential aspect of breaststroke. Practice a subtle and efficient breathing technique, lifting your head just enough to take a breath and immediately returning it to a neutral position. This promotes better body alignment and reduces resistance in the water.

Q7: How can I improve my arm movements in breaststroke?

A7: To improve your arm movements in breaststroke, focus on keeping your elbows slightly higher than your hands during the pull phase. This allows for a more effective and powerful movement, resulting in better propulsion and efficiency in the water.