Useful Tips

How to swim breaststroke

For proper work with your hands, you need to stretch them forward, turn your palms out and lower your head. Correct movement - stroke, inhale, lower your head. Be sure to monitor when you make a movement with your hands you raise your head. By the time the elbows are in the chest area, you should already be preparing to lower your head. If the hand technique is performed correctly, then it will be much easier to swim with a breaststroke. No need to spread your arms wide or close to the pelvis!

Foot technique

For a better understanding of the situation, go to the wall, rest against it with your stomach and legs, stand straight. Next, pull the heel to the pelvis, but it does not need to bring the knee forward! Turn your foot in a second motion to make a good grip. Next, we remove the leg to the side and make a movement inward. Thanks to this movement, you have made a great and good grip. Be sure to make sure that the leg is correctly deployed. Then repeat this movement with the second leg.

For the next exercise, you need to lie on the floor. Tighten your heels into the pelvis. Next, deploy the foot outward. With the third movement, bring the legs to the side and close with the fourth movement.

Please note that the socks must point outwards!

Do not make simultaneous movements with arms and legs!

Brass need to swim like this: hands-mini-pause-legs-pause, pause.

Performing these exercises, you will certainly learn to swim and will swim like a rocket!

Guys performing exercises - take your time! If you do everything calmly, measuredly, slowly, then you will learn to swim much faster!

You can see clearly the correct technique of swimming the breaststroke style and not make basic mistakes, as well as many other useful videos on our YouTube channel.

We also have an online swimming course. "The ABC of open water." Having carefully watched the course, you can easily and successfully finish the swim or triathlon.


The breaststroke is the oldest of sports swimming methods, its history goes back more than ten thousand years. A very similar style is depicted in the Egyptian “Cave of Swimmers”, the cave painting of which dates back to 9 thousand BC. e. The Assyrian drawing of 1292-1225 BC is known. e., depicting a breaststroke soldier.

One of the first known descriptions of the breaststroke technique is given in the book by Nicholas Wynman, “Swimmer, or Dialogue on the Art of Swimming,” published in 1538. In the medieval breaststroke, also described in the book of the art of swimming by French author Melkidedek Theveno (1699), the head was always above the water, and the driving force was created with the help of the lower legs, not the feet. Only at the beginning of the 19th century did the “frog kick” begin to be applied. One of the most famous swims of the 19th century was the overcoming of the English Channel breaststroke by Captain Matthew Webb in 1875. Despite the fact that the breaststroke is very reminiscent of the movement of a frog and has long been called "frog swimming", the modern word appeared in the 20th century and comes from Fr. “Brasse” - “make a helpless gesture”. In the Kudryavtsev’s book “Sports of the world and the world of sports”, the breaststroke was called the “Russian style”, although at the time of writing the book a representative of Russia / USSR received a gold medal in breaststroke from men only in 1980, but at the same time, Soviet women there were three gold medals in breaststroke won in 1964, 1976 and 1980.

In 1904, the breaststroke was included in the program of the Olympic Games in the form of a swim at a distance of 440 yards (402 meters), only men were allowed to compete. In the following games, it was replaced by a distance of 200 meters, which has since been present at every Olympics. The second distance at the Olympic Games of 1912 and 1920 was 400 meters. Since 1924, the Olympic Games have been swimming for a distance of 200 meters among women, and since 1968 to the 200 meter in both men and women, a 100 meter was added.

Until the 1930s, athletes swam headlong in the water. Representatives of the Soviet school (in particular, the ZMS L.K. Meshkov) were among the first to lower their faces into the water while moving their hands forward. In 1935, a variety of breaststroke appeared - butterfly stroke, which was allowed to be used in breaststroke competitions. At first it was a hybrid breaststroke, it differed from the classic breaststroke only with hand movements similar to flapping wings of a butterfly, this option was used by athletes in competitions at various levels until the mid-1950s. Almost at the same time, the following butterfly pattern began to spread, in which the movement of the legs was different from the classic breaststroke, “dolphins”. However, already in 1938, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) almost banned the first type of butterfly, and the second forbade the use of brassists.

Thus, at the breaststroke competitions it was allowed to use the classic breaststroke and the breaststroke hybrid. Nevertheless, the “pure butterfly stroke” continued to develop, and the superiority in speed over the breaststroke of both types of butterfly stroke (pure and hybrid brass butterfly stroke), led to the fact that on January 1, 1953 FINA allocated a butterfly stroke to a separate kind of swimming: 358 and allowed to use at competitions on it, not only a hybrid breaststroke, but also a clean butterfly stroke. And setting a world record on May 31, 1953: 359, the Hungarian György Tumpek demonstrated the clear advantage of the latter over the hybrid. In breaststroke competitions, only the classic breaststroke was allowed. The world records in breaststroke at the time of separation were “reset” to the level of 1935, and the Soviet swimmer Vladimir Minashkin became the first world record holder of the “updated” breaststroke, the time of which was 100 seconds six seconds ahead of the world record before butterfly separation: 358. Minashkin was one of the ancestors of the “breaststroke with a catch”, in which the hand stroke began until the movement of the legs of the previous cycle was completed, that is, the slip phase was skipped. A style with this feature later in the 1960s and 1970s was predominant.

Another significant change in the rules was made on February 15, 1987. Since that time, part of the head does not have to be constantly above the water (see the 1957 rule above), the head condition that the head crosses the surface of the water during each cycle. This gave an incentive to the appearance of two new breaststroke styles: “undulating” (English undulating) and “wave” (English wave-style). The first of these brings the swimmer's movements closer to the dolphin's movements, but requires extreme flexibility. At present, these two styles and the “traditional” type, to which the varieties of 1957-1987 are reckoned, are often noted as breaststroke species.

The 2000s were marked by the rapid growth in the popularity of the “wave” style; many participants in the Olympic Games are adopting it. At the Olympics in Athens, disputes arose after the victory of Japanese Kosuke Kitajima at the 100-meter breaststroke. American back swimmer Aaron Piersall accused the Japanese of cheating with a “dolphin” kick during the “underwater” post-start section, while the rules allowed only hitting to the hips and the “breaststroke” cycle. The judges did not have access to underwater filming during the competition and, unlike the spectators, could not see the violation. As a result, the result of the Japanese was not canceled, but the FINA technical congress at the meeting during the World Swimming Championships in Montreal in July 2005 changed the rules by allowing one “dolphin” hit during a complete dive after the start and each turn, which should be followed by “ breaststroke "cycle.

Outfit edit |

Water aerobics for weight loss

Swimming is one of the best sports. for the integrated development of the whole body. During swimming, the respiratory and cardiovascular systems of the body are strengthened, and the maximum number of body muscles is activated.

Other than that, swimming burns 25% more caloriesthan running. All these advantages make swimming a great way to lose weight and keep your body in good shape.

As you probably already guessed, in our today's article we will talk about swimming, or rather, about one specific swimming style, which is ideal for working out the whole body - the breaststroke style.

We will figure out how to swim the breaststroke correctly, study the photo with the technique and the rules of swimming in this way, find out which muscles work when swimming the breaststroke, and also give recommendations for those who want to lose weight by swimming.

The breaststroke on the chest is a kind of swimming in which the legs make a horizontal push under water, and the arms are extended forward in a parallel position.

This is one of the most popular swimming styles, as it allows you to cover significant distances with moderate effort.

According to historians, breaststroke is considered one of the oldest swimming styleswhich is already about 9 thousand years old.

Drawings depicting a man swimming in a breaststroke-like style were found at excavation sites of ancient sites of Egyptian tribes.

Breaststroke is the fastest swimming style, but its technique requires a certain time for mastering, and to master it perfectly, it takes years of training.

The undeniable benefits of swimming

Swimming breaststroke brings significant benefits to the body:

  • The technique of swimming breaststroke requires proper breathing, which helps stimulate and strengthen the respiratory system and lung development.
  • Long-term contact with the aquatic environment provides a massage effect on the skin of the body, improving blood circulation in it, and also helps to cleanse the skin.
  • Active blood circulation, which begins during swimming, completely eliminates the stagnation of blood and other fluids in the body, and also helps strengthen the walls of blood vessels and train the heart muscle.
  • Regular contact with water strengthens the body's immune and nervous systems, improves mood and eliminates stress.
  • For half an hour swimming the breaststroke, the body consumes about 270 calories of energy, which is significantly higher than with any other sports.
  • The breaststroke style helps strengthen muscle groups such as the muscles of the shoulder girdle, arms, abs, and buttocks and thighs. That is, he employs the main problem areas of most people who want to lose weight.
  • Breaststroke swimming has a positive effect on posture and smooth movements - they become fluid and graceful.
  • Swimming with the breaststroke is great for pregnant women - it helps strengthen the inguinal and leg muscles, which in the future can make childbirth much easier.

If you are interested in other swimming styles, or if you want to find out for yourself which swimming style is better - crawl or breaststroke, pay attention to our article “Crawl swimming technique”.

How to swim breaststroke

Let's take a closer look at all the details of swimming with the breaststroke style. This is a rather complicated technical process, and it is best to learn to breaststroke under the guidance of an experienced instructor. However, having made some efforts, it is quite possible to master this style of swimming independently.

There are many variations of the technique of swimming breaststroke, but we will consider the basic option, the most suitable for beginners.

Later, having mastered this technique, you can pay attention to its modifications and form the swimming style that is most convenient for you.

Let's start with the position of the body. In the usual version of swimming with the breaststroke style, the swimmer's body is located horizontally relative to the surface of the water. At the same time, his arms are extended above his head and parallel, his legs are also extended.

The swimmer's face is in the water, and in order to take a breath, it is necessary to smoothly raise the head and shoulders above the surface of the water, and after breathing in, return to the initial position. When inhaling, you need to avoid excessive bending of the body - it should be as even as possible and be in a horizontal position.

Proper hand movements while swimming

Hand movements while breaststroke set the whole pace of movement and are closely related to the breathing process. The whole process of moving hands using the breaststroke technique is divided into three main stages:

  • Preparatory stage - the swimmer extends his arms above his head. Shoulders also follow hands. Hands are almost closed, palms are looking down.
  • Glide - hands are still extended forward, palms are almost on the surface of the water.
  • Work stage - also consists of three main stages. At the first stage, the hands begin to move to the sides, in which the hands turn their palms outward. At the same time, the arms begin to bend at the elbows, and the forearms form an angle of 45 degrees with respect to the surface of the water.

Further, the palms begin to accelerate their movement down a wide arcuate trajectory, thus creating support for the body in the water column. Then the palms turn around and begin to move towards each other. They are followed by elbows.

After this, the final stage follows - the palms come down at chest level and begin to move upward, in a position above the head. The elbows repeat the movement of the hands.

How to move your legs while breaststroke

Leg movements while breaststroke have distinct differences in work in other swimming styles. There is a smooth preparation and a powerful push with legs in the direction back and to the side.

The whole process of leg movement in the breaststroke technique is divided into three stages:

  • Training - at this stage, the legs are in a relaxed position. From it begins the bending of the legs in the knee and hip joints. Knees are slightly bent apart. Feet make movement to the surface of the water. The final stage of knee flexion should be quick: the knees are bent apart, and the toes of the feet are turned outward.
  • Push - starts from the preparation position: the knees are bent almost at right angles to the body, the lower legs are perpendicular to the surface of the water, and the feet are spread apart. This is followed by a jerky movement, which consists in the rapid straightening of the legs in the knee and hip joints. In this case, the feet make an arcuate movement, at the end of which they return to a position at a level of 20-30 cm below the surface of the water.
  • Glide - legs are completely relaxed and stretched forward, the body moves forward.

Breaststroke breath

Let's figure out how to breathe when swimming breaststroke. Inhalation while swimming by the breaststroke method is carried out at the time of raising the arms to the sides.

At this moment, the swimmer's head and shoulders are above the water level, and he takes a quick deep breath with his mouth.

After that, you should quickly return the body to a horizontal straight line, with the shoulders pointing behind the movement of the hands.

Exhalation occurs underwater during a kick and glide.
At the beginning of breaststroke training, you will inevitably have errors in technology, because this style is considered quite complicated.

What Mistakes to Avoid When Breaststroke

The technique of training breaststroke is working to eliminate the following basic errors in the technique:

  • Long stroke - The main speed when swimming breaststroke is set by the legs, and the hands are more likely to be an additional support. Excessive work with hands leads to a large expenditure of energy and strength, and also negatively affects the speed of movement.
  • Late breath - often beginners are in a hurry to make a stroke with their hands, and as a result of this they begin to take a breath when they no longer have support on the water. As a result, the swimmer has the illusion that he is drowning, and this in no way contributes to normal swimming.Therefore, while swimming the breaststroke, you need to make sure that the breath begins simultaneously with the stroke of the arms.
  • Miscellaneous work of the head and shoulders - with the correct implementation of the technique of swimming with a breaststroke, your head and shoulder girdle move as a whole. However, at first you will almost certainly throw your head up, trying to breathe faster. This variation in movement negatively affects swimming speed.

Breaststroke Technique

To quickly learn to breaststroke, we recommend that you perform special exercises for swimming breaststroke, which can be performed on land and in water:

  • Learn to glide on water with just one foot. This exercise is performed as follows: it is necessary to lie face down on the surface of the water, arms extended forward. Now we begin to move forward, making jerky movements with our feet, imitating the movements of a frog during swimming. When you need to breathe air, we raise our heads above the surface of the water, capture the air, and hold our breath for several moments, while continuing to move.
  • Immerse yourself in water, linger there for a while, and then emerge sharply, while taking a quick breath and exhale. Complete 10 dives without interruption.
  • Exhaling under water - learn how to make long exhalations while under water. Take 10 exhalations without a break.

Swimming breaststroke, like any other style, contributes to weight loss and body shaping. In order to make this process as effective as possible, adhere to the following recommendations:

  • Swimming will contribute to weight loss, if you do it regularly, 3-4 times a week.
  • An effective lesson should last at least 45 minutes, during which you should swim, and not just dabble in the water, like tourists on the sea.
  • Before swimming in the pool, be sure to warm up on land.
  • If it’s hard for you to stay on the water, then for better stability when swimming the breaststroke, you can use fins.
  • Finish your workout with a calm swim - this will help relax tired muscles.
  • Learning to swim the breaststroke is better under the guidance of a specialist. If you don’t have such an opportunity, take at least a few lessons that will help you master the main points of the breaststroke technique.
  • Do not forget to follow a diet. You need to eat balanced, because swimming requires a lot of energy, and mono-diets are contraindicated here.

Video tutorial on proper swimming

You can understand in detail the technique of swimming with the breaststroke style using the following video.

In it, the famous swimmer and multiple champion of Russia in swimming Danil Antonenkov step by step explains all the nuances of the technique of swimming with a breaststroke on the chest and back, as well as tells how to quickly swim the breaststroke.

Swimming is a great way to tighten your body., make it strong and beautiful, and swimming with the breaststroke style will also strengthen your respiratory system.

How to swim?

This style is one of the most complex in terms of technology. Therefore, before reading the text description, look at how it looks from the side:

As you can see following movements are performed:

  • hands make a stroke and are thrown back forward,
  • during the stroke, the head rises above the water and takes a breath, then lowers and exhales,
  • at the time of the ejection of the arms, the legs make a push similar to the movement of a frog, due to which the body receives additional acceleration and glides until the next stroke.

For a better understanding, we also recommend watching this slow-motion video:

Now consider the technique step by step and in detail.

Hand movements step by step

Initial position:

  • arms, like the whole body, are completely extended and straightenedas shown in the illustration above
  • palms are located next to each other, are almost at the surface of the water,
  • the head is lowered into the water.

In the pool, you can push off from the side with your feet and slide forward on your chest in this position.

From the starting position, a cycle of hand movements is made, which can be divided into three phases.

1. Breeding to the sides

Hands palms out get divorced about a little wider than the shoulders.

At this stage, the hands are slightly submerged and slightly bent - as a whole, while remaining straight. The movement is done with palms perpendicular to the bottom and turned outward - Imagine that we are pushing the water between them.

The movement itself is fast - it's just a breeding of brushes for subsequent stroke.

In the illustration, this stage goes to the first red arrows:

  • The main part of the stroke:

Brushes rotate so that palms looked down again. Hands bend at the elbows and make strong stroke to yourself - to drag the body forward and up.

During this step, the elbows gradually rise up and out to the sides.

Rowing is around until the palms are on the shoulder line.

At the end of the stroke brushes close at the chest:

  • elbows approaching the body in the area of ​​the ribs,
  • both hands are located next to each other so that the palms are facing the body (in the area of ​​the chin).

Hand Throw Options

Task of this stage - not only return to starting position, but also do it with minimal water resistancegive your body an impulse to move forward, start gliding on water.

Therefore, this action has two options:

    Return over water - This technique is considered the most effective and is used by many professionals at sprint distances.

Return under water - here they return under water / on the surface line. As indicated, in this option, we are somewhat slowing down our progress, but physically, acting this way is easier.

After the return of the hands, the sliding stage necessarily takes place, we will talk about this below.

Alternative way

Watch the swimmer swimming in this video:

  • during the return, the hands do not turn palms to the chest,
  • swimmer throws them under water.

We will not venture to say how this technique is optimal, but it is precisely the professionals who demonstrate it in this video.


Legs pull up firstthen do pushas shown in this illustration:

In addition to the illustration, the correct footwork can also be seen in this video tutorial:

Footwork synchronized with hand movements (this is the main difficulty of the breaststroke technique - to make movements synchronously and in a timely manner).

It can be conditionally divided into two stages, although it is important to note here that there is no pause or hitch between them: as in the case of hands, this is a single action.

1. Leg pull

Produced closer to the end of the stroke - you need to tighten your legs for a subsequent push, while:

  • knees should still remain closed - be next to each other,
  • Shank legs apart, feet - turn outward and pull over to push away from water. Ultimately, the feet should be wider than the knees.

The coordination of pull-ups with hands is as follows:

  • during the immediate stroke begins a smooth pull-up,
  • when the arms are brought forward (close at the chest) - the legs are pulled up and apart for a subsequent push.

It is made at the moment of throwing your hands forward - a sharp shock movement of the legs.

To push kicks to the sides (in the direction where the feet looked after we pulled them up). The blow is done by straightening the legs.

Immediately after the end of the shock movement, the legs, being straightened, relax and close together, the feet are extended. The whole body from arms to feet extends in one line and slides.

The synchronization of arms and legs is clearly visible in this slow-motion video, which demonstrates the technique of world champion Brenton Ricard:

Breathing and body movements

At the time of the stroke, the upper part of our body (shoulder girdle) rises above the waterincluding the head.

At the same time, it is recommended to make a wave-like movement to the neck and upper body, which helps to go outside, and then to return back (the diving movement is also important here, as well as diving).

When the head appears above the surface of the water - a sharp breath is taken.

At the time of the ejection of arms and a push by the legs, the body and after it the head stretches out, occupy a horizontal position. The face, accordingly, again falls into the water.

Next comes the exhalehe is done nose into the water, and if you swim intensively and do not have time to breathe out all the air from the nose - then by mouth.

The exhalation goes without delay throughout the movement and ends by the time when you again need to take a breath.

Breaststroke breath


The breaststroke, like other swimming styles, is primarily characterized by the fact that its main is gliding on water.

Therefore, after the ejection of the hands with a kick, there is a sliding phase - a fully elongated body should slip through the water, while:

  • the faster you swim, the smaller this phase will be (but it will be present anyway),
  • if you swim in the power saving mode, then sliding, on the contrary, will be long.

Mistakes in the pool

  • Head swimming. This is perhaps the most gross and harmful mistake - you not only slow down your progress by depriving the body of the aforementioned slip, but also overload the cervical spine, which can lead to injuries and illnesses.
  • Breeding the knees to the sides. It is wrong to raise the knees to prepare the legs for good, as shown in this illustration:

They must be closed both at the moment of pulling up the legs, and at the moment of raising the feet - and only at the moment of impact the legs are straightened and the knees, respectively, diverge.

  • Weak kick. Proper foot technique implies that it must be strong and sharp.
  • General inconsistency of movements. Coordination of movements, as indicated, is the most important in the technique of breaststroke. If too early or too late to do a push with your feet - all the effectiveness of this style will be lost.
  • Hands do not cling to water and do not rake it. Hands should not just move in the water, but rather lean on it and rake it. This error is shown in the illustration below:

  • Hands behind the back. Hands during the stroke should go to the shoulder line and then be thrown out. If you take them too far, then, on the one hand, it will be more powerful to stroke, but it will be more difficult to make a return, the effectiveness of the technique will decrease.