There are different names with which one can refer to the breaststroke kick. One of the other commonly used name is the frog kick. From this name, a person should not be under the impression that a person kicks like a frog. While doing this kick, it is important to be well-versed with the finer nuances of it, so that you are able to derive maximum benefits of swimming. Although it is an easy kick, most people find it difficult, for they are not taught the right technique. The tips mentioned below will be of help...
Mastering the Breaststroke
The breaststroke kick is one of the four official styles which are included in competitive swimming. It is also the slowest of all the styles. The fastest speed at which one can swim with this style is 1.57 meters every second. However, most swimmers will agree that, although it is a simple kick, mastering it always seems difficult. These days, a lot of trainers have started teaching this kick after their wards have mastered the butterfly stroke. This is because, it is important to master the timing and coordination of the legs properly. Having said that, let's turn towards the breaststroke technique.
To master this kick, you should first know the right method to use the legs. Often, it is seen that a lot of people use the top of their feet to kick; however, this is an illegal and wrong method. One must make use of the sole of the foot. You can exercise your ankles, which will help you with more flexibility, and you will have a better kick. You can practice this by sitting at the edge of the pool and pushing water away from the wall with your feet.
The next step is to sit on the edge of the pool. Bring the right leg out of the water, bend the knee such that the heel of the right leg is closer to the butt. Now, gradually turn the toes of the right foot towards your right; however, there should be no movement in your hips or your knee.
Now, using the sole, push the leg straight away from the wall. When you are doing this, there is no movement in the knee, and it stays aligned with the shoulders. When you are kicking the sole of the right foot, it will face forward, and at the end it will face left. After you are done with the kick, you will realize that at the end, both the feet clap together. When you are new to the technique, it is best to do it with just one leg. After you are done with the right leg, repeat the same with the left leg as well. When you are comfortable, you can start doing the same with both the legs simultaneously.
One of the first and most important things of the breaststroke is to remember that the movement of the hands and feet is in a streamlined position. During the entire workout, the body should be in level with the water. The movement of the hands needs to be in a circular motion, starting off slowly, and then picking up speed, where the elbows are placed in front of the shoulders. When you dive in and the hips are moving ahead, the hands should begin the in-sweep of the circular motion.
At this time, the head is up, while the feet make a quicker movement towards the buttocks. When you are at the flat-style prayer position, it is the height of the stroke, where the shoulders move into a shrug movement. The start of the kick is when the head goes ahead and then down. It is important to note that, the elbows should always be closer to the surface of the water during the entire duration of the stroke. The palms of your hand should face the flooring of the pool, and the soles of the feet need to be clasped together. The start of the next stroke should be in a streamline position.
After you have mastered the kick, you can go onto learning the backstroke flip turn. Just a quick tip before I end this article. Do not overemphasize the pushing of the entire torso out of the water, as it will waste a lot of energy, and you will get tired very soon.