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Page last updated at 11:43 GMT, Monday, 10 October 2005 12:43 UK
Swimming guide


Breaststroke is a traditional stroke popular with people who like to swim for fitness.

It is the slowest stroke, but that does not mean it cannot be swum powerfully and at speed.



The most important thing about breaststroke is to keep your body level at the surface.

Your shoulders need to be in line and your hips also need to be flat in the water.

Now move your feet and legs together like a frog - this is usually the most troublesome area of breaststroke.

It is the only stroke which uses these movements and can be difficult to get both legs to do the same thing at the same time.

Here are a few tips to help synchronise your legs:

  • Bend your knees and lift your feet up to your bottom
  • Turn your feet out so that you can push back with the bottom of your foot
  • Move your feet out and in again to meet each other
  • Straighten your legs with your knees touching
  • You can try this sitting on the side of the pool with your legs dangling in the water
  • Alternatively, you can do it in the water holding on to the rail with your legs stretched behind you.



    Take long stretches between each stroke with your arms.

    A really good tip is to make sure you can always see your hands. This will help to get the arm action right.

    Start by stretching your arms out in front of you, just under the surface of the water.

    Then press both hands out and round to draw a full circle, making sure your hands stay in front of your shoulders.

    Your hands should finish by stretching forwards again.

    Your arms and legs should stay in the water all of the time, making no splash at all.



    Breathe in as you finish the circle, lifting your face out of the water.

    Put your face back into the water as you stretch your arms forward to begin the circle again.



    The last step is to put the stroke together, so:

  • Pull with your arms and breathe in.
  • Kick your legs.
  • Stretch out with your body level in the water.
  • Start again.

  • see also
    Swimming calendar
    17 Oct 00 |  Swimming

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