Swimisodes – Breaststroke Kick – Speed Drill

Having great speed in breaststroke kick is one of the techniques that led Olympian Rebecca Soni to gold medals in the Beijing and London Olympics. In this #swimisodes learn Rebecca’s favorite breaststroke kick drill which helped build her strong legs to maintain a faster stroke rate than her competitors. Developing such speed in the legs in order to get through the breaststroke kick cycle so quickly, requires a lot of work on swim drills such as this speed kick drill and the wall kick. We often see swimmers who breaststroke kick with the knees too wide, lengthening the time for the kick cycle. The kicking speed of many breaststrokers is often too slow and cannot be improved without specifically working on bringing the legs forward and pushing the insteps backward as quickly as possible. These speed drill techniques are often done for short bursts of time of 10 seconds up to 30 seconds, as they are difficult to sustain for longer periods.
In this Race Club Swimisodes you will also notice how Rebecca’s knees draw closer together during the quick bursts of speed drill, then spread further apart during the few recovery kicks that are relaxed. It is critical in using a fast breaststroke kick technique that the knees by held fairly closely together, at the hips or inside the hips. Otherwise, it is simply impossible to get through the breaststroke kicking cycle fast enough. In order to keep the knees close together and kick with power, the swimmer must also have great hip flexibility for external rotation. Just a few more degrees of flexibility in the hip can result in a much more powerful kick. Come to The Race Club camp and learn several dryland exercises that can help you develop the hip flexibility necessary for fast breaststroke technique. Thanks for watching!

8 Responses to Swimisodes – Breaststroke Kick – Speed Drill

  1. John Leonard

    Hi Gary – I appreciate this drill for the foot speed. Very nice.
    Is there any concern that she is kicking fast straight back (good) with no squeeze at the end? (I have always been concerned about the finish of the kick…) What are your thoughts ? Or, I’ll catch you in San Antonio about this!

    • garyhallsr


      You are right in that the squeeze of the feet together and the up kick of the feet at the end is important. That motion does increase the power of the kick some but more importantly, the pointing of the toes backward significantly reduces frontal drag. According to a German study, allowing the feet to ‘hang’ at the end of the kick can cause a 40% increase in frontal drag.
      The purpose of this drill is speed, however. To swim breaststroke fast one must have a very short and powerful kicking cycle time.

  2. Mitzi

    John, I think the point is just fast turnover of the kick in this drill. Much like the windmill drill is for backstroke turnover. Perfect technique not the issue. But you are right, the squeeze at the end it important–but it needs to be fast. If you Soni’s breast stroke–she is uses smaller amplitudes in all aspects of her stroke–but her turnover is fast.

  3. Samriddha Datta

    Hi Gary,
    Can you please explain the breastroke pull also and recommend some drills…. Thanks

    • garyhallsr

      The motion of the breaststroke pull varies, depending on whether one is using a delayed recovery (Soni) or a fast recovery breaststroke technique (Peaty, King). The fast recovery motion is a wider pull in a loop with a very speedy motion to the front position. The delayed recovery motion is a more posterior with a pause before the recovery motion forward with the hands. The flutter kick breaststroke drill is an excellent way to teach the fast recovery.

  4. Samriddha Datta

    Hi Gary
    Please add a few more videos on swimisode …. Thanks

  5. Pingback: Breaststroke Kick Drills – So You Think You Can Swim

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