How to Swim Competitive Breaststroke

Video Lectures

Displaying all 15 video lectures.
Lecture 1
What is the Breaststroke?
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What is the Breaststroke?

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, gives an overview of the breaststroke, one of the most popular swimming strokes for recreational swimmers.

Video Transcript: "PHILLIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village, I'm Phillip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. The Breaststroke Stroke. The breaststroke is one of the most popular recreational strokes out of the four. Really, it provides the opportunity to keep your head above the water on a recreational level, to swim around and leisurely cruise through the water. Now, the recreational side really isn't focused so much on the technique of breaststroke and just focuses on the security and the comfort of the stroke. However, when you get into the competitive aspect of breaststroke, breaststroke is the slowest of the four strokes. But there are several more fundamentals involved as opposed to your freestyle staying flat on the water, reach, catch, pull, push or your backstroke of thumb out, pinky in, bend the elbow, push. In breaststroke, there are some dynamics that take place where you're bending your body, you're bending your knees, you have a pull and push motion with your legs. So, there's a lot to consider. In competitive swimming, there are seven types of events that breaststroke is used. In competitive swimming, there are seven events in which breaststroke is used. Those include the 50, the 100, the 200 breaststroke, the 100 IM, the 200 IM, the 400 IM and the 400 medley relay."

Lecture 2
Movement of the Arms
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Movement of the Arms

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, teaches how to master the technique of the breaststroke arm motion, which is very important for swimming the breaststroke.

Video Transcript: "PHILLIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village, I'm Phillip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. In breaststroke, the technique is really quite technical and exact. You have the outsweep, the insweep and the recovery as far as your arm motion is concerned. Now, that's just the arm motion. In this particular chain of events is really important 'cause a lot of your strength and forward momentum relies on the arm motion. We'll start with the recovery position as far as the arm motion is concerned. The arm position in the recovery, the full recovery position, will be up here. This is the basic leader start position. You'll then go into your outward sweep which works on your catch. So, from this point, at the tip of my fingers to this point, this is where all the power is going to start as far as your stroke is concerned. And this will be the outward motion. How I like to look at this is basically, this is the tip of a heart, you go into your outward motion, then, you do your insweep into your chest at the top of the heart and back towards the center, finishing the recovery position. So, again, it's going to be the starting point or the tip point, outward motion, inward sweep, recovery."

Lecture 3
Kicking
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Kicking

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, teaches the breaststroke kick, also known as the frog kick because it is similar to the way that frogs move their legs when swimming.

Video Transcript: "PHILLIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village, I'm Phillip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. The breaststroke kick is probably one of the most popular next to, of course, the butterfly kick. The breaststroke kick is also known as the frog kick. I basically break this down into a three-step process, bend, open, snap, bend, open, snap. Well, there might be more technical terms for it in the world of swimming. I think it's the most easy to understand. And again, it's just a bend, if I could have--if you are to look at my arms as legs, it'd be bend towards my back, open and snap them together for that thrust and forward motion. So, if my body, with my belly facing the bottom of the pool, we're on top, again, really focusing on keeping the hips on the top of the water. What I'm going to do is I'm going to bend my feet or bend my knees, keeping my feet below the water surface. You'll see some people do this. But keeping your feet below the water surface, flat foot, keeping your knees close together, open and snap. Bend, open, snap for that thrusting motion. Bend, open, snap."

Lecture 4
Body Position
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Body Position

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, teaches the body position for swimming the breaststroke.

Video Transcript: "PHILLIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village, I'm Phillip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. The body position in breaststroke is really quite simple. You're simply going to have your body laying down in a prone position, your belly button facing the bottom of the pool, your arms outreached and laying flat like this. Again, like with the other strokes, you're going to want to keep your hips up on top of the water. Throughout your stroke, this is going to significantly reduce drag and help with your speed through the water. As far as your head position is concerned, you're going to be looking straight down at the bottom while your face is in the water which is really is quite simple. Basically, the breaststroke is made up of four portions. It's pull while simultaneously breathing, kick and gliding. So, it's a pull, breathe, kick, glide, pull, breathe, kick, glide. A real system that helps you remember it especially while you're actually doing the stroke. So, if I will, I'll just give you a little bit of an example right here standing. So, it's going to be pull breathe and then I'd be kicking and gliding. Pull breathe, kicking and gliding. That would be the basic body position and process of the breaststroke."

Lecture 5
Breathing Techniques
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Breathing Techniques

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, teaches the correct breathing techniques for the breaststroke.

Video Transcript: "PHILLIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village, I'm Phillip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. As far as the breaststroke breathing is concerned, it's really quite simple. As opposed to breathing every three strokes for freestyle, breathing whenever you wish for backstroke, in the breaststroke, you're going to be breathing every stroke. So, it's that pull breathe portion of our breaststroke. So, it's basically pull breathe, face back in the water. Pull breathe, face back in the water. So, you're going to be taking one stroke every breath. In a racing environment, this is paramount. Again, the technique and skill of this stroke makes all the difference between being disqualified and finishing a race."

 

Lecture 6
Breaststroke Turns
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Breaststroke Turns

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, teaches the breaststroke turn, which is an open turn and is simple to learn.

Video Transcript: "PHILLIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village, I'm Phillip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. The breaststroke turn is really quite simple. You're basically going to be using an open turn, turn. What you'll be doing is you'll be going through your pull breathe, kick glide in that last portion right when you're close to the wall, you're going to get that strong glide. And really at this point, it's all a matter of timing. As you come into the wall and hopefully, by the time that you're entering races, you'll have a really good idea as to how far out like how much of a stroke you need to really reach into that wall. You'll come into the wall, touch it with an open turn type process, bring your body underneath you and just as your feet are coming underneath your body, you'll be turning over to your side sliding your left or right hand, your choice, underneath your body and just as that left arm is coming down, your right arm will come over the top, you'll put yourself under the water approximately 12 inches from streamline off the wall onto your belly."

Lecture 7
Pushing Off the Wall After a Breaststroke Turn
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Pushing Off the Wall After a Breaststroke Turn

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, teaches the pushing off the wall after a breaststroke turn.

Video Transcript: "PHILLIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village, I'm Phillip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. Coming off the wall, out of your breaststroke turn is really paramount. It makes all the difference in every race. After you finish your turn and you've brought your left arm down, your right arm over your head and you've gone into that streamline position, there's a few things that you really have to keep in mind. Number one is you're allowed--regulations allow one strong pull underneath the water surface followed by a kick and a glide. As you're about to enter into your second pull, your head must break the surface of the water. If it doesn't and you take that pull without your head breaking the surface, you're going to be disqualified from your event. What I have found personally over the years is that these turns and launching off the wall makes all the difference. Number one, it conserves your energy. But two and most importantly, it provides you that opportunity to really get a thrust off the wall and get in front of all of the other racers. So, really focus on that. Focusing on your off-the-walls will make all the difference in every race."

Lecture 8
Kick Drills
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Kick Drills

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, teaches how to practice the breaststroke kick, or frog kick, by doing kick drills using a kickboard or the streamline position.

Video Transcript: "PHILLIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village, I'm Phillip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. So, kick drills will include, of course, your kick board and really emphasize keeping the hips up on top of the water and focusing on the bend, open, snap. Now, that's just one drill that you can use for the kicking drill. You can also use the streamline kicking process as we did at the freestyle where you're keeping your hands out in front and working on the bend, open, snap and just utilizing your pop up breast. What this does is provide a real sense of balance in the water and body position. In your breaststroke, the kick is probably one of the most important aspects to a successful stroke. You're going to be focusing on that frog kick and it sounds funny but it has a lot of dynamics involved that really make the difference. For example, what I've found teaching children is that a lot of them will bend at the hips when they really ought to just be bending at the knees, opening and snapping. They'll bend at the hips at almost a 90 degree angle. So, instead of keeping their body like this or flat bending their knees, opening and snapping, what they end up doing is they bend at the hips, bend their knees which provides a lot of drag and will almost stop them in their forward momentum."

Lecture 9
Pull Drills
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Pull Drills

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, teaches how to use a pull buoy to do pull drills for practicing the upper body motion of the breaststroke.

Video Transcript: "PHILIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village. I'm Philip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. Pull drills. For breast stroke, once again, we're going to utilize the pull buoy to isolate the legs and really focus on the upper body. During these pull drills, which you want to focus on, is keeping your head low to the water which you'll find oftentimes in the beginning portion or the beginning years of individuals who are working on breast stroke is that they'll want to bring their whole body up and out of the water. And it's really key and important to keep your body low, to keep it low to the water, keep your head down, and just keep chugging. The higher you come out of the water, the deeper you're going to go when you come back down which will contribute to a drag factor that you do not want. So, really, it's important doing your pull drills to focus on the reach, outward sweep, inward sweep and recovery. Keeping the face looking down and focusing on the power in your upper body."

Lecture 10
Underwater Drills
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Underwater Drills

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, teaches how to do breaststroke underwater drills, such as the one pull, two kick drill, can help you to focus on your underwater glide in the breaststroke.

Video Transcript: "PHILIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village. I'm Philip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. Breast stroke underwater drills. My personal favorite would be the one pull, two kick drill. Basically, what happens is you're going to provide that one-pull breathe and then you're going to submerge yourself under the water for a two kick process. Again, that's going to be a kick, glide, kick, glide. What this is going to do is it's going to allow you to really emphasize that kick and really focus on that glide to see how far you're getting with each kick. Again, it's going to be that distance per kick. And that's really what you're looking for out of this particular drill. What this also provides is an opportunity to focus on your breathing control. Pull, breathe, submerge, kick, glide, kick, glide, pull, breathe, submerge, kick, glide, kick, glide. And again, the emphasis of this drill is to focus on the distance per kick."

Lecture 11
On Back Kick Drills
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On Back Kick Drills

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, teaches how to practice the frog kick on your back can help you learn the correct hip position for the breaststroke kick.

Video Transcript: "PHILIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village. I'm Philip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. Kicking drills. A breast stroke kick drill that I really like is one in which you're laying on your back and you're working on your frog kick. What this allows is that it allows you the opportunity to focus on not bending at the hips. It's really just focusing bending the knees, keeping them parallel with the water, opening and snapping. So, it allows you to focus on the bend, open, snap aspect and preventing your body from dipping down or bending at the hips necessarily, which as we discussed before, contributes to the drag factor. And again, with any of these techniques whether it's freestyle, breast stroke, back stroke or butterfly, it's all about reducing the drag and increasing the speed. So, again, you'll simply go into a back flip type position, bring your hips up and simply work on the bend, open, snap of your knees."

Lecture 12
Sprinting Tips
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Sprinting Tips

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, teaches how to shorten your glides to swim as fast as possible in breaststroke sprinting races, such as the 50 meter and 100 meter race.

Video Transcript: "PHILIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village. I'm Philip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. Breast Stroke Sprint Races include the 50, the 100--well, the 50 and the 100, basically. During these type of races, you are going to be shortening the glide time. Basically, again, you're not going to be focusing on conserving energy, you're going to be focusing on spending that energy as fast and quickly as you possibly can. Again, it's about getting there first, not about showing off your glide or your technique so much. But again, the thing I'd like to reiterate is that you're not going to want to compromise your technique so much. You're just going to want to make it faster. Shorten the glides, sharper, closer, inward-outward sweeps, and recoveries, and again, keeping that body low and close to the water. Higher turnover, shorter glides are the key to breast stroke racing, in sprint races in particular."

Lecture 13
Distance Racing Tips
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Distance Racing Tips

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, teaches how to focus on conserving your energy so that you can finish strong in breaststroke distance races such as the 200 meter race.

Video Transcript: "PHILIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village. I'm Philip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. Breast Stroke Distance Races really just include the 200-meter, or 200-yard breast stroke, which is comprised of eight lengths of your pool, or four laps. In these types of races, this is where you're going to focus on your glides. This is where you're going to take advantage of those turns. Again, you want to get out there, and you want to conserve as much energy as possible. But as we've discussed before, you're only going to find out at which point you turn on the higher turnover, or turn on the turnover during this race through practice. So, whether you start turning it on at the 100 mark, or you're able to last all eight lengths at a 110% speed without any sort of compromise. The best way to find out about those, and to find out how much of glide time you need, or how much you don't need, is to really work on splits during your practice. Work on intervals and split times. If you can go and do 450s, and each of them are the same, and you're going at a 110 percent speed, and you're pulling flat times, then, you probably won't have a problem. But if you are like the rest of us, or many of us out there, really focus on those turns, and lengthen that glide time to really have an effective, efficient, and well executed race."

Lecture 14
Starting a Breaststroke Race
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Starting a Breaststroke Race

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, teaches how to dive off the starting block using a flat foot start or a track start in breaststroke races.

Video Transcript: "PHILIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village, I'm Philip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. Breaststroke starts. Breaststroke starts are very similar to that of the freestyle start. You have two options, the first of which is the flat foot start with both feet lined up at the front of starting block. The second is the track start where you have one foot placed back, again, leaning your weight to the back foot and catapulting yourself off. The most important thing to remember, however, is that once you've entered the water, you have the obligation to perform one pull, one kick glide, and on that second pull, your head must break the water surface. Now, as with turnovers or off the walls, it's really important to focus on this aspect 'cause this is where you can conserve all of your energy. However, you can't break the 15-meter mark. Once again, you can't do the whole length of the pool with your pull down, touch the wall, push off, and have the whole race under water. You will be disqualified."

Lecture 15
Finishing a Breaststroke Race
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Finishing a Breaststroke Race

In this video lesson, Swimming Instructor, Phillip Toriello, teaches how to finish properly a breaststroke race since they are extremely important.

Video Transcript: "PHILIP TORIELLO: Hello and welcome to Expert Village. I'm Philip Toriello from the Avila Bay Athletic Club. The breaststroke finish. The breaststroke finish is incredibly important. You want to finish strong and you want to drive yourself through that finish line. The best way to learn about your finish is to work on the different techniques and practice as far as your glide, your pull and your recovery. These three things are the biggest aspects. You can gauge yourself as far as the people next to you or you can gauge yourself and your distance off the backstroke flags. What I recommend is simply doing 25 sprints--25-yard sprints and really gauging the wall. For example, if I'm right here and I'm popping up, will my finish drive me through the wall, not just come up to the wall and then I have to reach an extra inch or two but will the kick from this point drive me through that wall. And really that's what it's all about. It's about the reach. It's not about coming up shorts and ending up right here on my kick close to the wall and then having to lean forward. It's all about timing and how far out I'll be for that last final stretch into that wall."