Breaststroke Catch

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Breaststroke is a favorite stroke of many beginner swimmers. It allows you to swim, even if you’re not yet comfortable with putting your head underwater. However, even though this stroke is beginner-friendly, it’s still important to learn the proper form. 

To maximize the benefits your body gets from swimming, you should thoroughly understand all the stages of swimming the breaststroke correctly. In this article, we’ll outline the catch phase and how to perform it correctly.


What is the Catch in Breaststroke?

The catch is one of the three stages in the arm movement of the breaststroke. The catch is the first step. 

This is the moment at which you catch as much water as possible with your hands. The catch is necessary to produce drive and movement forward in the next phase, which is the propulsion phase.


How Does the Breaststroke Catch Properly?

To do the breaststroke catch properly, follow these steps : 


  • Your arms should be stretched straight in front of your body.
  • Your hands should be slightly pointed outwards and facing downwards at the beginning of the catchphrase.
  • Your arms should then pull downwards and outwards and end up shoulder-width apart. 
  • Your elbows start to bend, and your shoulders move inwards, setting you up for the propulsive phase. 


Tips for Improving Your Breaststroke Catch

Here are some tips you can use to improve your breaststroke catch: 


  1. Keep your elbows high in the water.
  2. Don’t just pull the water with your hands – focus on using your forearm to catch as much water as possible. 
  3. Don’t rush- take your time to focus on having your arms and body in the correct position rather than trying to execute this stage quickly.
  4. Practice drills – there are many drills that have been created to help you improve your breaststroke catch. 


Some examples are: 


  • the “windshield wiper” drill
  • the front scull drill
  • adding resistance 


.Final Thoughts on Breaststroke Catch

The catch is a crucial step to swimming well in the breaststroke. A well-executed catch will set you up correctly for the rest of the stroke. Although the majority of the forward motion in breaststroke comes from the legs, the arms are still very important. 

Incorrect arm placement can drag your body down and make it much harder for you to swim. If you follow these tips, you will find your swimming workouts become more effective and more enjoyable.