How to Improve a Breaststroke Drill

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Have you struggled to improve your swimming technique, no matter how many laps you do? Breaststroke drills are ways to practice the common movements of the breaststroke to make sure you understand the strokes and flow of your movements. 

Using breaststroke drills can help you master movements that you may be struggling with or help you nail those times. However, it does more than just help you improve your timing or motions. 

Drills can help you to build your muscles in the areas you need them most to reduce fatigue and chances of injury while swimming. 

Keep reading to learn more about the best ways to use drills to your advantage as well as some great drills to practice for enhancing your breaststroke. 


What are the Best Ways to Use Drills with Breaststroke?

The best way to use drills with the breaststroke is to use them to fully understand certain movements of the stroke. However, it can be difficult trying to learn every movement and the timing all at once. 

Drills allow you to practice each move individually and strengthen the muscles you will need to effectively perform the swimming stroke. 

As you get the hang of individual movements, you can also perform drills in order to work on completing two parts of the stroke at once, such as breathing movements and arms or arms and kicking. 

Drills are a great way to help you break down the breaststroke into individual parts and nail each movement. 


Drill 1: Windshield Wiper Drill

The Windshield Wiper Drill focuses on the out sweep of your breaststroke. You work solely on your out sweep, letting your forearms float back in front of you when you are done. 

If you start to get the hang of this drill, you can also work on keeping your feet up and tightening your core muscles to get your hips and feet in a good position. 

Unable to figure out how to breathe properly while doing this stroke? Don’t worry about it initially. Instead, wear a snorkel to maintain your correct body position. 

This type of drill is often referred to as Sculling. This is when you move your hands in different directions and angles in order to practice propulsion and lift. It gives you a good idea of your focus when performing this drill. 


Drill 2: Breaststroke Arms with Flutter Kicks

The breaststroke is designed to be a slower swim, and many people believe that would make it a much easier stroke than some others. However, in reality, the timing for the breaststroke can be very difficult to get right.

Often, swimmers tend to either swim too fast or stop and start their stroke, trying to get the timing right. If you find this is something you do, then the breaststroke arms with flutter kicks might be a drill that you find useful. 

Usually, when people struggle to maintain a steady speed, it has a lot to do with their recovery not being done quite right. Whether it is because the timing isn’t fast enough or it isn’t strong enough may change, but fixing your stroke will show a definite improvement. 

Oftentimes, people will do a lap of a traditional breaststroke and then switch to a breaststroke arm movement with a flutter kick for the next lap and alternate this way. 

That allows you to feel a difference between the two and see where you lack your traditional breaststroke arm movements. For the most part, the lap with the flutter kicks tends to be more aggressive, especially in the recovery portion of the stroke. 

The only thing that changes in this drill is the type of kick, so it is better to use it when you have most of the stroke down and just want to make some improvements. 


Drill 3: head Above the Water

Breathing is one of the areas where swimming slows down the most. This is because coming up out of the water can severely increase drag, and it is less efficient to move during that time. However, it is something you can’t go without doing. 

Getting the timing of your breathing is important to increase your time and reduce drag. For example, in the breaststroke, breathing is a little easier, as you pretty much pop your head above the water when your arms come out of the water. 

Also, a lot of the breaststroke movements are inefficient, so it doesn’t feel as out of place. 

This stroke is pretty easy. 

You simply perform the breaststroke but keep your head out of the water the whole time. Where you would normally pop your head out of the water, you simply lift it up more into the air. 

The purpose of this is to help you get the breathing movement down well, but it also helps you to strengthen your arms as you will be required to swim the breaststroke a lot faster and use your arms more than normal. 

However, it is important that you only practice this one for short bursts at a time, as you risk strain to your neck and back otherwise. 


Final Thoughts on How to Improve a Breaststroke Drill

As with any skill, mastering the breaststroke involves a lot of practice and repetition. That’s where drills come in. They not only help those that are new to the stroke or need to get the hang of a movement but those that have mostly mastered the stroke as well. 

Even experienced professional swimmers use drills and practice their strokes repeatedly to ensure they keep muscle memory and keep their muscles as they should be. 

These three strokes should help you to master the butterfly stroke and get the hang of the movements you need to get started or just get better.