How to Swim Breaststroke Faster

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Breaststroke swimming is a great way to lose weight and tone up your body. It’s an accessible stroke for beginner swimmers, and it’s also a lot of fun. 

One thing that might frustrate beginner swimmers is that you might find it difficult to improve your speed when swimming breaststroke. 

This stroke is not renowned for its speed, but there are definitely ways you can swim breaststroke faster. This all comes down to learning and applying the correct technique. In this article, we’ll go over some tips you can implement to swim breaststroke faster. 


How Can You Improve Your Breaststroke Speed?

Work on Your Timing

One of the main ways you can improve your breaststroke speed is to nail your timing. Timing is crucial to successful breaststroke swimming. 

You can break the breaststroke down into four sections to help you get to grips with the timing of this stroke: pull, breathe, kick, and stretch.

You can go over these moves in your head and set the times as you do this. Imagine the timing you hope to achieve and set your stroke to that speed. It’s important not to ignore your technique in order to go faster, though. 

These four sections should flow into each other. This fluidity really helps you to maintain and achieve speed when swimming in this stroke. 

A tip to remaining fluid is to not exaggerate any part of the stroke. A choppy stroke is much more likely to be slower than a fluid and smooth stroke.


Control Your Pull

Another way to improve the speed of your breaststroke is to ensure your arms do not go out too wide. Keep your arms as close to your body as possible when executing the pull. This will keep your pull as powerful as possible. 

Your elbows should be tight, and you should aim to pull the water into your chest instead of making wide, sweeping motions with your arms. This will allow you to gather much more strength and speed.


Complete your kick

The kick is where the majority of the forward motion comes from in breaststroke, so it makes sense that ensuring your kick is finished would make your breaststroke faster.

When you finish your kick, ensure your legs and feet completely touch each other. This helps you to be more streamlined. In addition, bringing your feet and legs together will give you an extra boost that you can use in your glide. 


4 Tips for Improving Breaststroke Speed

  • Keep your hips up – Focus on keeping your hips high up, close to the surface of the water. This reduces resistance. It can be helpful to imagine that you are swimming downhill so that your chest is slightly lower than your hips.


  • Don’t come up too high to breathe – When taking a breath, try to avoid bringing your torso up too high out of the water. This may be tempting, but this further forces your hips down, which increases drag. 


  • Work on your flexibility – Having a good range of motion when swimming is very helpful. Flexibility in your knees, hips, and ankles helps you execute the kick effectively. 


Improving your flexibility outside of the pool can help you improve your breaststroke speed.


  • Quick recovery – During the arm and leg recovery, you lose the most velocity. If you’re trying to improve your breaststroke speed, make a recovery as short as possible. 


Why Do You Feel Like Breaststroke isn’t Faster?

There could be several reasons why you feel like your breaststroke is not faster. One potential reason is that your body position is not correct. 

Many swimmers keep their hips too low in the water. Especially when coming up to breathe, you could be bringing your torso up too high. This forces your lower body to sink. This, in turn, increases resistance, which makes you swim slower. 

You could also be performing your pull and catch too quickly. As a result, you are not catching and pulling enough water behind you. Rather than trying to move rapidly, focus on pushing the most amount of water behind you. 


Is Breaststroke the Fastest Way to Swim?

Breaststroke is the slowest way to swim out of all the strokes. This is because there is no forward propulsion during the glide phase of the stroke. 

In addition to this, the pull phase in breaststroke is much shorter than in other strokes. Also, unlike in other strokes, It does not reach behind the hips. 


Final Thoughts on How to Swim Breaststroke Faster

Swimming is undoubtedly one of the most successful exercises for a full-body workout. Not only does it tone muscles all over your body, but it also helps you burn calories to reach your fitness goals.

If you feel like your speed is slowing you down from reaching these goals, make sure to practice having the correct body position in the water and the timings of the stroke. This is much more effective than quickly moving your arms and legs, hoping to improve your speed.