Breaststroke is a Short Axis Stroke and the Power comes from Rhythm especially Rhythm in Front. We must first establish The Line by making our spine as long as possible. We then manipulate Posture, Line and Balance slightly above and slightly below the line, manipulating the extended spine by flexing. Caution must be taken to ensure that the manipulation is happening Forward and never up and down. Up and down manipulation occurs when the shoulders and head are brought up and back, and then by diving down below the surface of the water towards the bottom of the pool. We want to manipulate our Buoyancy by Loading (Pressing the lungs down below the line), setting Anchors to re-direct the lungs forward above the line, and Sliding the Hips forward into the position previously occupied by the lungs.
Start on The Line (same line as Freestyle), then Sweep Out softly (Neighborhood- 25MPH) to a Wide Y called the Corners. Turn palms slightly down and back and begin the Inward Sweep (Freeway-65 MPH) towards the chin. Don’t drop the elbows, keep them at the surface of the water. Recover or Shoot forward back to line quickly (Autobahn-100 MPH). Keep the arms out in front of the body as much as possible for balance.
As you Sweep Out to the Corners, you Load, or Press the face and chest forward and slightly down into the water. About 1 inch of water should run over the back in this position. This makes the water “want” to throw you forward and straight up. To go forward at an angle instead of straight up, set the Anchors at the Corners, look 45 degrees ahead on the Inward Sweep, and try to Slam Hips forward to where the lungs are in the water. Bring the hip bone into the ribs for the Strike position. This is the key to Distance Per Stroke. A common mistake is to lift the head during the Sweep Out for a breath. This eliminates the ability to Load properly, and causes the swimmer to land on the chin instead of on the forehead. To breathe, the swimmer should extend the neck during the Inward Sweep (similar to breathing in Butterfly), and never move the head to breathe. Note: The Hip Slam will determine the angle at which the arms Recover. Do not try to Recover the arms above the water on purpose.
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