Common Breaststroke Mistakes You May Be Making

The breaststroke is not an easy stroke to master, and it is not the fastest stroke, either. If you’re struggling to complete the breaststroke in a timely fashion, you may be making several common mistakes that most swimmers are prone to.

If you find yourself getting frustrated with your breaststroke mistakes, and you can’t figure out why you are having so much trouble, take a look at the list below - you may find that you are making some common mistakes that you didn’t even realize you were making. Hopefully this list can help you understand where you went wrong and how you can improve and perfect your breaststroke.

Your Hips are Dropping

One of the most common mistakes people make when performing the breaststroke is that the hips tend to fall underneath the water. If you are doing your breaststroke, pay attention to how your hips are positioned - this is the most integral part to your body positioning. You should focus on your body being as parallel to the top of the water as possible.

You can avoid the mistake of dropping your hips by staying horizontal at all times. A good way to practice this is to put your eyes down and focus on where your hips are at all time. Try doing the breaststroke in a straight line to help you get used to this feeling.

Your Arms are Too Wide

It can be difficult to understand the correct positioning of your arms, but after some practice you’ll get it right. The most common mistake while using your arms is that you may be pulling your arms too wide. Some people try this in attempt to pull more water and pull you forward more, but it does not actually work that way. Instead, you shouldn’t reach farther out than your natural shoulder-width. The water outside of this area can cause your arms to get tired out more quickly, which yields ineffective swimming results.

Try making smaller scoops when you swim. You can achieve this by putting a buoy or a tube between your thighs, so you don’t have to focus on your kicks too much. That way, you can pay attention to the way your arms are moving.

You are Looking Forward When You Breathe

You may have been taught how to breathe incorrectly. You need to focus on lifting your head at a 45-degree angle, rather than looking straight ahead. When you look straight ahead, and your head lifts out of the water, it causes an interruption in your breaststroke body position, which causes your hips to sink and your limbs to get out of sync.

In order to avoid this problem, learn the different ways you can tilt your head that won’t interrupt your positioning. This can be difficult to achieve at first, as you may be tempted to lift your head in order to help yourself breathe. But you can avoid pushing yourself upward by tucking your head between your arms in between your breaths. It will take some practice to find the right area to breathe in, but after some time you will be able to take breaths without messing up your posture.

Kicking Problems

Similar to the problem of scooping too wide with your arms, you may also be kicking too wide with your legs. It’s a common mistake for beginners to make when first learning the breaststroke, because they try to kick up as much water as possible. However, you need to train your body to kick in better ways. You may notice that your knees bend outward when you attempt this position, and this is not the proper posture for a breaststroke.

You can avoid the kicking problems by focusing on keeping your knees pointed towards the bottom of the pool. When your legs come apart while you kick, don’t make the distance between your knees too wide. Control your legs, close the distance, and keep them straight, and you’re on your way to success.