Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Learn How To Swim 101 - Breaststroke - the Leg Action



Once you have established your breaststroke arm action and breaststroke breathing, the next stage is to work on your leg action. This is the hard part because you are teaching your legs to do something that they have not been doing till now. So we are going to teach the action separately from the arm action and put it all together later.

Often called the frog leg kick because of it's resemblance, some would say, of the way frogs kick, the best way to learn this kick is on your back with a kick board. Please make sure you do learn this with a kick board because you are not allowed to do flutter kick at all in breast stroke. A flutter kick (another term for the standard kick you do when you are doing freestyle and back stroke) even of the slightest, will get you disqualified in a competition.

"But I never plan on doing competition" you say. I've heard that before from some who are now very good competitors so you never know. And even if you don't compete isn't it better to do things the right way. Who knows you may become a swimming instructor one day and you wouldn't want to teach what you can't do because you didn't practice would you, (trust me I've seen some really bad teachers).

Apart from that the frog kick is a very useful stroke if you ever need to rescue someone.

The picture below is a good example of how you should practice your frog kick with a kick board on your back:
 
The advantage of this is that you don't have to concentrate on anything else whilst you are practicing your kick.
The leg action it's self is: 
     Bend your knees,  open your legs      and push.
 

From below it looks like this:
You don't have to spread you legs as wide as the picture for it to be and effective kick but this will give you the idea of what to practice.

Once you are feeling confident with this action, get someone else to look at if you have any doubt, it's time to start to put it into action.

Starting with a torpedo position, push off and move your legs with the action you have been practicing. Like this:
 
Finishing in a torpedo position like this:
 

Remaining in the torpedo posistion repeat the above leg kick until you run out of breath.

Practice this for a while and next time we'll put your breaststroke all together

Enjoy
Richard

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