Ultimate Guide To Breaststroke Kick Technique

breaststroke kick technique
Danila Novikov
All-American swimmer and founder of NYC based swim school.
Ever wondered how to master that graceful frog-like breaststroke kick?

Hey, my name is Dan. All-American swimmer and owner of NYC-based swim school. On my blog, I share swimming technique tips for beginner swimmers.

Today, we will talk about the breaststroke kick & it's technique. I'll share my tips for improving your breaststroke kick technique and power.

Let's dive in.

Breaststroke Kick: Leg Movement Explained

Breaststroke kick is fundamentally different from other strokes, as it's the only stroke where both legs simultaneously perform out sweeping motion.

Every kick is initiated when the swimmer drives heels towards their hips. At the same time, knees bend, and the swimmer rotates his feet outwards. When heels reach hips, legs perform a powerful out-sweeping kick until both feet meet. In breaststroke, a leg kick follows an arm pull and finishes a stroke cycle.

Ensure that you trap the water between your legs during the breaststroke kick. Move the water inward, one foot towards the other, rather than pushing it outward. When you squeeze the water between your legs, it gets pushed behind you, propelling your body forward on the surface of the water.
breaststroke kick leg movements

Beginner's guide to breaststroke leg kick

This technique is ideal for beginners who are just starting to learn the frog kick. The advanced kicking technique is too advanced and requires good knee joint mobility.

Leave a comment below if you want to learn advanced kicking techniques, but for now, let's start with fundamentals. If you're a beginner, pay attention and take notes.

Let's break the breaststroke kick into three separate steps.

1 step.

Bend your knees outward as you bring them to the sides, making sure they don't go higher than your hips. As you bring your knees out, point your toes in opposite directions while keeping feet flexed upwards.
breaststroke kick speed

2 step.

Push the water out behind you forcefully, moving the water with the back of your feet. By the end of this step, your legs should be fully extended and separated.
body position breaststroke

3 step.

Extend your toes behind you and use your entire leg to squeeze the water by moving one leg towards another until both connect in a streamlined position. Remember, you have to trap the water between your legs.

Let's repeat the steps. Kness out, open your legs and squeeze the water. Out. Open. Squeeze. Out. Open. Squeeze.

If the breaststroke kick is done correctly, it will produce plenty of propulsion. Timing is the key to effective propulsion; let me break it down for you.
recovery phase breaststroke kick

Frog kick timing

Let's count together. Count one when you bring your knees out. Count two as you push the water out and squeeze it in. Count three, four, five as you keep your legs close to each other and glide. As you may have noticed, we've connected the second and third steps to ensure we trap the water between our legs for the best propulsion.

One knee out. Two move the water. Three, four, five, glide. 1. 2. 3,4,5.

Start exploring this kick while holding it to the wall. Count your steps. Use your hip flexors during the first step. Hamstrings and glutes with the 2nd steps. Adductor muscles during the 3rd step. 1. 2. 3.

If you struggle to hold the wall and keep your legs up in a horizontal position, practice this drill with your upper body positioned above the water on the pool deck.

Move on to the next drill, where you do it with your head in the water while keeping your arms in front. 1. 2. 3,4,5. Trap the water between your legs during the 2nd step. Give yourself some time to glide after each kick. 1. 2. 3,4,5.

You can do the same drill with a kickboard—head in or out of the water. If you are swimming with your face out, your glides should be shorter. If you keep your face in, glide longer.

breaststroke feet kick

Bonus breaststroke leg-kick drill

Make the breaststroke kick while floating on your back to spice things up. If you haven't watched my video about backfloating, make sure you do it. Keep your knees inside the water while initiating this kick, and don't forget to trap the water between your legs to create more propulsion.
breaststroke kick drill

Explore other kick techniques

Remember, breaststroke is only one of four strokes, and there are other kick techniques. By learning more than one stroke, you will achieve better body awareness in the water and begin to swim more efficiently.