9 reasons why breaststroke could be your favourite stroke too

I love swimming breaststroke

Here are 9 reasons breaststroke could be your favourite stroke too:

  1. I used to swim breaststroke competitively. The choice was made for me rather than by me before swimming became an important part of my life. This video is for demonstration purposes only in order to show you how to swim breaststroke competitively.


  1. Breaststroke is the only stroke where legs work harder than arms. A little bit later on in this post I will share why this aspect is beneficial, especially for women.


  1. Breaststroke is easier to swim compared to the other three strokes, however a lot of swimming trainers find it the hardest to teach due to coordination of the leg kick.


  1. Janine, a swimming trainer from Trinidad in her comment on my previous post, pointed out that breaststroke is the only stroke where the arms and legs don’t move at the same time. I had never explained it this way previously, but in fact I use this when I teach my students to swim the stroke. I believe that if a student separates the arm pull and the leg kick while practicing they can focus better on each movement in order to practice it the correct way.


  1. Nature designed men to have more upper-body strength, so they are naturally built to have a triangular shape. In the three strokes: Freestyle, Backstroke and Butterfly the upper body is involved tremendously, and perhaps men have a head-start. By comparison women tend to be heavier in the lower body. They need their lower body to be strong enough to carry out what nature intended and to be well-toned. In order to achieve that kind of strength a good solution could be to swim breaststroke.


  1. Please, don’t misunderstand me, I am not suggesting that breaststroke is only for women. Equally, I don’t want men to avoid swimming breaststroke in fear of appearing weak. All four strokes target different body parts and muscle groups in different ways. In order to work on improving the techniques and all-round fitness it is advised to combine different swimming styles and drills.


  1. From Janine’s comment on my previous post and my observations, I can safely say that if a woman gets in the water she is more than likely to swim breaststroke. Why do they prefer this stroke? Several reasons, firstly, as you can see from my previous post the stroke is easy to swim. Secondly, if the aim is not to crash and splash about, one will choose this stroke. It is a well-known fact that if a woman doesn’t want to get her hair wet she will swim this stroke with her head out of the water.


I hope you will find the following as funny as I do. From my experience of teaching women to swim it often happens to me that after a period of time when there is some good progress in learning, the female student will ask me the following question: “When are you going to teach me to swim correctly?” When I ask what does she believes to be correct swimming, she describes breaststroke with the head out of the water.


  1. Breaststroke arm movement is very similar to that needed to tread water which is necessary skill for surviving in water.


  1. I love to teach my students to swim wave-style breaststroke because it is an exceedingly good all-body workout and specifically for the spine if undulating movements are emphasized during the drill. During this drill, I encourage my students to rise up as though climbing up a hill hollowing their backs and breaking the surface of the water with their hands. Due to these movements at the same time I encourage them to keep their hips static and bring their heels up to their bottoms which works the glutes. Having climbed the rhetorical hill, I tell them to follow though by sliding down the hill, encouraging full articulation of their backs. At this point I ask them to kick and send their fingers down and forward through the water. The last stage is to lift the chin to see that the fingers have resurfaced and then the cycle is repeated as many times as required.

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  1. Nice article Olga, I can understand each point as I experienced most of them
    I do agree with the idea of that breaststroke is the most enjoying stroke, usually used in the sea with head up, in the pool for relaxation, even for diving to pick something from the bottom, I’m swimming also “English” breaststroke for relaxation in the pool after main course….

    BUT, in terms of learning and swimming breaststroke in the idol way I believe the combination of the movement (arms with legs and hip movement up & down, Nick and head and chest positioning) makes it the hardest to be learnt between the 4 strokes, it needs time and much concentration and coordination between body and brain to absorb the movement in the right way more than other strokes.

    I have a question here, do u think breaststroke can be a harmful stroke to the lower back and hip if it’s not performed in the correct way?

    • Ahmed, thank you very much for your comments.
      Yes, I believe breaststroke is the hardest to learn due to coodination but easy to swim once mastered.
      In answer to your question, it is harmful to do breaststroke with your head out of the water for long periods of time.

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