Straight Arm Dolphin
What it helps: Feel for exact arm movements
This drill incorporates the dolphin kick in order to give your arms, hands and fingers a better feel for the water. Kick off from the wall, hands straight out in front of your body. Perform the dolphin kick and really feel your hands leading your body up and down in a gentle undulation. When you need to come up for a breath, perform a compact breaststroke upper body stroke to help bring your head to the surface. This drill can be performed with or without hand paddles. The Finis Agility Paddles work great with any stroke, but are especially good with the breaststroke because they increase a swimmer’s awareness of the hand and arm.
High Heel Kicks
What it helps: Kick efficiency; improves extension and glideIn this drill, instead of laying face down in the pool, you’ll want to start on your back with your hands held down at your sides. Kick the breaststroke kick, bringing your heels high enough so that they touch the end of your fingertips. Focus on just barely keeping the knees out of the water and allowing your feet to tuck under you to recover. After one lap, roll over to your stomach and repeat the drill in a prone position. Now focus on narrow knees and turning the toes out immediately after they touch the fingertips.
Breaststroke with Fins
What it helps: Kick strength, higher water catch, and breath timing
Some breaststroke swimmers might be surprised to learn that you can actually perform the whip kick with fins, that is, if you have the right fins on hand. Strap on a pair of all-purpose Finis Positive Drive Fins or the highly developed Speedo Breaststroke Fins. Both work great with the stroke’s unique frog-like kick. Push off from the wall and perform one regular breaststroke stroke. After you come up for a breath, go completely underwater and perform two kicks with arms streamline in front of your body. Focus on keeping your body parallel to the surface. The goal of this drill is to catch the water as high as possible without creating resistance with your upper legs.
Breathe Every Other Stroke
What it helps: Low body positioning and lung endurance
This drill is simple enough and can have a great impact on your breaststroke technique and timing. Start by swimming the breaststroke as you normally would. Instead of coming up for a breath on every stroke, keep your eyes in the water on every 2nd stroke. This will allow you to see the difference between the two strokes and will naturally make your head stay more in line with the rest of your body. Focus on maintaining a steady rhythm and keeping your hands in proper positioning on each stroke.