When swimming Breaststroke we want to do the same thing we do when we swim Freestyle in WEST swimming technique, where the depth of the hand stretch is concerned. But first, let’s talk about arching your back.
When Olympic swimmers swim, their legs start working at the same time they open their hands. This creates an arch it the lower back, which can lead to back pain. This is the reason many people say Breaststroke is not healthy for you, but breaststroke can be very healthy if you do it WEST style, because we work on 240 specific muscles, more than Free Style or even Butterfly.
We don’t want you to swim only breastbtroke, but a combination of styles is good, and if you are going to swim breaststroke, you’d better do it the WEST way, that’s is – protecting your back and neck.
There are three things that will help you swim correctly and strengthen your muscles:
- Try to separate your hands from your legs – when the hands tread the water the legs should sink in order to avoid arching your back. Only when the hands finish their movement and the head goes back in the water, the legs start their own movement.
- When Olympic swimmers swim, they join the elbows under the body during the hand movement, which causes pressure to the shoulders. You can avoid that pressure by keeping your hands at 35 cm under water, according to the WEST technique, and then folding your hands to your stomach without joining the elbows.
- Elongating the muscles by waiting 3 seconds between the hand movements and the leg movements. During that time you stretch and elongate your back, each one according to his or her flexibility level, so that even if a little stress was created during the movement, it will be released in the stretch.
In this way you can protect your back and neck and elongate the muscles, things that will improve your swimming in freestyle.
The amazing thing about breaststroke is that you can use a snorkel and never get your head out of the water to breath, and then you can work on strengthening your core muscles which help preserve your back, and also on strengthening your arm and leg muscles.
If you swim breaststroke the WEST style and remember those three main things, you will be able to do it beautifully and protect your body.