Breaststroke – Head-Lead Kick on Your Back

Head-Lead Kick on Your Back is an essential drill for swimmers of all levels. For beginners, it’s the most effective drill for learning a legal breaststroke kick. For advanced swimmers, it’s one of the best ways to work on the fine points of the kick.

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Why Do It:

When you kick on your back, you don’t have to worry about air. That means you can focus ALL your attention on the kick.

If you’re a beginning swimmer, this drill allows you to tuck your chin and take a look at what’s happening. Your knees should not pop up above the surface, your ankles should be turned out, and your kick should be symmetrical, the same on both sides.

If you’re an advanced swimmer, and you’ve mastered the basics, you can push everything to a higher level.

How To Do It:
Watch how these swimmers not only keep their knees below the surface, but also maintain a nearly straight line from the abs all the way to the knees. Their kick happens BEHIND the body. And the thighs stay hidden within the shadow of the body.

Taking this one step further, watch how they hold the feet together during the recovery. The feet stay together and hidden until the last possible moment, and then the ankles turn out.

Now watch how their ankles not only turn out, but also how the heels come up and nearly TOUCH the fingertips. This means the swimmers are grabbing as much water as possible for the kick.

To deliver a powerful kick, the body needs to remain stable and level. Notice how little up-and-down movement there is with these swimmers. With a stable torso, all of their energy is directed FORWARD with the kick.

How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):

Finally, notice how these swimmers FINISH each kick. The feet come all the way together, and the toes are pointed to take maximum advantage of the kick. Our female swimmer actually places one foot OVER the other to get an even better streamline.