There’s no doubt about it. Breaststroke is the coolest stroke, and the stroke with the most interesting drills – like single-leg kick.
Why Do It:
Single-Leg Kick has been a favorite drill of some of the world’s greatest breaststrokers – most notably Mike Barrowman, the 1992 Olympic gold medalist in the 200 breaststroke. It’s a valuable drill because it teaches QUICKNESS and COORDINATION in the legs and feet.
It also makes you acutely aware of any DIFFERENCES between your right leg and left leg. If one leg is stronger or more coordinated than the other you’ll know it immediately. If one ankle is more flexible than the other, you’ll know it. If one foot kicks higher than the other, you’ll know it. It’s also a great drill for helping you CORRECT these imbalances.
How to Do It:
1. Push off in streamline and start kicking breaststroke with just one leg. Let the other leg trail behind you, but don’t forget to point the toes on that foot.
2. Take 3 kicks with your right leg- then three kicks with the left leg.
3. On the next cycle, take 2 kicks with your right leg- then two kicks with the left.
Then one kick on the right- one kick on the left- and switch to regular kick to finish the length.
As you transition from one leg to the other, try to keep going STRAIGHT down the pool.
And after you transition from single-leg to regular kick, keep the kick small, quick, and compact.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
When you’ve mastered the 3-2-1 version of single-leg kick, try to come up with your own variations – like 1 Right/1 Left.
This teaches quickness in the feet and ankles – and will help you develop a faster stroke RATE when you swim whole-stroke breaststroke.
One Right/One Left is just one of many possible variations. You could do 1 Left/1 Right/1 double leg. Or 2 Left/2 Right/2 double leg. You get the idea.