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Breaststroke – Forced Hand Speed

Many young breaststrokers search for power rather than finesse when trying to go fast.  Sometimes forcing them into a rate above what’s comfortable can help them keep the hands quick, and where they should be.

Why Do It:
Pulling back too far can get many swimmers stuck in breaststroke.  If the hands are too far back, and the breath takes too long, many swimmers pause or stop in this position.

How to Do It:
1.
  You’re going to need a few tools for this.  A) FINIS Tempo Trainer, B) Big paddles, C) Fast fins.
2.  Set the Tempo Trainer to a relatively slow speed…we’ll say 1.50 for this exercise.
3.  Push off and get used to the pace.  Take a single dolphin kick under water on each beep.
4.  Initiate a stroke of breaststroke on every other beep.  Using an every-other sequence will help you set up a little better for really fast hands. 
5.  Progress to an "every" sequence…i.e., take a stroke with a dolphin kick on every beep.  This should be a fairly quick pace, maybe even just a bit above your normal pace.
6.  Decrease the time by .10 on the Tempo Trainer and repeat.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Keep pushing the time down until it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the pace.  We pushed this down to 1:00 on the Tempo Trainer.  While it’s not easy to maintain the stroke at this rate, it certainly should keep the hands a bit further out in front.  Also, if you tuck up the legs for a dolphin kick, you’ll create too much resistance to maintain this higher rate.