Breaststroke has been getting a bad press for years. But, professional swim coach Salim says it’s time to embrace the underdog.
Front crawl has been enjoying the role of ‘stroke of choice’ for almost 100 years. But until the 1950s, breaststroke was in fact the only stroke with a required style.
The history of breaststroke goes way back to the Stone Age. Britain’s greatest ever swimmer (or should that be poet) swam all of his epic swims using it. And if it was good enough for Byron…
Today, breaststroke remains the most popular recreational swimming style due to the fact the swimmer’s head is out of the water a large portion of the time and that it can be swum comfortably at slow speeds. However, at competition level, swimming breaststroke at speed requires comparable endurance and strength to other strokes, despite it being the slowest of the four recognised styles.
Yes, front crawl is the energy-efficient stroke of choice when done well. But you may be surprised how small that advantage may be in some circumstances.
I believe a slightly tweaked and well-executed breaststroke has many distinct advantages. I have coached a number of breast stroking triathletes in my time, and there is nothing more fascinating than seeing a-long gliding breaststroker ease past a testosterone-fuelled Alpha thrashing through the water using front crawl.
Not only can the stroke be swum quickly and energy efficiently, but it could save your life too.
So instead of unlearning something and trying to perfect a new stroke, our breaststroke clinic aims to tweak your swim style make it more efficient, elegant, and perhaps turn a few heads (as you swim past).