Breaststroke is the best stroke – guest blog by Salim Ahmed

Breaststroke has been getting a bad press for years. But as we gear up for our first breaststroke swim clinic to be held on 6-8 May 2016, professional swim coach Salim says it’s time to embrace the underdog.

Breaststoke clinic

Front crawl has been enjoying the role of ‘stroke of choice’ for almost 100 years. But until the 1950s, breaststroke was infact 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.

Breaststroke clinic

Have your stroke and swim it

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).

Breaststroke clinic

Swim clinic at Watergate Bay

Book your space on our weekend swim clinic, 6-8 May, available with our without hotel accommodation.

4 thoughts on “Breaststroke is the best stroke – guest blog by Salim Ahmed

  1. Susan Hughes

    I have terrible breast stroke, after one length I am out of breath!

    However I live in Falmouth and I do shift work, so I may not be able to attend one of your classes.

    1. sarah Post author

      Hi Susan,

      Our swim clinic weekends are aimed at all levels and abilities looking to improve their swimming style. Our breastroke swim clinic on 6–8 May is available with our without accommodation. Please visit for more information. Do let us know if you have any specific questions as our swim coach Salim would be very happy to help.

      Keep swimming and best wishes, Team WGB

  2. Dawn McGrady


    I’m just learning to swim (age 50) – I started last year at my local council pool in an adult class and I love it and now try and go every day but I find the timing in breast stroke really hard – my leg kick is ok but I can’t find a slow motion video anywhere showing exactly where my arms should be when I start to kick.

    I’d love to come on one of your courses but I’m in Berkshire.



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