As we have already seen, most forward momentum when swimming the breaststroke comes from leg kick and the arms do not really have a thrust phase.
However, for the leg kick to be performed properly, in addition to getting the movement right there are several biomechanical skills that can be trained both in and out of the water. Training out of the water means you can make use of a significant technical aid: your sight.
However, after performing “dry-land” exercises, in order to make the most of your short-lasting muscle memory, you need to dive in the pool straight away and put into practice what you have trained for.
The proposed exercises with teach you how to keep your feet flexed at 90°, rotate your feet slightly outwards, and find the right position for your legs and knees during the leg kick.
– Sit with one leg extended and the other bent with your knee turned outwards and your foot resting on the inside of your other leg. From this position flex the foot of your extended leg and perform adduction and abduction rotation movements with your foot (3 x 20 rotations)
– Sitting in the same position, flex and extend tour foot holding the flexed position for as short a time as possible and the extended position for approximately 5” (3 x 10 reps).
– Thrusts or very gentle standing jumps with your feet pointing outwards( heels facing inwards, toes pointing outwards).
– In a kneeling position, spread your feet making sure they are wider than your knees so your bottom touches the floor. Try and flex your feet and then hold this position for 30” (4 reps. with 30” rest between reps).
– Standing with your legs as wide apart as possible, push your hips forward (extroversion of the hips), pull your shoulders backwards and hold this position for 30” (3 reps. with 30” rest between reps).
– Lying on your front with a support that allows only your chest to touch the floor, hold onto something with your hands so you are in a stable position and then simulate the leg kick, dividing it up into 1 – heel recovery up to your buttocks with your knees close together, 2 – external rotation of the foot, 3 – kick, 4 – closing your legs with your feet relaxed (adduction).
At this point all you need to do is enter the water and swim with a breaststroke leg kick over short distances (25 m-50 m) using a board and trying to imitate as far as possible the movements you have practised out of the water.
Even when we think we are doing the right movement, we must not forget our technique can always be improved…… enjoy your training exercises!