Activities Sports & Athletics Common Breaststroke Mistakes Are you making these common breaststroke mistakes? Share PINTEREST Email Print Sports & Athletics Swimming & Diving Technique Gear Workouts Health & Safety Diving Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Gary Mullen Gary Mullen is a world-renowned swimming expert, writer, and speaker. He is a member of the advisory board of the International Society of Swim Coaches. our editorial process Gary Mullen Updated March 18, 2017 Today we will look at the breaststroke and expose some of the most common mistakes swimmers make.. From skilled swimmers to beginners, breaststroke mistakes are common because it is the hardest stroke to master. Boost your swimming performance this year by eliminating common breaststroke mistakes. Let’s take a look at the common breaststroke mistakes and how to fix them. 5 Common Breaststroke Mistakes Don’t get lazy in the water. Be aware of your body and its position at all times to avoid these common breaststroke mistakes. 01 of 05 Incorrect Body Position Getty Images Many things can go wrong with the body position. The body must be in perfect streamline for a successful breaststroke. Common streamline mistakes are a sunken stomach, early arm pull lifted butt, and arms remain bent. How to fix it: Streamline is necessary to prevent drag and resistance in the water. To achieve the proper body position to prevent resistance, remember this tip: stay in line. To stay in-line, the back of your head, top of your butt, and the heels must all be in a line. 02 of 05 Poor Breathing Getty Images Many swimmers take a breath too late. Swimmers should not be taking a breath when their arms are already at the hips or the shoulders. How to fix it: When taking a breath during the breaststroke, you begin the breath when the arms are stretched out in front for the pull. · As you pull, lift your head out of the water · Minimally lift the head and shoulders out of the water to prevent drag · Exhale and quickly inhale at the beginning of the recovery stage · Return head back into water before your legs begin to kick you forward. 03 of 05 Poor Head Position and Excessive Neck Movement Getty Images Your head position is critical for proper breathing and proper technique in the water. What is the problem? Looking up instead of looking down. Do not breathe forward. How to fix it: There is little to no neck movement during the breaststroke. Immobilize your head and do not allow it to bob. Remember the streamline position and envision a ruler down your neck. While it may seem like you are getting too much water in your face when you look down, breathing is possible. You will master capturing breaths in the air pocket between you and the water. Focus on the angle of your neck in relation to the water. Picture a tennis ball under your chin. Once you complete the breath, look down at the bottom of the pool with your head tucked between your arms. 04 of 05 Exaggerated Arm Pull Getty Images Speaking of arm movement: the exaggerated pull is another common mistake. This is when the pull is too wide. This mistake occurs when the swimmer primarily uses the arms to move through the water instead of using the kick. The mistake occurs when swimmers pull their arms and elbows too far back beyond the shoulders. This sweeps the water and causes resistance. How to fix it: Focus on using your hand as a paddle that pulls the water away from your body. Your hands should not push past the shoulders. Envision a rope underneath your armpits. Do not bring your elbows passed the rope. 05 of 05 Poor Kicks Getty Images The kick is the most important part of the breaststroke. There are many ways swimmers can do the kick wrong. The biggest one: legs and/or heels are not in streamline. Other mistakes include leaving the feet open after the kick, feet close too slowly, kicking downward, kick is too wide, improper feet turning technique, and so on. How to fix it: To master the kick, stay in streamline. To complete an effective kick, make sure the knees are shoulder-width apart. Angle the thighs, pull up the heels, and make sure the lower legs are vertical. Envision you are grabbing the water with the inside of your ankles, feet and lower legs. During the kick, the body, arms, and head must be in the correct position. Kick the legs rapidly and faster than the arm duration. Remember: your kick should come right before the underwater pull so you do not compromise your body position and line. At the end of the kick, your legs must be closed and in streamline. Body Position for Big Changes Do not underestimate the power of the breaststroke. While is seems slow for some swimmers, it is one of the most technical. Be aware of your body and seek advice about improving your technique.