Breaststroke Takes the Prize

If you could only pick one stroke to swim for thirty minutes straight, what would it be?  I know from experience that it would be breaststroke.  Hands down.

Wait a minute, let’s review the stroke choices first!  There are four main strokes which can be used to move through any larger body of water.  The most common stroke is freestyle, a.k.a. front crawl or just plain crawl, some even call it doggy paddle.  Then, flip the body over and do the reverse of the front crawl which is the back crawl, more commonly referred to as backstroke.  Butterfly requires a lot of coordination and strength as both arms come out of the water at the same time with the head popping up occasionally while the feet alternate in a dolphin kick.  Last, but certainly not least is the breaststroke which is the one that makes a person look like a frog gliding through the water.

Thirty minutes is a good stretch of time, so the rhythm of breaststroke is highly desirable.  The most efficient breaststroke has the arms propelling the body forward, both hands cupping the water in front of the body together in a scooping motion while the legs take a break.  When the arms reach forward again after completing two smaller circles, the legs steal the show with the famous frog kick continuing to move the body forward while streamlining the body so the arms get a rest.  It’s important to note that breaststroke is the slowest of all four strokes, so selecting it is not for speed.

While it may not be a fast stroke, it certainly could win awards for the quietest stroke!  The body glides as it moves forward like a graceful dancer across a stage.  When this complex stroke is performed correctly, almost all of the action happens beneath the surface of the water, the head being the only body part to peek out regularly in the sequence of motions.

Having the head facing forward, moving up and down as if bobbing for apples, actually provides an amazing view of the surroundings, whether it be in a lake, an ocean, a river, or even a pool!  This head positioning becomes important for the swimmer to gauge how to get from one point to another effectively.  Afterall, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line!

Breaststroke may be the slowest, most complex stroke out there, but it packs in the value with its quiet, rhythmic motions that offer the very best views!



2 thoughts on “Breaststroke Takes the Prize

    • When I competed, the 50 Free was my event, and I still love it! Spending summers in NH and being in lakes versus pools these days, I prefer breastroke for the reasons I listed. Plus, I go goggle-free bc I don’t really want to see what’s right underneath me! Thanks for reading!


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