How To Kick Breaststroke


If you are swimming breaststroke, the breaststroke kick is one of the most important techniques that you should learn. It is similar to kicking like a frog. You will be using the strength of your legs in a simultaneous action that flows continuously. In turn, this will propel your movements in the water and will boost your power.

The biggest challenge in a breaststroke kick is propelling forward while pushing hard against the water. If you spread your knees too wide, your legs will move slowly. This reduces speed in the propulsion pace.

Want to learn how to breaststroke kick? Keep on reading and we’ll let you know how to do it like an experienced swimmer.

What is the Breaststroke Kick?

As mentioned in the introduction, it is similar to a frog kick. It involves swimmers making quick and precise leg movements.

Kicking breaststroke is responsible for your forward propulsion when swimming. According to the International Federation for Swimming, it involves performing an arm stroke and leg kick in a sequence. It is also considered the largest propulsive force in your stroke cycle.

The kick is the foundation of your speed in breaststroke. So, if you want to swim faster in breaststroke, the first thing that you should be working on is your kick.

How to Kick Breaststroke

In theory, kicking might seem like an effortless task. However, like sidekick swimming, kicking breaststroke is more difficult in practice.

To make things easier, we’ll discuss the steps in stages. You must complete each phase properly to get the outcome that you desire.

1. Glide

Before you start with the kick, place your two hands on the wall of the swimming pool. Lie facing the bottom of the pool while keeping your legs straight. Keeping your face down will help to keep your feet floating and your back straight. Make sure that your hips are higher in the water than the other parts of your body.

As you float, lock your legs. Flexing your feet is also important at this point as it helps in keeping water away. This allows you to move forward in every kick, similar to its benefit when doing a dolphin kick.

2. Recovery

During the recovery phase, you will bring your head and shoulders above the water. Meanwhile, your hips will remain slightly under the water. This helps to incline your body. Meanwhile, keep your toes pointed. Your legs should be straight and together.

As you start with the recovery, bend your knees and fold your lower leg into the upper leg, bringing it near your buttocks. While doing this, keep your knees close but make sure that they do not touch each other. Like with how to swim faster freestyle, avoid making excessive knee movements as it can hurt your range of motion.

When you reach the middle of the recovery phase, bend your hips.

One mistake that most beginners make is that their legs are too far from each other. This is under the belief that it gives them more power to make a stronger breaststroke kick.

3. Catch

At this point in how to breaststroke kick, your feet will be ready to push the rest of your body in the water. Your joint should be close to the buttocks, which is the same position as the end of the recovery phase. Move your knees away from each other. Rotate your knees outwards.

Your feet should now face backward and turn outward.

4. Outsweep

After making the catch, sweep your legs backward and outward to do the breaststroke kick properly. Using your lower legs and feet, push under the water.

5. In sweep

This is simply the opposite of the out sweep. With your legs extended backward, sweep inwards. While doing this, rotate your feet inwards, which were initially outwards. As you finish the sweep, press your legs together. Your feet should be also next to each other.

6. Leg Lift

When you finish with the sweep, your legs will be moving upward because of the inertia. Your feet will also now be pointed. You will now assume the starting position. Repeat the steps above to continue your breaststroke kick. This is one of the things you need to master if you want to learn how to swim faster.

Tips and Tricks for Doing the Breaststroke Kick

Now that you know the steps on how to breaststroke kick, let’s talk about some tips that will help you do it like a pro in no time.

Develop a Workout Routine

From swimming warm-up exercises to recovery, a regular workout will help in perfecting your breaststroke, including your kick. With the right exercises, you will be building the most important muscles that need to work.

One of the best exercises is the straight-legged breaststroke kick drill. Keep your legs straight while you kick, which will help you practice the right position when doing the breaststroke kick.

The inverted breaststroke kick is also an effective exercise in mastering the right way to kick. Put a pull buoy in between your thighs. Put your hands on your side. Touch your heels when you reach the top of your kick.

Evaluate Your Kick

Identify the weaknesses of your breaststroke kick and take this as an opportunity for improvement. One of the best ways to do this is by examining mobility and rotation. Your joints should be flexible and work seamlessly. Otherwise, this is an indication that you are doing something wrong.

You should also evaluate your internal hip rotation. Squat on a padded mat with your knees held as close as possible. Bend the knees with your feet behind. You should simulate the exact position when doing a breaststroke kick. If you are in pain in this position, you have a problem with your internal hip rotation.

Fix Your Feet

The position of your feet is one of the most important for an efficient breaststroke kick. Make sure to turn it out. Otherwise, you will end up compromising the power of the kick. If only one foot turns out and the other remains in, this will result in a screw kick. There will be no propulsion and this negatively affects your speed in the water.

Improvise to Intensify Your Workout

As you learn how to breaststroke kick, consider the different ways to take your workout to the next level. One of the best ways to do this is to use swimming aids. Pool noodles pull buoys, swim paddles, and swim fins, among others, will surely help. The use of the right swimming gears and accessories can add power to every kick and make your muscles work more.



Before we end this post, allow us to answer some of the questions you might have about kicking breaststroke.

Q: How Do You Fix a Wonky Breaststroke Kick?


Keeping the hips square is one of the easiest solutions for a wonky breaststroke kick. Practice kicking on your back, which will help in keeping your hips square. If you do this right, you don’t have to worry about how to breathe while swimming. Swimming with a kickboard on the top of the hips can also help.

Another solution to consider when fixing a wonky kick is to use a pull buoy. The buoy needs to be as far as possible. Kick using your calves only. This helps in correcting your hip position.

At the end of the day, the most important is practice. Consistency is key in fixing your kick and correcting the problems.

Q: How Can I Make My Breaststroke Faster?


Your arm movement is one of the most critical in improving your speed. Avoid sweeping your arms too wide. This is unnecessary since the propulsion comes from the legs and not from the arms.

Timing and tempo are also crucial when it comes to how to breaststroke faster. Pulling, breathing, kicking, and stretching should all be done at the right time. Find the rhythm as you do these things. However, do not compromise technique just so that you can swim faster.

Finishing your breaststroke kick properly is also essential. Do not halt the momentum by letting your feet hang loose. Instead, keep your feet and legs together as you conclude the kick, which will help streamline your body’s position.

Q: Is Breaststroke Good Exercise?


Yes, breaststroke is good exercise. From all the swimming strokes, the breaststroke is the slowest. This means that it does not burn that many calories. Like aqua Pilates, while it may not be exactly the best workout for weight loss, there are other notable health benefits.

Wondering about how many calories do you burn while swimming breaststroke? Many factors can affect this, but on average, it would be around 200 to 600 calories.

Breaststroke is also a good exercise for the lower back. It uses your lower body muscles, especially when you are kicking. This makes breaststroke a good exercise for hamstring muscles.

Meanwhile, for the upper body, it helps in developing your shoulders, triceps, and chest muscles. Going faster and incorporating more challenging techniques in your routine will help to make the workout more intense.

If you want to work on your core, breaststroke also makes a good exercise. You will be using your core muscles to stabilize your body during the breaststroke kick. The more you use your core, the more intense the exercise will be.

However, while breaststroke is a good swimming workout that builds strength, take note that it should not be primarily aimed towards weight loss. It is one of the weakest strokes for those who are looking forward to losing weight with swimming. However, it is a good cardiovascular workout. Like the best aqua Pilates exercises, it helps to keep your lungs and heart-healthy. 

Q: How Do You Teach Breaststroke Kick?


To teach the basics of the breaststroke kick, follow the tips mentioned earlier. This won’t be easy, especially for beginners. The easiest way to do this is to break down the kick into stages or phases. This way, it will be easier to learn the right way of doing the kick.

Teaching this kick also requires the use of various swimming aids. Kickboard and pool noodles will help, especially in correcting the position of the body for a more efficient and powerful kick.

Another way to teach breaststroke kick effectively is to do it while standing on the floor before doing it on the water. Reach your buttocks using your heel. Lift your right leg on the side while your foot is pointing towards your shin. When your leg is at an angle of 45 degrees, extend it as you keep your foot pointed. Finish by bringing your right leg back to its original position.

You can also teach the breaststroke kick on the floor. Lie flat on your stomach. Extend the arms forward in a comfortable position. Raise the legs and point the feet. Move the legs like swimming to mimic the action of the kick.

Q: How Do You Master the Breaststroke Kick?


Practice! This is perhaps the best way to master the kick. Make swimming a part of your routine so that you will have plenty of time to achieve perfection in your technique. This is also an opportunity to identify mistakes and correct them.

From the recovery to the propulsion, learn how to position and move your body properly. This is instrumental in performing an effective and efficient kick. It will allow you to move faster without wasting energy.

Q: Is Breaststroke Bad For Your Back?


Breaststroke arches the spine backward as you stroke. It adds stress to the joints of the spinal column, which can lead to back pain. However, if you do the right techniques in swimming breaststroke, this will not be the case.

Globo Surf Overview

Learning the right way to kick is one of the fundamentals of how to breaststroke. From the glide to the leg lift, take note of the steps mentioned in this brief guide to propel your body in the water with the right kick. This is crucial for your speed and efficiency.

More Swim Reviews:


  1. Breaststroke Kick,
  2. Breaststroke Kicking, org
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!