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Learning the breaststroke hand pull

Learning the breaststroke hand pull is essential for mastering the breaststroke technique. Here's a step-by-step guide along with common mistakes and how to avoid them:





  1. Starting Position: Begin in a floating position on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you and your legs straight.

  2. Hand Entry: Start by bending your elbows and bringing your hands towards your chest. Your palms should face outward, and your fingertips should point downwards as your hands enter the water.

  3. Outward Sweep: Sweep your hands outward and around in a circular motion, pressing against the water to create resistance. Your hands should move in a wide arc, with your elbows remaining close to your body.

  4. Inward Scoop: Once your hands reach the widest point of the outward sweep, turn your palms inward and scoop them towards each other in a downward and inward motion. Imagine you are hugging a large ball as you bring your hands together.

  5. Finish: Complete the hand pull by bringing your hands together in front of your chest, palms facing each other, and fingers pointing downward. Your hands should be close together but not touching.

  6. Common Mistakes:

    1. Crossing Hands: One common mistake is crossing your hands over each other during the hand pull, which creates drag and slows you down. To avoid this, focus on keeping your hands moving in parallel paths without crossing over.

    2. Incomplete Sweep: Another mistake is performing an incomplete outward sweep, resulting in less propulsion. Ensure that your hands sweep outward and around in a wide arc, pressing against the water to maximize resistance and propulsion.

    3. Lack of Coordination: Lack of coordination between the outward sweep and inward scoop can disrupt the stroke rhythm and decrease efficiency. Practice timing the movements of your hands to smoothly transition from the outward sweep to the inward scoop.

    4. Bending Elbows Too Much: Bending your elbows too much during the hand pull reduces power and efficiency. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows throughout the pull, focusing on engaging your chest and back muscles to generate power.

  7. Practice and Feedback: Practice the breaststroke hand pull regularly, focusing on proper technique and rhythm. Seek feedback from a swimming instructor or experienced swimmer to identify areas for improvement and receive guidance on corrective measures.

  8. Drills and Exercises: Incorporate drills and exercises into your swimming routine to strengthen your chest, back, and arm muscles, such as breaststroke pull drills with a pull buoy or resistance bands.


By following these steps and being mindful of common mistakes, you can learn the breaststroke hand pull effectively and enhance your overall breaststroke technique.

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