Quicksilver Swimming coach and former PAC-10 champion in the 100 breaststroke Andre Salles-Cunha drops an advanced breaststroke drill to help you set up race tempo.
Coach Andre-Salles Cunha’s favorite breastroke drill, the one arm, one leg breaststroke, will help you do just that.
Salles-Cunha is the head coach at Quiksilver Swimming, a USA Swimming team based out of San Jose. QSS has had at least one national age group top-10 breaststroker over the past 7 years, and they’ve had 4 different girls crack the top 5 in that span if you include 10 & unders.
He himself is no stranger to breaststroke, having won two PAC-10 titles in the 100 breast and being recognized as a three-time Collegiate All-American while swimming for Stanford.
As a decidedly haggard breaststroker I remember this drill very well from my own age group swimming days. To say it was ugly when I did this is to be polite, but for the breaststrokers on the team you could see their stroke rate explosively shoot up.
I liken it to swimming freestyle with dolphin kick, or doing spin drill for backstrokers; they are all designed to help you get your arms moving fast.
The Drill: 1 Arm, 1 Leg Breaststroke.
Purpose: To set up some devastating race tempo.
How to Do It:
- Swim breaststroke, grabbing one leg with the opposite arm in a quad stretch.
- Release at the 15m mark and continue swimming with the same tempo held during the drill.
- It will likely feel awkward the first time you do it, but remember the goal is a quick arm and kick motion and then carrying that tempo over into your full swimming.
“I was introduced to this drill by Don Watkins when I was in high school,” says Salles-Cunha.
“I used it in conjunction with a healthy dose of sculling to help succeed my freshman year of college during my six weeks of self-directed taper.”
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Photo Credit: JD Lasica