Rose Bowl Aquatics head coach Jeff Julian stops by to share a drill that has helped his swimmers add flow to their breaststroke. Here’s how to do it.
For those of you trying to master breaststroke there are fewer things more frustrating than getting the timing right.
Jeff Julian, head coach at Rose Bowl Aquatics in Pasadena, California, has a drill that will help you correct the timing in your breaststroke so that it is more fluid, and ultimately, more awesome.
Julian has a wealth of experience in the pool.
He’s a USA Swimming National Team Coach, an ASCA-Level 5 certified coach, and has been the head coach at Rose Bowl Aquatics, one of the top teams in the loaded Southern California area, since 2004.
As a butterfly specialist Jeff was captain at the University of Southern California, a PAC-10 champ, US Open champion, finaled at US Olympic Trials and was a member of the US National team.
Outside of the pool he would marry Olympic gold-medalist and USC teammate Kristine Quance, and face his biggest test in 2015 when he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.
The Insweep Scull for Breaststrokers
Julian’s favorite breaststroke drill is the insweep scull and is a part of the “power catch” series that he uses with his swimmers.
Here is why you should be doing it:
“I’ve found this drill to be really good at setting up the timing and flow to the stroke,” says Julian.
For breaststrokers at most levels it can be hard finding a good flow or timing in their stroke. They tend to hesitate with their breaststroke pulling motion once their elbows are below their chest instead of performing a continuous pull.
“If done correctly, this can eliminate a ‘pause’ under the body and/or slow forward recovery,” adds Julian.
“This drill has really helped my breaststrokers along the way.”
Here is how to do it:
- Start with your hand and in a Y position, hands just outside the elbows.
- The swimmer only does the catch phase of the pull; ensure that the elbows stay up and reaches the position that he would normally start the pulling motion.
- Hands then slide back out front.
- Perform 3 cycles of the sculling motion and then launch into a full stroke cycle.
- This drill can be either done strictly pull “with or without a pull buoy to force more core connection or with a slight flutter kick to keep it as more of a teaching drill.”
A big thank you for Jeff for sharing this drill with us. You can stay up to date with Jeff on Twitter where he posts regularly, as well as on Tumblr where he’s published a bunch of the workouts his national group has done.
More Breaststroke Drills:
- 1 Up, 1 Down Drill for Breaststrokers. Here is a breaststroke drill for swimmers looking to improve stroke length and hitting your line courtesy of elite club coach, PASA’s Tony Batis.
- Olympian Mike Alexandrov’s Favorite Set for a Faster and More Powerful Breaststroke. Want to power up your breaststroke? Two-time Olympian Mike Alexandrov stops by with one of his favorite breaststroke sets.
- 1 Arm, 1 Leg Breaststroke: A Drill to Develop Race Tempo Breaststroke. 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.
- How to Improve Your Breaststroke Kick. Unlike the other three strokes, the kick is the main propulsive force in the stroke. And it’s also the hardest to master. Here are two breaststroke kick drills from 2-time Olympian Mike Alexandrov to help you improve your kick.