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What is the leg action for breaststroke

breaststroke leg action is the main driving force to push the body forward. Leg action consists of four consecutive actions: leg retraction, foot turnover, leg kicking and sliding. This paper introduces the detailed decomposition of breaststroke leg movements, hoping to be helpful to you.

Leg retraction

The closing action of breaststroke is to close the leg to the position most conducive to kicking. It not only does not produce propulsion, but also causes resistance. Therefore, when closing the leg, we should consider reducing the resistance as much as possible.
When the legs are closed, the legs relax naturally. With the stroke and inhalation, the legs sink slightly. While the legs are closed forward, they gradually separate the knees and ankles, bend the knees and hips at the same time, rotate the feet slightly inward, and the heels close to the hips. When closing the leg, the lower leg and foot should follow behind the thigh and hip and hide in the projection section of the thigh. The strength of closing the leg should be small and the speed should be slow to reduce the resistance (as shown in the figure below). After the leg retraction, the thigh and trunk form an angle of about 120-140 °, the inner side of both knees is the same width as the hip joint, the heel is close to the hip, the thigh and lower leg form an angle of about 40-45 °, and the lower leg is almost perpendicular to the water surface.

Breast stroke leg movement diagram

Valgus

Valgus is the connecting action between breaststroke leg retraction and kicking. Turning your feet outward can increase the impact on the water surface and create favorable conditions for kicking.
Foot valgus is not only the continuation of leg retraction, but also the beginning of leg kicking. Strictly speaking, foot valgus is completed with the initial leg kicking. When the leg is close to the hip when the heel is retracted, the knee joint and ankle joint rotate outward with the action of kicking the leg backward to hook the toe. At this time, the foot is located on the outside of the hip to form the inner side of the foot and lower leg to the water surface (as shown in the figure below).

Breast stroke leg movement diagram
Breast stroke leg movement diagram

Water clamping

Kicking is the main stage of generating propulsion. Kicking is composed of kicking and clamping. Kicking should first extend the hip joint, then the knee joint, and finally the ankle joint, and clamp water inward while kicking backward (as shown in the figure below). In the process of pedaling and clamping, the two legs maintain the foot hook action. Only when the legs are pedaling straight and close together, the two ankle joints change from the original back flexion to plantar flexion. At the same time, the two legs naturally swing up from underwater to close to the water, so as to keep the legs in a straight line with the trunk. At the end of kicking, the legs should be close and straight, and the ankle should be straight. The direction of kicking is to kick outward and backward first, and then turn inward and backward. The last stage is to push and clamp the legs inward, backward and downward, so as to form an arc-shaped whip kick in breaststroke. Because it can produce greater propulsion, it can be completed with greater force and faster speed.

Breast stroke leg movement diagram

Slide

After the clamping, the legs have a short sliding stage due to the inertia of the legs. At this time, the two legs should be straightened and close together as far as possible, the leg muscles and ankle joints should be relaxed naturally, and slide forward with the help of pedal inertia (as shown in the figure below).

Breast stroke leg movement diagram

Kick the water

The correct kicking method of breaststroke is not to start with a strong fast action, but to start with a strong force, but to control the speed until the soles of the feet feel the pressure of water, then do the acceleration, that is, the soles of the feet gradually speed up, and finally do effective kicking, so as to give full play to the maximum kicking effect. In the figure below, a's route is better than B.
The kick effect of breaststroke largely depends on the technique of turning the feet. Flexible ankle joint is very important. We should do more of these exercises at ordinary times.

Breast stroke leg movement diagram

The key to breaststroke legs

pay attention to the turning movement of the soles of the feet and the angle between the thighs and the body in the figure.

Breast stroke leg movement diagram

pay attention to the space between palms and knees. As shown in Figure 2, look at the distance between palms and knees from the front.

Breast stroke leg movement diagram
Breast stroke leg movement diagram

the speed of pedaling clip is from slow and fast, slow and fast pedaling, pedaling and clamping, and then maintaining the streamline of the body and floating for a while. Beginners can count 123 in their mind.

Breast stroke leg movement diagram

Common mistakes of breaststroke

hip up

It is also called pouting, mainly because the thigh is too big when closing the leg. It is common among friends who are beginning to learn breaststroke. The front of the thigh is too large. Although the kicking distance is lengthened, due to too much retraction in the process of retracting the leg, the resistance will increase and the swimming speed will naturally be reduced.
Improvement method: you can improve the angle of breaststroke leg closing action by holding the side, pedaling and clamping the leg, or you can improve the leg closing action by holding the board, pedaling and clamping the leg.

Breast stroke leg movement diagram

always push your feet out of the water

When swimming breaststroke, or kicking empty, the main reason is to collect only the lower legs without the thighs. In the process of learning, beginners collect their legs instead of their thighs, which often causes their feet to come out of the water, greatly reduces the timeliness of pedaling, and affects the speed of swimming. The most obvious problem of this error is that the angle between the upper body of the trunk and the thigh is too large, resulting in a short distance of kicking.
Improvement method: it is still possible to improve the angle of breaststroke leg closing action by holding the side, pedaling and clamping the legs, or to improve the leg closing action by holding the board, pedaling and clamping the legs. When pedaling, you can't hear the sound of pedaling. If there is a sound, it means you're still empty.

Breast stroke leg movement diagram

didn't turn over when kicking

When beginners practice breaststroke, they do not turn their feet fully or turn their feet insufficiently. The wrong point is that when they pedal the water, the inner sides of their feet are not aligned with the water; The correct action is that when the leg is closed, the soles of the two feet turn out quickly, and the toes face both sides of the body, so that the inner side of the feet is facing the direction of pedaling. This kind of kicking action is very effective.
Improvement method: first practice the three actions of leg pushing and clamping on land, such as retraction, foot turning and foot pushing and clamping, carefully experience the action and process of foot turning, and try to be slow until you are proficient in practice, and then practice in the water. Through these exercises, you will gradually improve.

Breast stroke leg movement diagram

lower leg does not receive bit

When beginners close their legs, they only close their thighs without closing their calves, or it is also one of the common wrong actions in breaststroke leg practice, which obviously shortens the distance of kicking and reduces the efficiency of kicking. The wrong point is that when closing the leg, the distance between the thigh and the calf is relatively large. If the calf is not close to the thigh, the force will be greatly reduced. The correct action is to keep the lower leg close to the thigh and the heel close to the hip as much as possible, so as to increase the effective distance of pedaling.
Improvement method: through the practice of holding the side, pedaling and clamping the legs in the water, we can fully improve it, fully experience the action and feeling of the lower leg close to the thigh, and then experience the action when swimming in the water.

Breast stroke leg movement diagram

asymmetrical leg movements

When practicing breaststroke, it is also a common wrong action, which is also common among friends who are beginning to learn swimming. The reason is that the strength of the two legs is uneven. If the force is uneven, it is likely to deviate from the course, and it is easy to cause one foot to kick out of the water.
Improvement method: through the practice of holding the side, pedaling and clamping the legs in the water, we can fully change it and fully experience the unified and coordinated action of the two legs. After being proficient, carry out the practice of holding the board, pedaling and clamping the legs in the water until you are proficient.

Breast stroke leg movement diagram

kicking without water

Kicking without water is also one of the wrong actions that beginners of swimming are prone to make. Although they swim hard, they ignore the action of water clamping, which greatly reduces the speed of swimming. In serious cases, if they pedal hard without water, it is easy to cause strain of leg muscles.
Improvement method: first find out the route of breaststroke leg clamping, understand the importance of water clamping and the effect of water walking, and then improve the action by holding the side and leg clamping in the water. After being proficient, carry out the leg clamping practice of holding the board, and then carry out the overall cooperation practice in the water.

Breast stroke leg movement diagram

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