by Coach Ed Fraser
Editors Note: Ed Fraser is the age group and high school coach for the USA’s two top breaststrokers of the moment, Jeremy Linn for men, and Kristy Kowal for women. Linn is currently swimming at the University of Tennessee, and Kowal at the University of Georgia. Earlier, Fraser developed breaststroke sensation Anita Nall. All from a small town in Central Pennsylvania. This man knows something about breaststroke kick. We are indebted to him for sharing his ideas with us here.
EXERCISE #1 Swimmer stands firmly on both feet with hands clasped firmly behind head &elbows pressed back behind the shoulder line. The legs are then slightly bent with the knees pointing sideways and a leap upward is made. On landing, the feet should be 18 inches apart with the knees still pointing out and the back erect. The leap is then repeated and the landing made with the feet together, the knees out and the back erect. We do a minimum of 16 repeats starting out &then in as the swimmers gain strength. I believe this one is especially good for power off the wall and increasing ankle flexibility.
EXERCISE #2 The back is kept erect. The knees are bent as far as possible with the feet turned out. When no further bend is possible, the heels are raised and bending is continued until the thighs are horizontal to the floor. The heels are then lowered to the floor, keeping as much knee bend as possible. Then, keeping heels on the floor, the legs are straightened. In 5 the heels are raised and then the starting position is resumed. NOTE: The toes are pointed out throughout the exercises. We do 4 repeats of this slowly.
EXERCISE #3 The knee is thrust (with force) forward & upward 4 times, then sideways 4 times, then backwards 4 times, then sideways again 4 times. The starting position is then resumed and the exercise is then repeated using the same leg before moving on to the other leg.
EXERCISE #4The leg is lifted about 12 inches off the floor and straightened to the side. It is then turned inward with the knee bent &thigh across the body. The thigh is then lifted as high as possible and turned sideways where the leg is again straightened and locked out. At this point the leg moves in a circular movement 4 times. NOTE: This is done 4 times without putting the foot back on the ground. Then the starting position is resumed. The exercise should be done slowly. Repeat on the other leg.
EXERCISE #5 Both heels are raised from the ground. Keeping the body erect, go to a squat position. The leg opposite from the supporting hand is then extended slowly until straight. At this point using the support leg ONLY, the body is brought to an upright position with the leg still extended in front. We repeat this 4 times on each leg. NOTE: Caution here as this exercise causes pretty good leg strain.
EXERCISE #6 Start with the body erect and the right arm held horizontally. The heels are then raised and the legs bent to a squat position with the back erect. The head is then placed on the knees and the heel is grasped with the free hand The knees are slowly straightened without the head being lifted from them. Recovery to the starting position is then carried out. We do 6 to 8 repeats very slowly on each side.