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Advanced, Swimming Lesson 8

Learning Intentions

  1. Perform breaststroke arms with fluency
  2. Attempt to combine breaststroke arms & legs consistently

Skill Development: Arm techniques

Success Criteria

  1. I can use breaststroke arms and legs to swim
  2. I can swim with fluency
  3. I challenged myself to swim with fewer strokes

National Curriculum Links

Increase proficiency in breaststroke and swim with fluency and control

Literacy and Numeracy Links

L Describe effective arm action for a fluent stroke
N Establish fewer arms pulls over the same distance

Starter Activity

White Whale

Choose one swimmer to be the White Whale. The White Whale must float in the middle of the swimming area on their back. The rest of the group swim around the White Whale. When the Whale or Teacher shouts “HUNGRY WHALE” the Whale chases all the swimmers. The swimmer that is caught by the Whale becomes the Whale / or choose someone else if no one is caught. Extension: There is a time limit in which someone may be caught.

Skill Development

Breastroke Arms
Breastroke is a highly coordinated stroke so is often taught after front crawl and when swimmers are slightly more confident in the water. It is a very efficient and versatile stroke that can be used in a variety of situations such as competition breaststroke swims as well as surface diving. Establishing correct and efficient arm action is essential for successfully developing the overall stroke.


Breastroke arm progressions
Demonstrating arm action is relatively easy for the teacher on land and can be useful to have swimmers stand and run through the action before attempting it submerged.

  1. Attempt arm action only keeping feet tucked up and see if they can pull forward using only arm action
  2. Grip a float between feet to allow for correct body position and use arms only to pull through the water
  3. When confident attempt to link arms and legs—swimmers should look to try long, efficient strokes rather than several shorter strokes.


  • Ask swimmers to try and beat their distances using each of the above progressions. Which way could they swim farthest?
  • Ask swimmers to swim across a set distance, for example, 10 metres using as few strokes as possible

Teaching Points

Breastroke Arms—broken into four sections

  • Arms raised, extended forward – no movement
  • Hands slightly cupped with fingers together palms down, first fingers touching


  • Do not bend at arm or elbows and sweep arms downwards and sideways


  • Bend slightly at the elbows and bring hands towards the body
  • Hands and palms should be facing downwards
  • Hand brought up together just below the chin


  • Push continuously forward
  • Lead with fingertips and follow with arm
  • Finish full extended

Key Questions

  1. Name one key point from each of the four steps to breaststroke arm action
  2. Why are longer stronger pulls better than many short pulls with arms?
  3. When your arms are outstretched what position will your legs be in?