Pilates Breast Stroke–Like Swimming on Land

When I was a kid, breast stroke was my favorite stroke in swimming. I loved how the lift of my head and spinal extension made me feel like I was gliding through the water. Now, with Pilates Breast stroke, I can find a similar feeling without water.

Breast Stroke

It’s best to do Breast stroke after you have warmed up your body. If you’re creating your own sequence, you might try practicing Breast stroke preps some time before you begin Breast stroke.

  1. Use traditional Pilates breathing.
  2. Begin on your stomach with your hands on either side of your chest, your tip of your nose on the mat, and your legs in parallel and hip-width apart. This means that your thighs should not be touching, and they should not be in line with the widest part of your pelvis. Your heels should be in a straight line from your SITs bones.
  3. Broaden your collarbones to help keep your shoulder blades on your back.
  4. Inhale and draw your belly button up to your spine. Reach from the top of your head through the tips of your toes. As you reach, you’ll notice you lift to a hover over the mat. With palms facing the floor, send your arms straight in front of you.
  5. breast strokeExhale and scoop your arms by your sides so your palms touch your thighs. As you scoop your arms, feel your thoracic spine lift your into extension.
  6. As you inhale, lower back to a hover and reach your arms straight in front of you. This pattern should greatly resemble the breast stroke that you do in a pool.
  7. Complete 5-10 reps.
  8. To finish, on your last inhale, instead of reaching your arms straight ahead, bring your hands to either side of your chest and lower down to your starting position.

Breast Stroke Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

Which version of Breast stroke do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.