PDA

View Full Version : Breaststroke Question



gobears
May 19th, 2008, 02:10 PM
I have noticed a change in the breaststroke after a few years of not coaching. I haven't been formally educated in the changes and was wondering what others understand about them.

I swam in the late 80's when the emphasis was getting the upper body out of the water for an almost out of the water recovery. I spent all sorts of time pulling breaststroke with fins and a dolphin kick through college.

Now, it seems that staying a bit lower to the water and actually diving under at the front of the stroke is the key. I have to say this stroke is actually easier for me to do and seems logical in that the emphasis should be forward as opposed to expending energy recovering too high. Seems like you can get much better distance per stroke this way.

Is this a correct understanding? I don't swim with a team in my area as there are none close by with any kind of serious coaching.

ande
May 19th, 2008, 02:14 PM
breastrokers are faster when they are streamlined
it's all about technique, power, conditioning, foot flexibility and timing

read the breastroke gospel at:
http://www.breaststroke.info

watch underwater youtubes of Brendan Hansen and other world class breastrokers




I have noticed a change in the breaststroke after a few years of not coaching. I haven't been formally educated in the changes and was wondering what others understand about them.

I swam in the late 80's when the emphasis was getting the upper body out of the water for an almost out of the water recovery. I spent all sorts of time pulling breaststroke with fins and a dolphin kick through college.

Now, it seems that staying a bit lower to the water and actually diving under at the front of the stroke is the key. I have to say this stroke is actually easier for me to do and seems logical in that the emphasis should be forward as opposed to expending energy recovering too high. Seems like you can get much better distance per stroke this way.

Is this a correct understanding? I don't swim with a team in my area as there are none close by with any kind of serious coaching.

knelson
May 19th, 2008, 02:58 PM
I think breaststroke exhibits the widest range of styles of any stroke at the top level. For example, chaeck out the different styles in the women's 100 breast from the Santa Clara meet this past weekend: http://www.swimnetwork.com/videos/v/20080518/women_s_100m_breast___a_final-12060.html

Tara Kirk stays very low in the water. Genna Patterson, who's third in this race, has a very flat stroke that probably would have been legal in 1980. Amanda Beard, who is lane 9, so a little difficult to see still uses the wave style stroke where she lifts alomost her entire upper body out of the water.

The bottom line is there are many ways to swim breaststroke fast. I think Ande is right. No matter the style the key is power during the stroke and staying very streamlined during the glide. I guess this is sort of a "duh," but most of us--me definitely included--haven't gotten this down yet!

gobears
May 19th, 2008, 03:30 PM
Thanks for the input. I guess I'm just wondering if most coaches are teaching breaststroke differently these days. I have the essential things down for a pretty fast breaststroke--but wondered if people like SVDL have changed their strokes since what was popular in the 80's. I need all the shortcuts I can get at this stage of my life!!!

I'll check out the link...

Allen Stark
May 19th, 2008, 03:55 PM
Yes there is more emphasis on forward.At www.breaststroke.info see Wayne's article on "What went wrong with the wave breaststroke" and What went right with the wave breaststroke."
I'd caution on the "diving down" at the start of the stroke,just like too high is slower,too low is also slower.Everything should shoot forward as much as possible.That said it is good to be completely(but slightly)underwater in the glide.
That is different too,15 yr ago most were not having a glide at all and a fair number had an overlap stroke where the arms start before the legs finish.Now almost everyone has a glide in the streamline(especially in the 200) and "ride the glide" has become a mantra for breaststrokers.See especially Kitajima in a 200 BR.I swam BR in college in the late 60s and Masters since 74 and I have had to completely remodel my stroke 3 times and am continually making adjustments.

Glider
May 19th, 2008, 04:46 PM
I'd also check out Glenn Mills' site at goswim.tv. You may have to root around the info on the other 3 lame strokes...But the drill section has a ton of good info.:2cents:

I hesitate to respond to your stroke question. I have (since the 60s) a high-turnover flat stroke...that I use for the 50.

I've tried as best I can to develop the wave stroke in the last year, with some limited success, but it only comes out in the 200. My 100 is a mess, as I can't figure out what stroke to use...:confused:

Best of luck to you. There really is no one single right way, IMHO. But whatever allows you to streamline the best, will likely get you there the fastest.