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swiminton
October 10th, 2005, 09:06 PM
When I swim breaststroke, I use the outsweep and insweep type of pull. I don't focus on pulling back at all. I read it somewhere that you should also focus on pulling back. WHen I tried doing that, my hands got stuck and my timing is off. Anyone has any thoughts?

Also, how wide should you pull? I sweep out to 12-15 inches outside my shoulder width, anchor my hands, then start insweep? I am concerned it might be too wide. When I tried anchoring my hands narrower, I don't feel as powerful of an insweep.

Thanks.

Seagurl51
October 10th, 2005, 09:41 PM
You want your palms facing back while your arms are coming into your chest. That helps pull up your body to breath and pull you through the water. Then when they hit a straight line with your armpits (respectively) they come together to go back out. As for going out to wide, think of you want them to go wide enough that if you pulled straight back your arms would be at 90 degrees, they shouldn't go much wider than that. Making a pizza and cutting it in half....I still chant that to myself sometimes. ;) I hope that makes sense.....

Good Luck!!

swiminton
October 10th, 2005, 10:20 PM
Yes that makes perfect sense. I don't think I would cut the pizza into half. I think mine would be somewhere between one third and a half. Probably about 135 degrees.

Regarding the other question, I don't think my palms are directly facing backward (they are facing inward AND backward). So if palms facing each other is 90 degrees and facing direct back toward your toes is 0 degrees, my palms are about 45 degrees when they are coming toward my each other.

Do you get your mometum from pulling yourself forward in the water, or coming out of water to lunge forward? The higher I come out of water, so more distance I get from the lunge that follows. For some reason, when I tried to pull myself forward through water, it simply made my body more vertical.

Seagurl51
October 10th, 2005, 10:57 PM
You want to try to cut the pizza in half. That means that your hands are exactly in the middle of your chest on the way back to straight and that will help drive you forward.

You get momentum from both pulling yourself forward and lunging. When you drive forward that should be at the same time that you are bringing your legs back to straight, so that everything is in a streamline at the same time and that's when you glide. When you pull you always want to end in a position so that you can drive forward. So when you come up to breath, you should be leaning forward, looking down, ready to push forward. Look at some pictures of the elite...Beard, Hansen, etc. and you'll see that they are leaning forward.

Allen Stark
October 10th, 2005, 11:33 PM
This question can't be answered with complete accuracy without answering the,as yet unanswered question,"is force in breaststroke pull primarily lift dominant or drag dominant." If lift dominant the pull is a curving outsweep leading to a curving insweep with the hands pitched out on the outsweep and in on the insweep. If primarily drag dominated the pull should be more catch on the outsweep and then pull back with the palm of the hands pointing back. The Aussie women seem to be taught that the stroke is drag dominant while many men especially Kitajima use a more circular pattern. Experiment and see what works best for you. The trnsition from pull to recovery seems harder with the pull back stroke so I [personally favor the more circular(actually heart shaped)stroke.How wide to have your hands on the outsweep is a function of strength and speed. A rough idea is about the same as your fly pull.

swiminton
October 11th, 2005, 02:06 AM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
You want to try to cut the pizza in half. That means that your hands are exactly in the middle of your chest on the way back to straight and that will help drive you forward.

Sorry I misunderstood you about the cutting pizza part. I thought you were talking about outsweep instead of recovery. :) For recovery, I go straight to the front starting with my palms almost together under my chin then rotate to flat as they reach to the front getting ready for the next outsweep.




When you pull you always want to end in a position so that you can drive forward. So when you come up to breath, you should be leaning forward, looking down, ready to push forward. Look at some pictures of the elite...Beard, Hansen, etc. and you'll see that they are leaning forward.

I actually think Hansen (assuming you are talking about Branden not Brook :) ) and Beard swim somewhat differently. Others can correct me if I am wrong. I think Beard swims more like Katijima, Tara Kirk, Jessica Hardy. They use the heart shaped arm movement, as Allen Clark pointed out. (Branden) Hansen swims more like Leisel Jones where they pull directly back.

My story is that I started learning breastroke in June. I was taught to pull back and down at the same time then recover. I had a VERY difficult time coming up breathing without turning my body vertical. Also, my arms were too slow to get to the front, so my timing was off. Every time I swim breaststroke, I could almost see the giant tsunami wave that moved along with me in front of me! :D

A couple of weeks ago, I got a video with Richard Quick and Tara Kirk. They showed this completely differently arm movement -- sweep out and sweep in, no pulling. I tried to do that and thought it was very unusual, thinking how is that gonna give you forward movement. But after practicing it for a while, some interesting things happened. It was easy to come up for air without lifting my head, my hands are recovered much faster, I was almost always streamlined when my kick started. Everything seemed much easier and faster.

However, I had one problem: this arm movement didn't seem to give you much forward momentum WHILE YOU ARE IN THE WATER, unlike the pulling back type of arm movement which would literally pull you forward through the water. With this scull out and scull in movement, the forward momentum seems to be created mostly by COMING OUT OF WATER high, lean forward, then lunge.

I didn't know if this is what it's supposed to be and wondered whether I should still try to focus on pulling back.

From Allen's messasge
If lift dominant the pull is a curving outsweep leading to a curving insweep with the hands pitched out on the outsweep and in on the insweep. , I guess this seems to be the case?

In other word, if I am swimming the heart shaped arm movement, I should focus on lifting forward, not pulling forward? Is that a fair assessment?

Thank you both for the advice you have given so far!

Allen Stark
October 11th, 2005, 06:12 PM
I am glad your stroke is feeling better. Drag propulsion means using your hands as paddles. Lift propulsion is,for practical purposes,sculling. You use your hands like propellers. It's called lift as the force is similar to what lifts an airplane wing. There is a heated debate as to which is more important in swimming. I suspect you are generating more force with your new pull than you think. Try just doing the pull and see. If you are doing the heart shaped pull remember to accelerate through the pull so that the insweep is the strongest part.

swiminton
October 11th, 2005, 06:45 PM
Originally posted by Allen Stark
I am glad your stroke is feeling better. Drag propulsion means using your hands as paddles. Lift propulsion is,for practical purposes,sculling. You use your hands like propellers. It's called lift as the force is similar to what lifts an airplane wing. There is a heated debate as to which is more important in swimming. I suspect you are generating more force with your new pull than you think. Try just doing the pull and see. If you are doing the heart shaped pull remember to accelerate through the pull so that the insweep is the strongest part.

Thanks for putting this into the perspective of lift vs. propulsion. I didn't think of it that way, but now it makes more sense.

Can you elaborate more on how this is similar to what lifts airplane wings. I am not sure how that works either. :confused:

I sweep my hands out and sweep my hands in toward my chin or chest with my palms pointed half way toward each other and half way facing back (like a 45 degree angle). There is this natural force that's lifting. I don't have to do much else and my head and shoulder are out of water. How is that force generated? Is it because your palms are pushing water in and up during the insweep?

Jeff Commings
October 11th, 2005, 06:53 PM
I've been swimming this stroke for sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long that I've never truly thought too much about the mechanics of it. I'm not much into the physics of it.

That doesn't mean I don't think about the technique. You always want the pull to be one continuous motion from outsweep to recovery. DO NOT stop the movement under your chest/when you lift to breathe. The drag coefficients are too great at that point.

My point is: Do the stroke that feels the best for you. I could never swim like Liesel Jones. And Amanda Beard's stroke requires more flexibility than I have. I swim somewhere in between. But that's the way I like it.

Swim it slow to find the feel for the water. Then when you've got the new technique down, build up to swimming it fast. It should feel the same.

swiminton
October 11th, 2005, 06:59 PM
Yeah I know. I have a tendency to over-analyze things. :)

Since I started this new pull, I usually start with a few laps of small sculling then one regular outsweep insweep lunge breathe, then use some small flutter kicks to get my back into the small sculling motion again. Then I will swim regular breastrokes.

I am really excited about this new pull, as you can tell. I feel that the wider my outsweep is, the more powerful my insweep will be and the more i can lunge forward.

I hope I am not going to jinks it by getting overly excited! :p

Allen Stark
October 13th, 2005, 01:05 AM
Regarding lift,Bernoulles Principle is that as a fluid flows faster it's pressure decreases. An air plane wing is curved on top so the air has to travel further in the same time on top relative to underneath. Since it is moving faster the pressure is lower so the wing rises. Moving a hand through the water at an angle can cause the water on the back of the hand to move faster than over the palm so the hand will lift. The actual situation for a swimmer is much more complicated. There is a good article on this in the current issue of "American Swimming Magazine"

knelson
October 13th, 2005, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by Allen Stark
Regarding lift,Bernoulles Principle is that as a fluid flows faster it's pressure decreases. An air plane wing is curved on top so the air has to travel further in the same time on top relative to underneath.

Your first statement is correct, but your second is not. This quote from Wikipedia describes the flaw in this statement:


Many readers new to this topic may be looking for the explanation that is commonly put forward in many mainstream books, and even scientific exhibitions, that touch on flight and aerodynamic principles; namely, that due to the greater curvature (and hence longer path) of the upper surface of an aerofoil, the air going over the top must go faster in order to "catch up" with the air flowing around the bottom (and hence due to its faster speed its pressure is lower, etc). Despite the fact that this "explanation" is probably the most common of all, it must be made clear that it is utterly false. There is no requirement that the air over the top must catch up to the air below, and in fact it does not do so. In addition, such an explanation would mean that an aircraft could not fly inverted, which is demonstrably not the case. It also fails to account for aerofoils which are fully symmetrical yet still develop significant lift. It is unclear why this explanation has gained such currency, except by repetition and perhaps the fact that it is easiest to grasp intuitively without mathematics. However, since it is wrong, the assumed intuition which serves it is also wrong, and the wise reader would do well to discount this approach.

I also want to say that lift does NOT contribute to swimming propulsion. Since lift is defined as a component of force perpendicular to mean flow, it is impossible for lift to accelerate you in the water. If would be more proper to say that Bernoulli's principle is used by swimmers to create thrust--not lift. The same thing could be said about a boat or airplane propeller.

OK, enough physics for today :)

swiminton
October 13th, 2005, 01:51 PM
Interesting.

I am still a little confused. During your insweep, you catch water with your palm and sweep in fast. In that case, wouldn't the water under your hand (in your palm) be moving faster than the water above your hand?

I guess that must be why I did not do so well in physics in HS. :)

Allen Stark
October 14th, 2005, 11:40 AM
Kirk,you are right. The curved air foil is a crude analogy. You are also right that lift isn't the best word to use in these discussions(and it's use contributes to many misconceptions) but it seems to be stuck in the swimming literature. Thanks for helping to set us straight. For a totally different(and at times nearly incomprehensible) theory of swimming propulsion see Cecil Colwin"s book"Swimming into the Twenty First Century"

swiminton
October 17th, 2005, 02:21 PM
I have another question about breaststroke pull. Specifically, what is the end of the insweep?

I am so focused on the idea of getting your hands out front as fast as possible that I sometimes catch myself rushing from insweep to recovery. Should your palms touch each other (or close to it) before you initiate the recovery? At the end of the insweep when your hands are under your chin, should you have your palms facing each other or palms up? Are there drills that make sure you finish your insweep?

geochuck
October 17th, 2005, 04:23 PM
Originally posted by knelson
Your first statement is correct, but your second is not. This quote from Wikipedia describes the flaw in this statement:



I also want to say that lift does NOT contribute to swimming propulsion. Since lift is defined as a component of force perpendicular to mean flow, it is impossible for lift to accelerate you in the water. If would be more proper to say that Bernoulli's principle is used by swimmers to create thrust--not lift. The same thing could be said about a boat or airplane propeller.

OK, enough physics for today :) Just wondering how long has Wikipedia been a coach and do we believe everthing in Wikipedia is true???

swiminton
October 17th, 2005, 05:35 PM
Originally posted by geochuck
Just wondering how long has Wikipedia been a coach and do we believe everthing in Wikipedia is true???

I sure would hope they are constantly updating their information.

geochuck
October 17th, 2005, 05:49 PM
Bernoulles Principle is that as a fluid flows faster it's pressure decreases.

I prefer Newtons third law over Bernoulles Principle. when it comes to swimming.

swiminton
October 17th, 2005, 05:52 PM
What's Newton's third law and how is it applied to swimming? Like I said I did very poorly in physics in high school.

Allen Stark
October 17th, 2005, 05:53 PM
Your question about recovery got me thinking about something I was doing more by feel than thought. What is hard to discribe is how the insweep becomes the recovery.It is one continuous movement with my forearms still providing thrust while my hands have come together,palms up and are shooting foreward. I have read that palms up is definitely better and I have read that palms down is definitely better,I feel it is a matter of what works best for you. What is not in dispute is that it is very bad to hesitate half way and it is important to REALLY shrug your shoulders foreward at the finish for maximum streamlining.

geochuck
October 17th, 2005, 05:55 PM
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Get hold of that imaginary wall and pull your body over it, The water is the wall. Also Newtons second law. Google search will give lots of results even mention the B pricipal.

geochuck
October 17th, 2005, 06:00 PM
Palms up less strain on the arm muscles. Just don't have the hand in the pray position then you will have maximun stress on muscles.

Allen Stark
October 17th, 2005, 06:11 PM
Newtons Third Law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. While it is applicable,actually applying it in a moving fluid is much harder than you might imagine. In fact Bernoulli Principle applies directly only in a perfect(non viscous)fluid with laminar flow. Practically speaking this means that "feel for the water" is more useful than physics,at least at our current level of knowlege.

knelson
October 17th, 2005, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by geochuck
Bernoulles Principle is that as a fluid flows faster it's pressure decreases.

I prefer Newtons third law over Bernoulles Principle. when it comes to swimming.

Really they are one and the same. If anyone cares here's an article that describes this: http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/bernnew.html

geochuck
October 17th, 2005, 06:20 PM
I prefer Newtons Third law it is easier to spell. When you look at Bernoulles Principle it is harder to understand but I have also read it is derived from newtons second law.

But I seldom believe anyting I read and only believe half of what I see and nothing that I hear.

swiminton
October 17th, 2005, 06:43 PM
One more question:

When is the breath supposed to take place? I know you shouldn't breathe during the outsweep. Do you come up to breathe as soon as you start the insweep, in the middle of the insweep, or when your hands are under your chin?

Just as I focus so much on getting my hands out front that I sometimes rush through insweep to recovery, I think I may be focusing too much on keeping my body in line so I may be breathing too late (I try to hold myself down until my palms are almost together).

Sabretooth Tiger
October 17th, 2005, 07:25 PM
THE MODERN BREASTSTROKE (by Wayne McCauley)

website at: http://www.breaststroke.info/

There are three different styles of breaststroke being swum today; the wave style, the flat or conventional style and the undulating style. In the seven years that the wave style has been possible I have only seen less than a dozen masters swim it correctly. The undulating style is primarily swum by young extremely flexible girls. Very few masters women or men retain the extreme flexibility to do this style. I really cannot recommend this style for masters, primarily because this style does not take advantage of the rules that allow you to put your head underwater. What I do recommend is a modified flat or modified wave style, using the wave's base position as the starting point. This base position is with the body flat in the water, streamlined. The head is between the arms, starting to go underwater with the back above the waters surface. The back is out of the water to eliminate lifting water up with each stroke, one of the disadvantages of the undulating style.

In the wave style the arms and upper body are thrown forward over the water into the base position, after each pull. In both the modified wave and the flat style the arms are pushed forward through the water and into the base position. There is less resistance with your body underwater than when you kick with the body at the surface. Both the wave and flat styles of breaststroke benefit by putting your head and body underwater at the start of each kick. From US Masters Rule Book Some part of the swimmers head shall break the surface of the water at least once during each complete cycle of one armstroke and one leg kick. Article 101.2.2. This rule allows you to kick with your head underwater, reducing resistance. Your head will break the waters surface when you breathe at the end of the insweep of each stroke, satisfying the rule. The best way to learn breaststroke is to think there is no pull back in the modern breaststroke! The arms shall move simultaneously and in the same horizontal plane without any alternating movement. Article 101.2.2. US Rule Book. There is simply a scull out and a scull inward to just under the face.
We start by learning the shoulder shrug, shrugging the shoulders up, the elbows out, and the palms of the hands facing outward. The shoulder shrug puts your shoulders and arms in the same position as a butterflyers when their arms are recovered forward. This is the ideal way to begin the out-scull as the shoulders are narrower during the shrug, reducing resistance. The shrug makes it difficult to drop the elbows, a major stroke problem. It also uses the pectoral and lattissimus muscles more, taking advantage of these large muscles.

The out-scull is not very propulsive, to get any propulsion you must pitch the hands at an angle to the fore-arms, thirty to forty-five degrees. The hands should be about six inches under the water's surface when beginning the out-scull. Your hands should move out and slightly upwards so that your hands are just under the water's surface at the catch point, slightly past your shoulders width. How wide you make the catch point depends on how strong you are. At the catch the palms are changed from out and back to down and back. This down sweep begins the powerful insweep.

The insweep is the propulsive portion of the arm movement. With the shoulders shrugged up the hands are accelerated first down and then inwards until the palms come together under the chin. The insweep ends with the hands moving up and forward together.

During this powerful insweep you should breathe with your head looking downwards or slightly forward. The hands shall be pushed forward together from the breast on, under, or over the surface of the water Article 101.2.2. This is called the arm recovery and should be done by squeezing the elbows together in front of the chest, with the palms together. If the elbows are not squeezed in front of the chest they can combine with the arms and chest as one massive resistance to the water. The elbows coming together forces the hands to move quickly from the insweep to the recovery; many breaststrokers have a problem with pausing at that point. When the hands are nearly extended, shrug the shoulders to begin the outscull.
The easiest way to learn the out-scull and insweep is to swim one lap of breast, starting with the hands fully extended. Scull out about ten inches and scull in with the hands until they clap together. Then swim another lap sculling out to about twelve inches, emphasizing the insweep. Now swim another lap, sculling out to where it feels comfortable, emphasizing the power of the insweep.

Drills for the arms:

Pull while kicking dolphin or flutter kick. Think quick hands, but without slipping the water. The easiest way to increase arm force is to increase your hand speed.
Pull with a pull-buoy as different muscles are worked. Pull 200-300 yards at a time to really feel the forearm pain. Breaststrokers must pull often in practice, while others are pulling freestyle. Because we rely so much on the kick, breaststrokers must work more on our pull to improve our weak spot
.
Ask any breaststroker the secret of the stroke and they will say the kick! All vertical and lateral movements of the legs shall be simultaneous. The feet must be turned outward during the propulsive part of the kick movement. A scissors, flutter, or downward butterfly kick is not permitted. Article 101.2.3. The kick can be easily learned by standing up on land. Pull one of your feet up to your rear, and turn the foot outwards away from the body. Now just straighten the leg! Turn the sole of the foot inwards so that when it reaches the floor the sole of the foot is facing inwards and parallel to the floor. The most important idea in the kick is to finish with the toes pointing to the bottom of the pool and the soles of the feet coming together. The feet are also kicked downwards from the water's surface, not straight back. If you kick as described and press downwards with the chest, the hips will rise, just like a butterflyers hip motion. With your hips high in the water you can recover the legs back up to the buttocks with the knees causing much less resistance to the water. Accelerate the feet until your soles and ankles smack together.

Kicking Drills:

Kick without a board, one kick with your head and body underwater, one kick with a breath.
Kick without a board, two kicks with your head and body underwater, one kick with a breath.
Forward Egg-beater; the muscles that get the most tired during a race are not the kicking muscles but the muscles that pull the legs up to the buttocks. The best exercise for these muscles is the waterpolo egg-beater drill, which is kicking one leg straight back and then the other leg. Kick down the pool pumping the legs as fast as you can. This will not only strengthen the muscles it will increase leg speed. If you want to go faster you must increase the force applied to the water. Since force is strength times speed, it is easier to increase leg speed that leg power.
Kick on your back, watching to see if the knees break the water surface. Try to bring the feet back to the buttocks without breaking the surface with the knees.
The key to a powerful breaststroke is the timing you use. There are three patterns in use; glide, continuous, and overlap timing.

Glide timing has a small pause when the hands are fully extended.
Continuous timing has no pause, and is not recommended because the out scull is not very propulsive, causing a drop in speed right when speed is the highest; after the kick.
Overlap timing is used by most fast breaststrokers to reduce the period of slowing down from the kick and the insweep of the arms. This timing is done by sweeping the arms for the out scull while the legs are coming together at the finish of the kick.
You should increase the overlap if your insweep is less powerful. This results in a rapid turnover and greater energy cost, but is faster.

Wayne McCauley has been masters All-American several times, in the 50 and 200 breaststroke events, as well as national champion in the 50 breast. Wayne competes annually in over 25 masters meets, including Glasgow Scotland and Paris, France.

swiminton
October 17th, 2005, 08:43 PM
Thanks for posting this good article. I actually read it just a couple of weeks ago and remember it had some nice sketches.

Does anyone know what the undulating style is?

Allen Stark
October 17th, 2005, 08:58 PM
Waynes website is a treasure trove of information and I highly reccomend it. I think Wayne would agree that the current trend is away from overlap stroke to now "ride the glide"i.e. stretch out the streamline position before starting the next stroke.That article isn't clear on when to breath,saying just on the insweep. As you recover your feet your knees will drop relative to your center of gravity(think of your body as a teeter-totter,do not raise your thighs at the hips.)This is simultaneous with the end of the insweep where the thrust forces are lifting your torso up. It requires little effort then to raise the torso further so you can breath without lifting your head.At least it seems this way to me. I am trying to put into words something that is easier to understand by observing great swimmers and feeling what seems right in the pool.

Allen Stark
October 17th, 2005, 09:02 PM
I think Wayne what calls the undulating style is the style Amanda Beard used to use with the exagerated bend of the back and raising the torso. Wayne are you there? I hate to speak for you.

Jeff Commings
October 18th, 2005, 12:15 PM
Current world record holders/Olympic champions who use each of Wayne's three breaststroke styles:

Wave: Brendan Hansen, Kosuke Kitajima, Jessica Hardy

Flat: Liesel Jones

Undulating: Amanda Beard

swiminton
October 18th, 2005, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by Jeff Commings
Current world record holders/Olympic champions who use each of Wayne's three breaststroke styles:

Wave: Brendan Hansen, Kosuke Kitajima, Jessica Hardy

Flat: Liesel Jones

Undulating: Amanda Beard

What's the difference between Wave and Undulating? I had always thought Amanda's is wave also, except with a bigger wave because she comes up higher in the water.

How about Tara Kirk's style? Does she belong to Wave or Undulating?

swiminton
October 18th, 2005, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by Allen Stark
I think Wayne what calls the undulating style is the style Amanda Beard used to use with the exagerated bend of the back and raising the torso. Wayne are you there? I hate to speak for you.

I see. I haven't seen Wayne's post since early this month...

swiminton
October 18th, 2005, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by Allen Stark
This is simultaneous with the end of the insweep where the thrust forces are lifting your torso up. It requires little effort then to raise the torso further so you can breath without lifting your head.

I think this makes a lot of sense. When I rush from insweep to recovery (therefore don't completely finish my insweep), I find the lifting power is less and breathing is more difficult. However, when I first started switching to the new heart shaped insweep (therefore I focused on completing the insweep), I found breathing was easier.

I think what I need to do is to slow things down and wait till I finish my insweep before recovering, although sometimes it is difficult to resist the temptation of picking up the stroke rate.

Allen Stark
October 18th, 2005, 06:58 PM
Leisal doesn't have a"classic" flat style as she doesn't recover her legs by bending at the hips(which is a very old technique) She also take full advantage of underwater streamlining after the kick,which is also not "classic" flat style. I'd say she has a very low amplitute wave. Amand's stroke has evolved towards wave from very undulating in 1996.