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The Fortress
February 10th, 2007, 03:44 PM
Recently, I've been trying to stay under water longer and SDK more. But I notice my breakouts seem to be pretty sub-par on all strokes (especially breast where I practically come to a dead halt). Any tips for better breakouts on the start and turns? Also, on backstroke, when do you begin the transition from SDK-ing to flutter kicking before you surface?

SwimStud
February 10th, 2007, 03:49 PM
Recently, I've been trying to stay under water longer and SDK more. But I notice my breakouts seem to be pretty sub-par on all strokes (especially breast where I practically come to a dead halt). Any tips for better breakouts on the start and turns? Also, on backstroke, when do you begin the transition from SDK-ing to flutter kicking before you surface?

I've been trying to get a shallower angle on approaching the surface and trying not to breathe on the first stroke (not so easy on turns 5, 6 and 7). Wayne's got some good articles on this and such.
I find if I come up too steep it's like hitting the brakes.
Now you can wait for the experts;)

mikeh
February 10th, 2007, 04:12 PM
Other than streamlining I am unsure what good advice I can offer. I can say, however, that I have come to believe that the underwater breakout after the dive is even more important than the dive itself. I have beaten some really good swimmers off the blocks, but they do tend to overtake me underwater. I also angle my dive out very high and far, to the point where initially my body is not even aimed at the water, rather up above horizontal. I am starting to think that this may be unnecessary too. Perhaps the body should be angled horizontal and then down into the water.

poolraat
February 10th, 2007, 04:20 PM
I've been trying to get a shallower angle on approaching the surface and trying not to breathe on the first stroke (not so easy on turns 5, 6 and 7). Wayne's got some good articles on this and such.
I find if I come up too steep it's like hitting the brakes.
Now you can wait for the experts;)


Well, I'm no expert but here's what I do. Rich is right about the shallow angle (on all strokes). On freestyle (front crawl for you, Rich) I take 2-3 dolphins off the wall on turns and immediately begin flutter kicking before I take my first stroke. In a 100 sprint I don't breathe for at least 3 strokes so I don't break my momentum. Backstroke is similiar, except I try to get a few more dolphin kicks (my current goal on a sprint is 10 kicks) before switching to flutter kick and taking the first stroke. One thing I catch myself doing on back is to breakout looking at my feet. Don't do that!! On the fly thread I described what I do on butterfly so I won't repeat it here. Breaststroke :rofl: My only goal is to get to the surface before I lose all the speed of the push off the wall. I'll glide for about 2 sec from the push to the pulldown/dolphin and another 2 or so sec before the the next kick. But my breast is so slow you could time it with a sundial.

Peter Cruise
February 10th, 2007, 04:36 PM
A tiny tip, but of tiny stuff hundredths of seconds are made of: for freestyle, esp. sprinting, when you overlap your hands to form that rapier-like streamline, make sure that your underneath hand is the one you want to take your first power stroke with. If you have a dominant arm, that'll be it. It seems very obvious, but watch others sometimes and you'll see a little shuffling done (inefficient) when the 'wrong' hand is underneath.

poolraat
February 10th, 2007, 04:45 PM
A tiny tip, but of tiny stuff hundredths of seconds are made of: for freestyle, esp. sprinting, when you overlap your hands to form that rapier-like streamline, make sure that your underneath hand is the one you want to take your first power stroke with. If you have a dominant arm, that'll be it. It seems very obvious, but watch others sometimes and you'll see a little shuffling done (inefficient) when the 'wrong' hand is underneath.

Great tip Peter. I never even thought of it but after you mentioned it, I did a check and the bottom hand is the one I take my first stroke with on free but not on back. Something to work on.

Allen Stark
February 10th, 2007, 04:48 PM
Breaststroke breakout:don't lift your head on the first breath(don't ever lift your head in breaststroke,but it is especially tempting on the first breath when your body is screaming OXYGEN.) Start your first stroke before you break the surface,as long as you surface before the insweep you are legal. Practice just the turns and the breakouts or 12.5s,also work to make every turn and breakout in workout perfect.

ensignada
February 10th, 2007, 04:52 PM
I'm glad to hear that this isn't a problem only for novices. I've been working on getting off the wall better (both with open and flip turns), but I still feel like I have to shift into a lower gear with those first few strokes to get back up to speed again (and I'm using the term speed loosely here ;)). Thanks for the good ideas. I'll work on making the angle more shallow and see how that works.

knelson
February 10th, 2007, 05:01 PM
Breaststroke breakout:don't lift your head on the first breath

Good tip regardless of stroke. I think we have a natural tendency to lift our heads when we get close to the surface, especially later in the race when we're craving that oxygen.

SwimStud
February 10th, 2007, 05:12 PM
Good tip regardless of stroke. I think we have a natural tendency to lift our heads when we get close to the surface, especially later in the race when we're craving that oxygen.

Allen is a source of great info. I still need to work on keeping the head still...

Paul Smith
February 10th, 2007, 06:39 PM
Fort, a few things:

- Be sure you are practicing this stuff at the start of practice not at the end when your tired.

- Angle as discussed here is extremely important.....one thing I see a lot of is people being to shallow on their turn push off's. If you watch the best (Natalie, Crocker, etc.) you'll see them going 4-6 feet deep before driving up and out.

- Remember...not everyone benefits from extended kicking off turns....my wife for example loses ground if she dolphins more than twice before going to flutter and breaking out....prior to the latest injury i've been playing with up to 11 dolphins off starts and 5-9 off turns (it varies by stroke)

- Last but not least....forget about trying trying to improve that breastroke crap.....just remind yourself that it was aa stroke created soley for misplaced gymnasts! :thhbbb:

Allen Stark
February 10th, 2007, 07:04 PM
I'll ignore the breaststroke comment and agree with Paul about the pushoff.Michael Collins,former USMS coach of the year recommends the "check mark" pushoff for SDK. It's called that because it looks like a check mark(I'm sorry I'm not computer literate enough to draw one) in that you push deep and then slowly come to the surface. As Paul said this is only good if you are fast SDK,otherwise go down about 2 ft,come up just past the flags and start swimming.

The Fortress
February 10th, 2007, 09:30 PM
Fort, a few things:

- Be sure you are practicing this stuff at the start of practice not at the end when your tired.

- Angle as discussed here is extremely important.....one thing I see a lot of is people being to shallow on their turn push off's. If you watch the best (Natalie, Crocker, etc.) you'll see them going 4-6 feet deep before driving up and out.

- Remember...not everyone benefits from extended kicking off turns....my wife for example loses ground if she dolphins more than twice before going to flutter and breaking out....prior to the latest injury i've been playing with up to 11 dolphins off starts and 5-9 off turns (it varies by stroke)

- Last but not least....forget about trying trying to improve that breastroke crap.....just remind yourself that it was aa stroke created soley for misplaced gymnasts! :thhbbb:


Thanks everyone. Having timed myself, I think I'm better doing more SDKs on fly and back. Not as many on sprint free probably, although I recall someone (FlyQueen?) saying Ian Crocker swam the allowed 15 meters under water of each length of his :42 100 free. However, I do not have infinite lung capacity (or Paul's either). I've been trying to aim deeper as everyone suggests. Still, sometimes I misjudge exactly how far from the surface I am and have a draggy breakout or start thinking I won't get back to the surface before the lungs burst.

I try to work on SDKs more on my own. During team practice, the SDKs do degrade as I degrade. (Today, I had the good sense to get out at 4,000 when I was blasted while everyone else did another 1100.)

I'm not worrying about the breaststroke too much, Paul, but I am an ex-gymnast.:thhbbb: And the pullout is all I got, man.

Paul: Is that your wife in your avatar? She's gorgeous!

As said ex-gymnast, I was wondering if anyone could recommend a clip of that breaststroke breakout that Allen is mentioning. I think I'm probably lifting my head to get oxygen ...

Fortunately, but utterly unconsciously, I appear to be doing what Peter suggests.

Barb:

I would venture to say that elite swimmers have to work on all this stuff pretty continuously too. Anyone can get sloppy if they're not vigilant. Plus, everyone has weak points, me especially.

jim thornton
February 10th, 2007, 10:04 PM
Possibly a dumb question, but if your dolphin kick is not particularly strong, and it takes a lot more energy to execute this than standard flutter kicking, is it a mistake to ignore dolphin kicking altogether on free and back and just use a flutter kick off the dive and walls?

Also, how much time--after the dive and wall push offs--should you just glide in streamlined position without any kicking at all? Should you count to yourself:

push off wall

one ninety nine
two ninety nine

start kicking but keep arms still tightly streamlined and ascend

and then take the first power stroke?

What's the optimum timing here, and how does it vary from, say, the 50 to 100 to 200 to longer free races?

Allen Stark
February 10th, 2007, 11:38 PM
Look at the "Go Swim Breaststroke" DVD.It shows some really good pullouts. It also really focuses on keeping your head down.

poolraat
February 11th, 2007, 10:17 AM
Have you looked at George's website? Some good videos and links to more.

http://www.swimdownhill.com/

There was also one on the GoSwim site a while back called "Kevin Underwater" that showed the dolphin kick -pulldown-breakout sequence.

The Fortress
February 11th, 2007, 11:28 AM
Thanks guys. I had forgotten, Allen, that I actually own the GoSwim video that focuses on breaststroke turns and pullouts. Duh. I'll go watch it again and look at George's site too.

As to Peter's tip, I totally lied. I checked it at practice this am. I'm doing it correctly for backstroke and wrong for freestyle. But when I put the other hand on top for free, it feels really strange.

jaegermeister
February 11th, 2007, 10:35 PM
I know this is obvious, but no one's else has said it on this thread. The number of SDK will vary inversely with the length of the race. I can do 7-9 pretty routinely off of my back starts, but I'd never make it through a 200 if I tried to do that. I'm going with 5 dolphin kicks on my 100's.
Like Ande says, it would be best to change it up a bit and have someone time you.

poolraat
February 11th, 2007, 10:48 PM
I was printing tomorrow's workout and one of the sets reminded me of something else. Lots of 15's (my workout tomorrow includes 10 free & 10 fly) from a dive, if possible just to work the UW and breakout.

aquaFeisty
February 12th, 2007, 01:43 PM
One thing I have to watch is that my transition from dolphin to flutter (when doing freestyle) is speedy and seamless. Sometimes there's a hitch, or a slow-down. Have someone watch you... I can't feel it when I screw it up myself, but apparently (according to hubby) it's quite visible from the deck! :)

craiglll@yahoo.com
February 12th, 2007, 04:12 PM
A tiny tip, but of tiny stuff hundredths of seconds are made of: for freestyle, esp. sprinting, when you overlap your hands to form that rapier-like streamline, make sure that your underneath hand is the one you want to take your first power stroke with. If you have a dominant arm, that'll be it. It seems very obvious, but watch others sometimes and you'll see a little shuffling done (inefficient) when the 'wrong' hand is underneath.

It has never occurred to me to even notice that the first stroke hand isn't under the other hand. I guess I've been doing it for so long, I've never noticed. Sometimes just for the fun of it, I will turn the other direction and try to do the first stroke with my right hand. that's really fun to do.