View Full Version : Breast Stroke Question

January 29th, 2003, 05:14 PM
I'm a new coach and have a question reguarding rules. During breaststroke--how many strokes can a USMS swimmer take before their head must break the surface? We've come across several articles that stated swimmers have improved their time by not breathing the first two to three strokes?

January 29th, 2003, 08:59 PM
You maytake one stroke where the arms go to the hips and one kick under the surface, the rest of the time the stroke and kick are at the surface. The head must break the surface of the water once during each stroke/kick cycle. The head must break the surface---that does not mean you must breathe.

January 30th, 2003, 09:31 AM
Check out my web site devoted to Breaststroke, www.breaststroke.info

I use very specific terms the swimmers learn; there is NO pull in breaststroke. There is one PULL-DOWN after the start and each turn. During each stroke there is a scull out and an insweep, followed by a kick with the head underwater.

I am a strong advocate of not breathing the first one or two strokes after the PULL-DOWN. It is critical that some part of the swimmers head must break the waters surface during these non-breathing strokes and all other strokes on the surface. Again I strongly recommend not breathing the last 3-5 strokes of the finish, with the same admonition of the head breaking the waters surface.

Several Olympic champions have used parts of this strategy to gain additional forward propulsion.

I also advocate not breathing every stroke in breaststroke, unless the swimmer has a breathing problem such as asthma or restricted breathing airways. We coach butterfliers to find a rhythm and breathe every other or every third stroke. There is NO reason to breathe every stroke in breaststroke! And in the 50 breast there is not a single reason the breath at all, for people in the 30-second range.

Coach Wayne McCauley
ASCA Level 5 Masters

January 30th, 2003, 12:31 PM
Thank you for the help!!