From the USMS Rule book 101.2.3 breaststroke kick:
"After the start and after each turn, a single butterfly (dolphin) kick,
which must be followed by a breaststroke kick, is permitted during or at the completion of the first arm pull, following which, all movements of the legs shall be simultaneous and in the same horizontal plane without alternating movement."
Interestingly the rule allows for some variation in sequence. For the start and the turn, it does not state when the arm pull takes place.
Question: are the following sequences legal?
a. arm pull, dolphin kick, breaststroke kick
b. dolphin kick, arm pull, breaststroke kick
I agree with Midas that option B might make a DQ call a little more likely (though I disagree with him that judges "have it in" for anybody...I just think it is a hard call to make, and some judges pull the trigger more easily than others). You also might forget to separate your hands before the dolphin kick, or you might have a little "recoil" on the pull-down that is mistaken for a second dolphin kick.
It may well be that that "recoil" is the reason that they began allowing the single dolphin kick in the first place: it was too hard to distinguish it from an true/intentional kick.
I did not - but my simple experiments (with sample size of 1) seems to point to a substantial difference in the distance traveled between the two sequences. I have not measured time to a point but I think the result would be non-intuitive.
The other issue is that doing the dolphin first may extend the time underwater by delaying the initial arm pull. Since I only swim breaststroke during an IM, that's not always desirable for me by that point in a race. The additional oxygen debt may cut down any extra effectiveness of the dolphin first pullout.
But, look: I am as far from a breaststroke expert as it is possible to be. About the only thing I have going for me is that all of it is rather new to me, and I'm game for trying anything. Others may have different (and better) opinions.
Yes I can see the occasional mishap, even I dove in once or twice and almost went into freestyle before remembering it was a breast event. Pushing the rules is one thing, but deliberately breaking them (multiple times) is another.
Just another reason to add to my long laundry list of why I don't swim in meets anymore.
Check out my blog here
"You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
That is how some people can get DQ'd...they separate the hands to start the pull...then dolphin kick...then put hands almost back together...and start their pull again...some have observed this as a double pull...even though it could be only one...once the hands separate and start the pull they should continue in one motion...that is why the rule says "during or at the end of..." if you stop your pull to dolphin kick...you have completely one cycle of pull and kick...
Which is why I agree with you on this Chris...get rid of the Dolphin kick and the tech suits and let's swim...
"Your body will go places your mind never thought it would go, as long as you are mentally tough enough to push it, drag it or carry it there." Tracy A. Burkholder
"If it is to be......it is up to me!" Author unknown.... got it off the wall at Westminster School in Atlanta.
Breaststroke - For the swimmer who finds the other strokes too easy!!!!!!
"The consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action." -- Bruce Lee
I know of someone of great renown in our sport who swam an entire 50 br LCM and did fly kick the entire way. He was in the middle lane, and there was a bet beforehand whether he would get DQd or not. I bet him a beer he'd get DQd b/c there was no way an official could miss that.
I owed him a beer.
He won. Afterwards he went to the officials and told them what he did, so the guy who got 2nd would get 1st. The officials told him to go away.
It's lame to intentionally cheat in the first place, but even worse when the officials are that bad.
(BTW, I do appreciate the time officials devote to our sport- not the point).
Not a breaststroker, but in the 100 breast, I've gone from 1:15 (Apr '09) to 1:12 (Sept '09) to 1:11 (Apr '10) in the last year. I will confess I hadn't really swum much breaststroke in meets until the last 18 months, but practice times had been pretty stagnant up until that point. One of our coaches (a breaststroker himself) noticed I sucked and after he spent a bit of time tinkering with it, we started seeing some time improvements. Plus, recent infatuations with IM necessitated more work on the BR.
Biggest thing I'd like to share with the group is head position. Since I've always kinda sucked at this, I've tinkered with several head positions over the years, but keeping my head in line with my spine, always looking down really helped my wave-like motion and helped keep my hips up, thus creating less drag and more speed in my stroke.
man up, buttercup!
The other points I focus on in every practice and before a race are keeping my elbows in front of my shoulders at all times,getting my feet up to my rear on the kick recovery,getting my feet turned out so my toes face the side of the pool at the catch,and getting my deltoids pressed tightly against my ears through the kick/glide to maximize streamlining.
Another important tip is to accelerate the pull from catch through the recovery so that it is a continuous movement.I like to say that BR doesn't have a recovery as the recovery is a continuous part of the pull.I see many Masters swimming BR pause at the end of the insweep before the recovery getting them caught in the dreaded"prayer position" which just stops your momentum.
"To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
A great web resource is Wayne McCauley's breaststroke guide:
Since we're discussing breaststroke. I have a question about repeat times:
If I want to do a 1:10 in a 100 yard race, what time do I have to swim in repeats? Right now I can't get under 1:30 for 100's on 2:00.
Chris- I hope to God that your pace chart is right! Looking at my goal for my 200 I have been doing it right according to your chart, thankfully. Someone told me I needed to be 2 seconds faster per 50 in w/out and I haven't been able to do it yet!
Time (ha ha) will tell.
Last edited by thewookiee; April 29th, 2010 at 04:32 PM.