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Thread: The Breaststroke Lane

  1. #1101

    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    Br is my weakest stroke. From the clips, if anyone can provide suggestions it would be helpful. Thank you

    Hi Steve, how long have you been working on the breaststroke and how much time do you devote to the stroke in practice? There are a variety of progression/transition drills that you can incorporate into your workout to be able to improve the areas of your stroke that need work, as pointed out by others on this thread.

  2. #1102
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Thanks for the feedback members, it appears I have a multitude of different things to work on. I will work on it now that I have the time with future checkpoints.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimspire View Post
    Hi Steve, how long have you been working on the breaststroke and how much time do you devote to the stroke in practice? There are a variety of progression/transition drills that you can incorporate into your workout to be able to improve the areas of your stroke that need work, as pointed out by others on this thread.
    Hi. I have been breaststroking occasionally for maybe 18 months, probably swimming it a cumulative lifetime of 8 to 10,000 M. This stroke was placed on the "to do later list" figuring I am better off not doing something than doing it wrong. It also bothered my right shoulder, but that has seemed to disappear.

    Thanks
    Last edited by __steve__; October 15th, 2013 at 10:03 AM.

  3. #1103
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    Good BR Primer

    Hello All --
    Since my only events are open water, to date I've really just trained doing the crawl. But for variety and cross-training, if you will, I'm thinking I'll start incorporating some BR into my "winter" training. I learned BR as a kid in the 70s (though I have switched from frog kick to whip since then), but am really hoping that there is some good primer to get me going with the current technique (beyond reading all 56 pages of this thread). I have noticed that the whip can make my knees sore, but that tends to go away if I keep the knees more parallel than together (and yes, I have a history of ITB tightness so I'll try to stretch those too). For background, if it's important, I'm now self taught, swim 2-4x a week (3200-3500y per session, including warm-up and kick sets; main set pace avg. 1:35/100y crawl), 6'3", 185#, longer legs than torso, continuing to work on ankle flexibility (big dogs have big drag otherwise).

    Thanks for any thoughts.

    Jack
    "Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever . . . ." -- Oscar Wilde

  4. #1104
    Very Active Member ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    It is hard to be sure,but this is what I think I see:
    You are raising your head too high,work on keeping your head in neutral position throughout the stroke.
    You are getting stuck between the pull and the recovery in the "prayer position".Work at accelerating through the pull until you have finished the recovery.
    When you recover your kick,you have your knees outside of your feet,which increases drag.Keep your knees no more than two fists apart throughout the stroke.
    Never touch one handed in BR.
    Thanks, King Frog! I knew you would come through for Steve. I have learned a lot from you about analyzing breaststroke, because I saw the same things in Steve's stroke. You have been a good mentor!

    Steve, if you go back through this thread and view the posted videos with K.F.'s analysis, you will pick up a lot of great information about breaststroke. Compare the other videos to your own and see what you can do to improve. After awhile, you will be able to view your own videos and pick out what has improved and what still needs more work.

    Shoot videos of your stroke often to check on your progress. When you have made some headway, post again on this thread so we can see how your frogness is coming along.
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  5. #1105
    Very Active Member ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Good BR Primer

    Quote Originally Posted by JWAJack View Post
    Hello All --
    Since my only events are open water, to date I've really just trained doing the crawl. But for variety and cross-training, if you will, I'm thinking I'll start incorporating some BR into my "winter" training. I learned BR as a kid in the 70s (though I have switched from frog kick to whip since then), but am really hoping that there is some good primer to get me going with the current technique (beyond reading all 56 pages of this thread). I have noticed that the whip can make my knees sore, but that tends to go away if I keep the knees more parallel than together (and yes, I have a history of ITB tightness so I'll try to stretch those too). For background, if it's important, I'm now self taught, swim 2-4x a week (3200-3500y per session, including warm-up and kick sets; main set pace avg. 1:35/100y crawl), 6'3", 185#, longer legs than torso, continuing to work on ankle flexibility (big dogs have big drag otherwise).

    Thanks for any thoughts.

    Jack
    Hey Jack! Welcome to the lily pad where us frogs hang out.

    There is no need to read all posts on this thread. Just go back and read anything written by Allen Stark and Jim Rude. Seriously, like I told Steve, watching the posted videos on this thread and reading the critiques will be a huge help.

    Several drills have been posted by Allen as well. These drills have a purpose to help improve your stroke technique and King Frog (Allen Stark) does a great job explaining them to us frogs.

    The best think you could do is have somebody shoot some video of your stroke, so we can take a look at it and offer suggestions on how to improve your technique. The best angle is from above (rather than at water level) to reduce the glare and see the stroke more clearly. It is helpful to have side, front and back views; however, side view is fine for starters.

    Good luck!


    P.S. I see you are from San Pedro. I grew up in Long Beach and spent most of my life in San Diego. Give the Pacific Ocean a BIG hug for me!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  6. #1106
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by secondheart View Post
    start by just kicking
    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    When you recover your kick,you have your knees outside of your feet,which increases drag.Keep your knees no more than two fists apart throughout the stroke.
    Quote Originally Posted by Debugger View Post
    4. Your kick is too wide and you kick to the sides instead of kicking backwards. Your feet should be wider than your knees. Try some breaststroke kick with board and a buoy between your hips, this might help to fix the problem.
    First thing I will work on is the kicking part. I find this awkward to implement correctly as my knees want to lead the recovery and go wide outward, and flat. I discovered yesterday it helps if I rotate my femurs inward at recovery but (since I'm uncoordinated with new challenges) my toes end up inward -lol



    Will practice the above drill. Perhaps finding a large mirror to use for assistance

  7. #1107

    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    Thanks for the feedback members, it appears I have a multitude of different things to work on. I will work on it now that I have the time with future checkpoints.

    Hi. I have been breaststroking occasionally for maybe 18 months, probably swimming it a cumulative lifetime of 8 to 10,000 M. This stroke was placed on the "to do later list" figuring I am better off not doing something than doing it wrong. It also bothered my right shoulder, but that has seemed to disappear.

    Thanks
    Steve, although there are a lot of aspects to the breaststroke that you need to improve, you definitely have a good glide. The glide is an important element in the breaststroke, and really helps you to swim more efficiently through the water. So, this is a great start.

    Given that you have only been swimming breaststroke occasionally, I would recommend that you keep track of how much breaststroke you are swimming and gradually increase the amount of breaststroke that you are swimming. Many injuries can arise from either over-training or inconsistent training so its good to take it slow and keep track of what you're doing. You mentioned that your right shoulder was hurting, so you want to make sure you take it slow at first with practicing the stroke. In the video, you can see that your right shoulder is actually lower than your left shoulder - I'm not sure whether this is just a habit, or whether you are trying to protect the shoulder, but both shoulders should be evenly placed during the pull.

    One of the major problems in your stroke occurs when you take a breath during the pull cycle. As you can see in this screenshot you look forward to breathe, lifting your chin forward. http://postimg.org/image/iso8b2sbl/

    This causes your momentum to slow down, almost stopping at one point when you become fatigued. The only time you should be stopping in your stroke is in the streamline position - this is where you start the pull and stop to glide. You should try to limit the interruption in your stroke as you take a breath by tucking your chin and breathing as your head continues downward towards the surface of the water.

    Good luck!

  8. #1108
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimspire View Post
    Steve, although there are a lot of aspects to the breaststroke that you need to improve, you definitely have a good glide.
    Thanks,

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimspire View Post
    I would recommend that you keep track of how much breaststroke you are swimming and gradually increase the amount of breaststroke that you are swimming. Many injuries can arise from either over-training or inconsistent training so its good to take it slow and keep track of what you're doing.
    Gotcha

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimspire View Post
    your right shoulder is actually lower than your left shoulder - I'm not sure whether this is just a habit, or whether you are trying to protect the shoulder, but both shoulders should be evenly placed during the pull.
    It's a little more convoluted than that. My right shoulder has a history of inflammation from over use (in all but backstroke). This is directly related to protecting, and compensating for my left shoulder, a dislocating joint (initially from mountain biking accident in 1992). This shoulder does not hurt so long as it stays where it belongs in socket. Interestingly, my body naturally protects it as, among other things, the right shoulder
    takes the load. Even more strange, much earlier in life I broke my left arm severely (1975ish) causing it to heal crooked. Now when I fully extend it it's several degrees fixed towards EVF position, being more mechanically efficient than the stronger right arm.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swimspire View Post
    One of the major problems in your stroke occurs when you take a breath during the pull cycle....
    This causes your momentum to slow down, almost stopping at one point when you become fatigued. The only time you should be stopping in your stroke is in the streamline position - this is where you start the pull and stop to glide. You should try to limit the interruption in your stroke as you take a breath by tucking your chin and breathing as your head continues downward towards the surface of the water.

    Good luck!
    Thanks again

  9. #1109
    Active Member swimflyfast's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    500 Breaststroke Prep Main Set

    10 x 50 Breaststroke on 1:00 500 pace (hold back, watch clock)
    Rest one min

    500 Breaststroke (even pace)
    go right into EZ 50 Free

    5 x 100 Breaststroke on fastest possible send off plus 10sec 500 pace (hold back the first few, watch clock)

    Broken 200 Breaststroke at 25's (5 sec rest) Focus on clean mechanics of turn and streamline!

    6 x 25 Breaststroke Sprint 20 sec rest Focus on long reach, head position

    Long warm down.

    Butterfly is Not a Crime Postal Swim (nor is Breaststroke) is now Sanctioned by USMS!

    Swim 500yd, 400m, 1000yd, 800m, 1650yd, 1500m and open water 1mile 2 mile Breaststroke.
    www.swimflyfast.com

    Now mailing first mayoral proclamations to current record holders (unofficial, unrecognized, nonconforming world records)
    Last edited by swimflyfast; October 16th, 2013 at 10:03 AM. Reason: spelling error

  10. #1110
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    Re: Good BR Primer

    Thanks Elaine. I'm fortunate enough to be able to give the Pacific "hugs," sometimes physically and always visually, every day, so I'll add one for you.
    "Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever . . . ." -- Oscar Wilde

  11. #1111
    Very Active Member ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by swimflyfast View Post
    500 Breaststroke Prep Main Set

    10 x 50 Breaststroke on 1:00 500 pace (hold back, watch clock)
    Rest one min

    500 Breaststroke (even pace)
    go right into EZ 50 Free

    5 x 100 Breaststroke on fastest possible send off plus 10sec 500 pace (hold back the first few, watch clock)

    Broken 200 Breaststroke at 25's (5 sec rest) Focus on clean mechanics of turn and streamline!

    6 x 25 Breaststroke Sprint 20 sec rest Focus on long reach, head position

    Long warm down.

    Butterfly is Not a Crime Postal Swim (nor is Breaststroke) is now Sanctioned by USMS!

    Swim 500yd, 400m, 1000yd, 800m, 1650yd, 1500m and open water 1mile 2 mile Breaststroke.
    www.swimflyfast.com

    Now mailing first mayoral proclamations to current record holders (unofficial, unrecognized, nonconforming world records)
    I saw your post in The Butterfly Lane and thought it was crazy there; now I think it really IS crazy! Of course, I speak from the perspective of a 51 year old with a boat load of previous non-swimming related physical issues that affect my swimming.

    BUT, that much of any one stroke at one time is crazy for those of us- ahem- AARP'rs who hope to get through the rest of this life swimming for life, preferably without further injury.

    Mind you, I was that crazy once (or three times) in the not too distant past when I swam a 900 yard continuous fly followed by a 2,000 yard continuous fly two weeks later. Six months later (this past December), I added a 1,000 yard continuous fly to the mix. As much as I would like to break my 2,000 yard personal record of continuous fly, though, my surgeon gave me a stern .

    A warning to those of you out there who would like to attempt swimflyfast's breaststroke or fly workout: That is, don't even think about it if you are of, uhhh, age and hope to preserve the health of your knees and shoulders for future swimming fun. Unless you are a freak of nature with bionic joints or a young whipper snapper, I'd give it a miss.


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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post
    Mind you, I was that crazy once (or three times) in the not too distant past when I swam a 900 yard continuous fly followed by a 2,000 yard continuous fly two weeks later. Six months later (this past December), I added a 1,000 yard continuous fly to the mix. As much as I would like to break my 2,000 yard personal record of continuous fly, though, my surgeon gave me a stern .

    No more crazyness, unless your like That Guy we know of

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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    It is not something that you just jump in to. It has taken me a while to get to the point where I can a mile fly and did the above work out last night. (we average 1600 yards non free in our workouts.) We had someone swim it breaststroke too. The purpose of the work out is to prepare for a 500 fly, Breast, or Back. My goal short term is 1:30 pace for the 500. Everyone can change the intervals to suite.
    I swim 100 fly around 1:05 Not fast for a 58 year old but not slow. 2:25 for 200 so 1:30 pace is reasonable goal for a 500?

    What I have found since starting to swim distance fly is that my shoulders and back pain have actually declined over sprinting fly at 100 or 200 yards. The pressure to go fast is off and the focus is on form and relaxing. So for someone that is swimming for life vs swimming to win the next meet it seems much more healthy. The most important thing that I have discovered while swimming distance fly is to change the entry of the stroke around while swimming. This might be something worth considering when you are swimming breaststroke. Maybe change the front end of the stroke and the length of kick and see if that helps. I also focus on getting off the wall as far as I can on turns. When you do that you actually swim less. 6-7 strokes per length vs 10-12 swimming short distances. My 1650 swim time in the pool is 6 min faster then 1 mile in open water because of this. Breast stroke with a double dolphin kick off the wall should help. The time under water at practices helps build lung power. Anyone that wants to swim distance in any stroke should work on fundamentals of stroke, kick, breathing, and turns with a healthy dose of monitoring pace constantly. I highly recommend having your coach video you. This is why the workout has an interval and suggests to hold back and watch the clock. For those of us that have been swimming crawl for over 50 years distance non-crawl is a much welcomed change. In open water butterfly and breaststroke you get to see the race unfold in front of you and enjoy the scenery.

    www.BreaststrokeIsNotACrime.com

  14. #1114
    Very Active Member ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    No more crazyness, unless your like That Guy we know of
    Yeah, I was the one who put That Guy up to that 1,000 yard fly challenge in December. I have a few (11 ) years on him, though, so I'm trying to learn to be nicer to my shoulders.
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  15. #1115
    Very Active Member ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by swimflyfast View Post
    What I have found since starting to swim distance fly is that my shoulders and back pain have actually declined over sprinting fly at 100 or 200 yards. The pressure to go fast is off and the focus is on form and relaxing. So for someone that is swimming for life vs swimming to win the next meet it seems much more healthy. The most important thing that I have discovered while swimming distance fly is to change the entry of the stroke around while swimming.
    Good point! My distance fly stroke is definitely more relaxing with a longer glide. I also find I am able to keep my arms lower to the water on recovery on distance fly than sprint fly.

    When it comes to racing, I have decided to train and race sprint fly as little as possible, because of the stress I feel in my shoulders. I have a sprint pentathlon coming up on Saturday; however, I may not race 50 yard fly again until the next pentathlon in September 2014. After Saturday, it's back to a more relaxed dps fly stroke during training.

    As for my 200 fly, I "race" it at the speed of my distance fly- slowwwww.

    How would your knees hold up swimming that much breaststroke (the workout you posted)? I'll bet King Frog is looking at that workout and thinking "
    ." I don't know of any breaststrokers who would make a habit of swimming a workout like that with full breaststroke kick. Substituting dolphin kick with a breaststroke pull would make it feasible, but that much kicking would have many of us .
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  16. #1116

    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Well, quite a good workout, I don't see anything CRAZY but you cannot swim stuff like that all year round. Actually when I prepare to a main meet of the season I do lots of similar stuff though very few of my workouts mostly consist of breaststroke - generally breaststroke sets are mixed with some freestyle or IM. Also I would need to do about 1000 yards warm up before the main set proposed by swimflyfast to avoid injuries.

  17. #1117
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post

    How would your knees hold up swimming that much breaststroke (the workout you posted)? I'll bet King Frog is looking at that workout and thinking "
    ." I don't know of any breaststrokers who would make a habit of swimming a workout like that with full breaststroke kick. Substituting dolphin kick with a breaststroke pull would make it feasible, but that much kicking would have many of us .
    Good Question: Remember this is a 'Main Set" is preparing for distance non-cawl. So warm up and warm down are not listed. Approaching it the same way you would for a 100 or 50 would be problematic. I mentioned the double dolphin and getting the most out of the turn. The focus on streamlining is also important. While swimming a 500 one might take 120-140 strokes (6 strokes per length, 6x20=120). While swimming a 100 the stroke count is much higher per length like 12. Extending that stroke count to a 500 would be 12x20=240. As you can see it is a big difference. Of course someone might swim like Janet Evans and use a much higher stroke count but I would not suggest that.
    We are not suggesting that distance 'anything' is right for everyone. I would say that these events are on the extreme side of things. Then again so is a 200yd breaststroke to the majority of the population. My wife rides 100 mile events on her bike regularly at 59. She does well because she trains for it and is very careful with the mechanics, diet, and pace.

    Yes Debugger: We normally mix up the main set with some crawl. This is just one example because our team is preparing for a meet coming up soon so we are focusing on feeling the pace.. Knowing the right stroke count and feeling the pace is important to distance non-crawl.

    www.breaststrokeisnotacrime.com

  18. #1118
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by swimflyfast View Post
    Breast stroke with a double dolphin kick off the wall should help.

    www.BreaststrokeIsNotACrime.com
    Are you recommending that as a drill because,um,it's illegal.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    Are you recommending that as a drill because,um,it's illegal.
    Apparently, only if you get caught!

  20. #1120
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy View Post
    Apparently, only if you get caught!
    Unfortunately true.FINA please mandate underwater cameras for big competitions.

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