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Thread: Workouts to improve breaststroke sprints

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    Active Member Matthias's Avatar
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    Question Workouts to improve breaststroke sprints

    Hey outthere,

    I'm a 16yrs old youth and I'm currently working on some workouts to help me improving my time on 50m breast.
    Regardless of some people warning me about it, I am selfcoaching and it seems to work as I cut off my 50 breast time by at least 15 secs. (I started with 1:08s in early Dec and just reached the 52,5secs yesterday)
    As I usually go to the pool twice a week I would like to create a set of 4 different workouts with different focuses (endurance, sprint, technique e.g.) to avoid a routine and continue on going down the time ladder.
    I already made up two workouts but also they seem to work as I can complete them fairly well if some on really knows some thing about the subject could have a look over them for me and correct them as nessacary and also help me with the rest of the workouts.
    Btw I recently read that doing a lot of breaststroke isn't that good for the knees. Is that right? Does it mean that I should do less breaststroke in my workouts?

    Thanks for ya help

    Matthias
    Last edited by Matthias; December 24th, 2004 at 03:57 AM.

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    Very Active Member jean sterling's Avatar
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    Re: Workouts to improve breaststroke sprints

    Originally posted by Matthias
    Btw I recently read that doing a lot of breaststroke isn't that good for the knees. Is that right? Does it mean that I should do least breaststroke in my workouts?
    Matthias
    Too much breaststroke can be hard on the knees. Even breast specialists will do other strokes in their workouts.
    Jean S.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member breastroker's Avatar
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    Matthias,
    As a sprint breaststroker, you really need a coach. Search the web for Wayne McCauley, many of my breaststroke articles have been translated into German. Or see them at www.breaststroke.info.

    I am assuming your times are meters? Twice a week is not enough to swim a complete 50 meters all out. And you have to be REAL strong to sprint a good 50 meters.

    Also I had a entire technique breaststroke workout in last (November/December 2004 Issue) months issue of Swim magazine. You might check to see if it is posted on http://swiminfo.com/


    Also my "Rethinking Sprint Breaststroke" is online at http://swiminfo.com/articles/swimtec...-01st_art1.asp

  4. #4
    Active Member Matthias's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Workouts to improve breaststroke sprints

    Originally posted by jean sterling
    Too much breaststroke can be hard on the knees. Even breast specialists will do other strokes in their workouts.
    So, what would it mean for the workout, something like 50% breast and 50% different strokes?


    I am assuming your times are meters?
    yes, they are.

    And you have to be REAL strong to sprint a good 50 meters.
    So should I concentrate on strenght training first rather than on swimming? I usually have 3 strenght workouts a week and I think about a bit of cycling when it gets warmer outside to workout my legs.

    thanks for your answers

    matthias

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    Very Active Member jean sterling's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Re: Workouts to improve breaststroke sprints

    Originally posted by Matthias
    So, what would it mean for the workout, something like 50% breast and 50% different strokes?
    Breaststroke is my best stroke, but I do considerably less than 50% of my workout breaststroke. And if I feel any knee twinges whatsoever I will do 0% breaststroke.
    Jean S.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member breastroker's Avatar
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    There is ALWAYS a drill that will make your breaststroke better, that can be done while others are doing freestyle or backstroke.

    I try to keep up with people pulling freestyle by using a dolphin kick and Zoomer fins.

    I do long pulldowns or two pulldowns at least one set per workout. This trains the brain as much as anything. Subtle things like an arch in the back can shorten the pulldown. When I am going good, I can get 15 yards from a pushoff.

    Every turn is a race breaststroke turn.

    I really believe breaststrokers need to do closer to 75 % breaststroke drills to become better. 50% is way to little.

    Knee twinges are part of being a breaststroker. That is really the time to get out of the water and stretch. The hamstring stretch really helps. Also lots of toe lifts will strengthen the smaller muscles arround the knee joint.
    It's not how fast you swim, it's how fast you slow down.

    For competition breaststroke information visit: http://www.breaststroke.info/

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    Active Member Matthias's Avatar
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    allright, so I will try to adjust my workouts to have more drills in it .
    I also feel like working on my pull down could really help as I feel that the transition from pulldown to the first stroke which breaks the surface somehow slows me down.

    thanks a lot for your tips

    Matthias

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    Very Active Member breastroker's Avatar
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    The transition from pulldown to the first stroke which breaks the surface is the single most important stroke of the 50 race.

    I have learned not to breathe on that stroke, instead concentrating on this transition and moving forwards.

    I have seen too many swimmers breathe wrong and loose a full second on this stroke alone.

    You are only about 7 or 8 seconds into the race, you DO NOT NEED air at this point. By breathing on the second stroke up, you gain at least half a second during the first stroke and at least a quarter second during the seocond stroke up. Try it!

    Just make sure some part of your head comes above the waters surface during the stroke. It only needs to be a tuft of hair!
    It's not how fast you swim, it's how fast you slow down.

    For competition breaststroke information visit: http://www.breaststroke.info/

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    Active Member ljodpundari's Avatar
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    Question

    I took a look at Wayne's article "Rethinking Sprint Breast Stroke", and I have a question.
    You mention swimming 25m under water as one of the drills. I can do this, but only if I keep pushing myself down with the pulls. (I can also stay down if exhale as much as I can before starting, but then of course I can't get to the other end.) And I have seen other references to swimming underwater just using breaststroke kick, but I float to the surface within 10 meters or so.
    How do you all manage this?

  10. #10
    Very Active Member breastroker's Avatar
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    When I mention swimming 25 meters underwater, I mean full wavestyle breaststroke with the exact same timing as on the surface. I always start deep, at least 4-5 feet down near the bottom of the pool.

    It is fast pull, kick and glide one second. I put a regular breast pulldown in first. Most good breaststrokers can swim a more perfect stroke underwater than on the surface

    That is why it is such a good drill. I recommend having someone whatch you so you don't pass out etc.
    It's not how fast you swim, it's how fast you slow down.

    For competition breaststroke information visit: http://www.breaststroke.info/

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    Active Member ljodpundari's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Duh! I've been trying it starting at the shallow end.

  12. #12
    Active Member Matthias's Avatar
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    I don't have this problem. I guess it's because my hips don't move that much when I swim underwater. Should work on that
    "Breaststroke, you see, is in harmony with the universe; its pull and kick chase one another in playfull symmetry."
    "Real swimmers never give up when they feel the pain, they just push harder."
    My PBs

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    Originally posted by ljodpundari
    I took a look at Wayne's article "Rethinking Sprint Breast Stroke", and I have a question.
    You mention swimming 25m under water as one of the drills. I can do this, but only if I keep pushing myself down with the pulls. (I can also stay down if exhale as much as I can before starting, but then of course I can't get to the other end.) And I have seen other references to swimming underwater just using breaststroke kick, but I float to the surface within 10 meters or so.
    How do you all manage this?
    I also can't swim underwater. It takes so much energy for me tostay under that I don't do this type of drill. Are you very tall. Most men can't float except those of us who are very tall & lean.

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    suggestions

    congratulations on dropping 15 seconds
    at 52.5 you still have a lot of room to improve


    Your biggest improvements are going to come from improving your breastroke technique and timing.

    Learning how and when to move your head, arms, torso and legs makes all the difference. I believe one the most important part of BR Str is the kick followed by a glide. The key to the kick is you want your arms to be out front and streamlined and your body to be level like when you push off the wall.

    RIDE THE GLIDE

    concentrate on learning perfect technique,
    do some speed work, and
    some strength work

    keep us posted on your improvements,

    Ande Rasmussen
    Austin, TX
    http://www.usms.org/comp/tt/toptenin...wimmerID=02P06


    Good luck

  15. #15
    Active Member Matthias's Avatar
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    Re: suggestions

    Originally posted by ande
    Your biggest improvements are going to come from improving your breastroke technique and timing.
    Yeah I know. But even after working hard on a certain focus point in training I find it quite difficult to implement it to my race pace breaststroke instead of falling back to the old ugly stroke after a few meters.

    Nevertheless I set my PB down to 48secs in first week of january. What a good start into the new year

    brgds

    Matthias
    "Breaststroke, you see, is in harmony with the universe; its pull and kick chase one another in playfull symmetry."
    "Real swimmers never give up when they feel the pain, they just push harder."
    My PBs

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    Re: Re: suggestions

    Congratulations on lowering your time,
    you still have a lot of room for improvement.

    You've got make excellent form a habit so you can do it without thinking. Meanwhile do some fast swims with great form.
    Don't give up form to try to go faster.

    You might want to video tape yourself.
    Is that 50 Long course meters or short course meters?

    Ande

    Originally posted by Matthias
    Yeah I know. But even after working hard on a certain focus point in training I find it quite difficult to implement it to my race pace breaststroke instead of falling back to the old ugly stroke after a few meters.

    Nevertheless I set my PB down to 48secs in first week of january. What a good start into the new year

    brgds
    Matthias

  17. #17
    Active Member Matthias's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Re: suggestions

    Originally posted by ande
    Congratulations on lowering your time,
    you still have a lot of room for improvement.
    I hope so. My goal is to get my time down the lower 40s, even a high 30 if possible.

    Originally posted by ande

    Is that 50 Long course meters or short course meters?
    It's a short course meters. I guess I could also gain some time by working on my turns. But actually I could focus on everything in my swimming as my strokes aren't that good.

    Brgds

    Matthias
    "Breaststroke, you see, is in harmony with the universe; its pull and kick chase one another in playfull symmetry."
    "Real swimmers never give up when they feel the pain, they just push harder."
    My PBs

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    Technique

    As a breasstroke sprint, there are a few keys to quick sprinting that I think are important. The first is to stay loose. Especially in the groin! I have pulled my groin twice and its always a long road back. But I think it's very important to be loose because you want to have a quick but powerful turn over. You want every kick to be powerful and furious, but you want to recoil your legs back just as quickly.

    Secondly, it is extremely important in breast that no matter how quick your turnover and kick rates are, you make sure you are completing the stroke. with every kick work on making sure you are lunging forward with your upper body, shooting your hands forward near or through the surface of the water, and allowing you neck and head to completely reach a position where you are naturally looking at the bottom of the pool. Only once you are in a complete stretched out glide position should you begin your pull and recoil. However, this should be done at a fast rate none the less. With practice and lactic acid tolerance, you will speed up.

  19. #19
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    I have a terrible tiem with breast stroke. I've tried allof theses drills & nothing improves. It takes so much engery to get my body moving for breast that I get so tired by 50 yds I can barely move. Oddly, I don't have this problem with fly.

    I can't swim breast underwater. Has anyone ever overcoem an inablility to swim under water? I can float in about a half foot of water but can't swim to the bottom of a pool withjout nearly killing myself.

  20. #20
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    today Lainey my masters coach told me that
    Brendan Hanson does some kicking sets on a kick board with a pull buoy between his thighs to remind himself to keep his thighs together while he's kicking breastroke

    ande

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