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Thread: Breastroke Pull

  1. #1

    Breastroke Pull

    Hey, im very confused right now about the breastroke and how to do it properly. The one that my coach taught me was very different from the one that i was in the Olympics or youtube. There is the one where when your hand comes out the water its a bit open and the other one thats closed. Should the pull be wide or small? Should it comes out of the water?? Should the arms be beside your beside your chest or in front of it?? Please someone help getting confused and dont want to waste more time learning the wrong stroke, thx

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Mark Usher's Avatar
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    Sep 2014
    Sarasota, FL

    Re: Breastroke Pull

    There is probably more variation in breaststroke technique than any other stroke. I'm currently struggling to "re-learn" breaststroke now from when I first learned it back in the late '60's when the rules were very different.
    Differences in physique, flexibility, etc. can determine how you approach the stroke.
    All that being said, there's nothing like getting on-deck coaching from the standpoint of getting immediate feedback on your technique. If not a coach, then seek advice from someone you know is an accomplished swimmer. Most folks are helpful and flattered to be asked.
    I tend to be a visual learner and also spend a lot of time watching online videos on YouTube,then try to emulate what I watched when I get back to the pool.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Little Rock, AR
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    Re: Breastroke Pull

    Agree. I think breaststroke has the most "trendiness" of any of the strokes. The latest style in fashion is always changing. Right now, I think the big thing is a narrow FAST kick (watch Ian Finnerty or Lily King for examples). The object being to get through the "max resistance" part of the stroke (where the legs are turned out at the knee and the arms have sculled out) and into the glide (least resistance) as quickly as possible.

    My caveat here is that I am a former breaststroker (recurring groin issues keep me from training it and racing it like I used to), and even though I am only in my mid-30s, I somehow learned the old 1970s style "flat" breaststroke which went out of style before I was even born!

    I will say that it worked for me, especially in LCM, but maybe that is the key, find a way to swim it that is comfortable for you!

  4. #4
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002

    Re: Breastroke Pull

    As said, there is a lot of variation, depending on your physiology. Having a video to watch would help. As to the particular questions: recover your arms shooting straight forward, not up or down. If you are riding high in the water due to speed or undulation your hands will come out of the water. If you are riding lower in the water they won't. In my 50 BR they come out of the water, in my 100 sometimes out of the water, in my 200 at the surface of the water, not out of it. As to how wide a pull, that depends on strength, flexibility and hand speed. A wider pull can be stronger, but the most important thing is getting back to streamline for the power part of the kick. if you can't pull wide and have fast hands, don't pull wide. I find as I get older my pull is a little narrower. Hands should always be in front of the shoulders. Some elites bring their elbows back past the shoulders, but you must have quick hands to do that.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson

  5. #5
    Active Member
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    Aug 2018
    Charleston, SC

    Re: Breastroke Pull

    Breastroke was my favorite thing in HS and college and is rapidly becoming it again as I re-learn how to swim it under the new rules. I completely agree that lately there is tremendous variation between swimmers in this stroke. There is the rapid turnover folks like Adam Peaty and Lilly King and there is the longer glide folks like Kevin Cordes and the amazing young Russian world SCM record holder Kiril Prigoda. (Youtube Mr. Pragoda and note his stroke is identical between his 50 and 200 and he only varies the tempo.)

    What I'm finding fascinating is that this variation is leading me to find out what works for me as a 50+ Master's swimmer. In my case and as compared to how I swam it years ago, I am leaning towards the Cordes side of things. My body type and inclination seems to favor a bit of a glide instead of the purely rapid turnover.

    Side note: there has been much fuss made over a college swimmer who does no underwater pull outs after each turn. Preferring one swift dolphin kick then right into rapid turnover stroke. From what I understand this mainly benefits the swimmer of shorter stature while taller folks still benefit from the pull outs. YMMV.

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