Originally Posted by ScoopUK
His kick isn't all that narrow either. Often breaststrokers talk about keeping their knees close together and using more the lower leg and turned out feet but whatever he is doing is working for him very well. He gets back to streamline very quickly compared to the high-out-the-water guys.
i did not notice but that is a wide and powerful kick, like all his others movements, it generates few splashes and visible surfaces turbulences. He is as smooth as he gets.
As for getting back into streamline, I suspect it is a technical trait he share with Peaty. I wonder in the pool no long ago if Peaty gets elevation foremost for the combined action of inertia and back muscles. Arms are supporting the motion, providing grip or plateau for the motion. Peaty gets its elbow close to its body but I suspect it is more combined effort of arms catching the water and the body inertia, I could say he sort of climb onto the plateau formed by his hand (which in turn support a back and inertia driven movement, think doing "the bridge").
I think the focus of that part of the stroke is to create as few turbulences and drag as possible. In video that part of the stroke last till Peaty has its hand facing down.
Then there is a quick catch of water with peaty rotating hands and forearms inward. I think that generate a tipping point from where the potential energy accumulated through elevation is oriented downward and soon after forward as arm are pushed forward.
I suspect there could be no (arm) "pull" in theirs techniques. I tried for myself, once the movement is back and inertia driven, the arms movement and recovery generates next to no turbulences and drags (or so it feels like it). The (arched) back also act as a spring.
Try for yourself, I'm not sure that "this is it" but there is an interesting feel
It explains Peaty high stroke rate, (he may have been under gliding actually as some of his race showcased). The guy is muscular, big shoulders and arms but I would bet the trick is more in his core body (back).
Koch and Peaty techniques could be closer than it looks, Peaty sprints with narrower leg movement, and more stamina put into elevating his upper body, whereas Koch do a relaxed version of the same take on breaststroke on longer distances:
less upper body elevation but strong focus on generating no turbulence with arms in front of him, wider kick, which result in slower stroke rate and more gliding.
I particularly like breaststroke for the variety in stroke that you see.
Indeed not the fastest stroke around but technically it is interesting and it feels good, the perceived acceleration when entering water (from breathing) feels really good, so does the glide.
I agree about relaxation, in swimming overall, I toyed with my kick the other day and I found out that pass a given speed I can retain water anyway so pushing to hard has no benefit, actually it creates fatigues, turbulences, etc.
Swimming is interesting I'm happy I discovered it. I'm more interesting in its mechanic and feel and there is a lot to dig :)