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Old 07-13-2009
ayesr ayesr is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 92
Default Gravity Assisted Issues/Questions

Shu/Jam. I first read this topic on gravity-assisted head landing in CEO TL's "sneaky breath" in butterfly/mini-fly strokes. This sneaky breath mode requires the mouth to be prepared to inhale (chin near the water surface, nose pointing to water surface), immediately upon clearing the water and to smoothly lower head - as though hiding sneakily the act of inhaling - ready for the glide. The reason behind the gravity assistance is the focus to be able to make a gentle, soft landing.

The face down position of the face presents a wider surface for gravity to act on, thus, facilitating the landing (and of course for streamline).

This same sneaky breathing concept applies to the breaststroke, too.

Competitive breastroke does this act - that is facing and landing the face in the water - as a determined effort with the end object of streamlining. And not necessarily with the objective of making a tension-free, soft, gentle landing with the assist provided by gravity.

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Old 07-14-2010
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
TI Coach
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 384

I am not sure if this will directly answer your question or not, but in my opinion, the golden rule for breast stroke is "roll over the top". By that I mean make sure that you never lose momentum from the moment you begin to feel your head lift until it is back in streamline. I believe this can even be seen in world class breast strokers. When one has an off day (which, for some reason breast stroke is most notorious for), what I see most is a hitch in the top of their stroke compared to their good swims.

As for gravity vs. force I think it is more gravity than force. The issue comes in timing. Some people kick the arms forward (an earlier kick). Some people wait until they are in streamline to kick (a late kick). Kicking the arms forward allows a faster tempo (in my opinion), but makes it harder to flow over the top of the stroke because the legs are recovering and your body is lifting (both drag inducers) at the same time. Late kicks make the flow easier, but I can't get a fast tempo from them. I think this is partly why there is more variation in world class breast stroke technique than any other stroke.
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