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Old 08-03-2011
daveblt daveblt is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 820
Default breaststroke technique

I have noticed that some TI coaches and Terry swim breaststroke by extending the arms forward under water and then during the glide the arms remain stretched out next to each other before they go into the catch . When I swim breaststroke I do the same , I shoot my arms forward in the glide but then I immediately but slowly scull outward with the palms facing out so that at the point that I am ready for the pull my arms are already wide and at the catch position with my palms then facing back.I have tried both ways and doing it this way just feels better. Any opinions or thoughts on this are welcome .

Thanks ,

Last edited by daveblt : 08-03-2011 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 09-04-2011
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 647

It's normal to let your arms scull outward, as you described, before beginning your catch, and virtually all of us do it. From your description, it sounds like you don't really have a glide phase. Is that correct?

You should think of the anchor point for both your armstroke and your kick in breaststroke as being a streamlined position (though not a tight streamline, as when you're coming out of a start or turn, since your hands won't be together). The rule of thumb is that the faster you're swimming, the less time you will spend in this streamlined position before starting your next stroke or kick. Be aware, too, that you may not be in this streamlined position at the same moment for both your stroke and your kick.

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Old 09-05-2011
daveblt daveblt is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 820

I definitely have a glide ,perhaps a bit too much, but from the exact moment I start gliding my hands are sculling out to the corners ready to be in position for the pull


Last edited by daveblt : 09-05-2011 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 09-05-2011
terry terry is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation

The timing issue is not a binary question -- glide or not-glide. Rather I feel you should strive to become adept at (i.e. attune your nervous system to) swimming with a range of different timing choices. I advocate this in part because it has helped me enormously with pacing in 200 Breasttroke races in Masters meets. However I advocate it just as much because
1) Achieving timing mastery is a great source of satisfaction,
2) The practice that produces timing mastery produces Flow States (because it requires intense focus and involves exactly measurable feedback) and
3) Because it 'grows new brain cells.'

I work on timing mastery in two ways. One is illustrated in this set which I repost from the thread Descending Stroke Count Pyramid.

7 x 50 Breaststroke on 1:10
#1 @ 12 strokes (6+6) 52 sec
#2 @ 14 strokes (7+7) 51 sec
#3 @ 16 strokes (8+8) 50 sec
#4 @ 18 strokes (9+9) 49 sec
#5 @ 16 strokes 48 sec
#6 @ 14 strokes 47 sec
#7 @ 12 strokes 46 sec.

The second is by swimming with timing that varies this way
- Keep hands extended for two beats after finishing kick
- Keep hands extended for one beat after finishing kick
- Begin stroke precisely as I finish kick.
- Hands reach the 'corners" as I finish kick -- though I try to make the outward scull unhurried.

The first equates to my 12-stroke 50. The last equates to my 18-stroke 50. And each of those timing choices is pretty close to how I aim to swim the four 50s in a 200 Breast.
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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Old 05-02-2012
Jeffery Jeffery is offline
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