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Old 07-19-2017
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Originally Posted by liolio View Post
Indeed but clearly some people does not like water as much as some others, some have strong apprehension and take few pleasure in the contact with water (nb not me).

Well I'm not sure it is cut that straight. Dolphin kick works great under water and like flutter kick it has no recovery. Yet in surface swimming (on the back or the breast) its efficiency is diminish due to the lack of water, either way one has to swim on its side (which is not that natural, might hurt the spine pretty fast, etc.).
Then there is the strain compared to the result, having a propulsive dolphin kick (or whole body ondulation) is significantly more strenous than whip/frog kick.

I think that ultimately a superior movement (the dolphin kick/whole body dolphin) has to be pondered by human body confortable range of movements. Frog kick is comfortable and rely on big efficient muscles. Not that hydrodynamic thought.

Freestyle aside all the stroke are evaluated on short distances. Even on such distance all the strokes are slower than freestyle but the swimmers lose speed faster than in freestyle, even backstroke iirc. My belief is that on relatively short distances the athlete incredible level of fitness (partly) hide the differences in strokes efficiency.

I do swim breastfly sometime but it significantly slower for me than competitive breaststroke or whatever hybridation I come with. For me the dolphin kick does not provide the necessary torque to power a proper breaststroke arm movement. Few elevation is created for breathing: side breathing come handy. Arms contribution to the stroke is even lesser than in breaststroke.
No matter my effort (and imagination) all the effort to have a wavy, symmetrical, swum on the breast, type of stroke (that is obviously is neither butterfly or breaststroke) left me unhappy. My pov is that breathing "breaks" the spirit of those strokes (then under water recoveries in breaststroke further the issue). Side breathing is more a hack than a solution to me as it blends poorly into the symmetrical arms/shoulders movements.

All those issues are none or lessen on the back as your respiratory intakes looks up. whether or not you use whip kick while on you back you can use the full range of motion of your arms, the air born recovery is trivial matter. It is no mystery why the cetaceans evolved to breath from their head.
I swam yesterday in a lake with a small swell and that back stroke was the least affected by those condition (wrt to breathing).

My bet is that such stroke on a long enough distance would top all the others strokes (but freestyle). It uses the body "fully", complete arm movement, whip kick, and whole body undulation (as the arms pass along the body). It is not as smooth as freestyle (cinetic energy due to forward motion remains ~constant) but the movement used naturally provide the torque to offset the loss of inertia, it is easy to introduce glide. A stroke that provides lot of torque might come handy in non optimal conditions.
(NB don't read this as it will compete with freestyle.)

That vid showcase a stroke swam on the back as close as possible to "canon" butterfly, in my opinion a mistake (*). It is not that interesting by self but the comment Odiling made wrt "Schwimmen mit Wellenbewegungen" is. I wish I could learn more about that book and its autors findings.

*I see no reason to stick to canon butterfly while on your back, the airborne recovery happens under a completely different set of circumstances than in butterfly for example. Other than I'm not so fond of passing judgment or feel legit doing so but the execution of the swimmer in the vid seems quite bad to me: too much knee bend and overall body undulation while on his back looks weak, his speed drops to ~zero on a big portion of his stroke (from the recovery to pretty much the arm push he looks like he is sinking more than going forward).
Yes this right
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