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Old 05-25-2017
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I no longer really bother about the original question for multiple reasons.
*I do breaststroke less and less as it puts a strain on my neck, I (try to) focus on a fast (for me) and more proper form of breaststroke. The slower I get the more I use my neck for head elevation. At slow pace I go either with front crawl or breaststrokish hybrids.
*I get better at front crawl and whereas I like breaststroke the stroke does not cut it for distance. Deregulation would won breaststroke seconds closing part of gap but in the long run... sustaining speed in breaststroke is exhausting.
*I'm doing better at butterfly, I would say that I'm not a proper... beginner :) After a couple swim in the adriatic sea (be the extra buyoancy it provides blessed) I won a greater inderstanding of the stroke. I hope to further my progress when I'm back to the pool. Wrt to the original topic whereas I want to lean the stroke because it is fun on its own, as for breaststroke I realized how wide the gap in efficiency compared to front crawl / backstroke is.

Other than that I completely reverse my views on backstroke, both the canon/competitive version and whatever possible hybrid one can come with. I've come to find out that butterfly or hybrid butterfly/breaststroke swum on the back are mych more successfull approach of swimming than theirs "breast" versions. I'm not sure the same max speed but sure the efficiency seems to be higher to me, significantly. It is also feels extremely "natural", to me at least which is more attrated breast and fly than to proper back/freestyle.

So if I were to bet now on a stroke as an alternative to backstroke and front crawling on distance swimming I would put my bet on those hybrid strokes. Whereas they lose in speed and efficiency it is not by as much as the version swum on the breast and they are relying on a more natural/complete set of mucles than freestyle (extremely depend on arm/torso), it may go well with more body types.
A down side is that one has to have no apprehension of water and the pace of exhaling as to be well controlled, but once that is ok you can look forward under water, etc. you can also (like in backstroke) breath a lot more than in any other strokes.
A I swam in sea I found out that accidentally breathing (some) water through the nose is not that awful (might be close to phisiologic serum) and triggered minor disagreement, that is not true with swimming pool water though.
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