The breaststroke pullout: for some, a chance to get an advantage over the competition, for others a lung-burning, experience to endure. Recently, some breaststrokers have experimented with a new variation of the classic: the short breaststroke pullout. In this version, one does NOT do a complete pull down to the legs but begins the recovery faster and breaks the surface more quickly.
Although initial studies seem to indicate the longer, conventional pullout seems faster for most elite athletes, that is not always the case. “Results obtained with younger swimmers and with some Masters swimmers were a bit different; most of the trials resulted in times that were a little bit faster than those with the traditional pullout, or just as fast.”
So if you find yourself gasping for air before the end of the pullout, especially on longer events like the 200 breaststroke or 400 IM, you might want to give it a try.