The Short Breaststroke Pullout

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.


2 Responses to “The Short Breaststroke Pullout”

  1. I think some of us older guys end up doing a shorter pull-out out of necessity in the 200m events. Getting to the surface quicker may be an advantage. In any event I think the key is streamlining like a bullet as far as you can without exhausting yourself or breaking the surface gasping for air like a breeching whale!

    Posted by Jay Smith | 11/29/2011, 11:25 am
  2. It is faster for everyone to do a shorter modified pullout by taking a full armstroke and dolphin kick immediatly after start quickly followed by a fast breaststroke kick with (More whip than big and wide) while quietly and quickly recovering arms to initiate the swim. Do trial starts with a watch for 15 yards and over time, with observation you will see improvement. Elites are probably so finely tuned in the traditional pullout that it is too late to change their habits. Weber State is currently conducting a study to look at this, but there is already a good paper prepared by Bud Termin and David Pendergrast at the University of buffalo that is thorough and instructional on the advantages of getting out the watch and making some changes.

    Posted by Sean McCully | 11/11/2012, 11:08 pm

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