Breaststroke Pullouts: A Faster Starting Speed will result in a GREATER Average Speed

In Technique by Abbie Fish2 Comments

Welcome back to Part II of our series on Breaststroke pullouts. This week, we plan to dive in on where you should put your dolphin kick during your Breaststroke pullouts and why the dolphin kick placement is important.

In case you missed Part I of this series, [CLICK HERE] to catch up.

Let’s get started!

As we discussed in our latest blog post, there’s really TWO places swimmers can put their dolphin kick in during a Breaststroke Pullout:

  1. At the end of your glide phase

  2. At the end of your arm pulldown phase

Once again, here’s the velocity chart for a swimmer’s average speed during a pullout without a dolphin kick:

Entry

Glide

Arm Pulldown:

Kick:

Velocity (m/s)

~4.5

3m/s to1 m/s

1m/s to 2.5m/s to1.5 m/s

0.8 m/s to 0 to 2.5 m/s

In reality, a swimmer’s speed is at its’ highest point at entry, BUT their speed at its’ second highest point during the glide phase (3 m/s). While the peak velocity of the arm pulldown phase gets close (at 2.5 m/s), it still doesn’t quite get as high as it does during the glide phase.

What this means is essentially placing the dolphin kick at the end of the arm pull down phase will cause an INCREASE in velocity, but not as significant as if we initiated the kick during the glide phase (where the starting speed is already higher). Let me chart this for you:

Velocity Chart with Kick at the end of Arm Pulldown Phase:

Entry

Glide

Arm Pulldown:

Kick:

Velocity (m/s)

~4.5

3m/s to1 m/s

1m/s to 2.5m/s to 2.5 m/s

2.5 m/s to 0 to 2.5 m/s

Velocity Chart with Kick at the end of Glide Phase:

Entry

Glide

Arm Pulldown:

Kick:

Velocity (m/s)

~4.5

3m/s to 2 m/s

2m/s to 2.5m/s to 2.5 m/s

0.8 m/s to 0 to 2.5 m/s

The easiest way to understand why putting the dolphin kick at the end of the glide phase is to look at a swimmer’s average overall speed and average speed during these two phases itself:

Average speed with Dolphin Kick initiated at the end of the Arm Pulldown Phase: 2 m/s

Average speed with Dolphin Kick initiated at the end of the Glide Phase: 2.5 m/s

Average OVERALL speed with Dolphin Kick initiated at end of the Arm Pulldown Phase: 2.16 m/s

Average OVERALL speed with Dolphin Kick initiated at end of Glide Phase: 2.2 m/s

What these four metrics tell you is that is better for swimmers to perform their dolphin kick at the end of the glide phase, where their speed is slowing down from their second highest peak velocity. By performing the dolphin kick at this point, they will not only increase their speed during that portion of the pullout, but their average speed throughout entire pullout increases too!

Want to read on?

[CLICK HERE] for Part III of this series, where we discuss how to minimize your drag components during your Breaststroke pullouts to give you the HIGHEST, average speed possible!

Until Next Time,

Abbie Fish