Butterfly Breathing

Butterfly Breathing

Post by Jack Nei » Sat, 10 Aug 1996 04:00:00

Talk to me about breathing to the side during the butterfly.
Advantages?  Disadvantages?  It looks to me like an awful lot
of extraneous movement.  Why is it becoming so popular?

Jack Neill
Centreville, ***ia  USA


Butterfly Breathing

Post by Frazer Middleto » Sat, 10 Aug 1996 04:00:00


> Talk to me about breathing to the side during the butterfly.
> Advantages?  Disadvantages?  It looks to me like an awful lot
> of extraneous movement.  Why is it becoming so popular?

Advantage: You don't lift your head so high out of the water, so you
           keep your body more level => you go faster.
Advantage: Its easier to keep an eye on your competition, especially
           if you breathe bilaterally
Disadvantage: Its difficult to keep your arms level when you breathe
              to the side (its harder to lift the arm at the 'back'
              of your head I find)

I seem to remember Pankratov doing it when he broke the world record
didn't he?


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Butterfly Breathing

Post by Seiji Yamamot » Sat, 10 Aug 1996 04:00:00

Side breathing was done first by some guy in the 50s or 60s, I think.
It is enjoying revitalization partially because of Melvin Stewart who beat
Michael Gross' world record in 1991 using this method. I know of at least
3 other world class swimmers using this technique. Denis Pankratov, the
world record holder in both flys, Frank Esposito and Angel Martino. The
benefits of breathing to the side is that it keeps your stroke flatter,
reducing the drag and extra energy needed to lift your face up.  I saw
Pankratov's swims for the first time this Olympics and he seems to have
gotten the technique right, more so than Stewart did. He has unbelievably
good technique, and he is so flat on the stroke I don't think it would
make any difference if he breathed every stroke!
I think side breathers are becoming pretty popular because it looks
"cool". I used to swim that way in H.S. simply because it felt natural.
I've lost that feel so I have switched to traditional face forward
breathing in college. Do what's comfortable, but don't force it. (Like how
many young ***rokers are forcing their hands out of the water like
Barrowman did.)

Jin Yamamoto


Butterfly Breathing

Post by BAYCITVIDG » Sun, 11 Aug 1996 04:00:00

Neill) writes:

>Talk to me about breathing to the side during the butterfly.
>Advantages?  Disadvantages?  It looks to me like an awful lot
>of extraneous movement.  Why is it becoming so popular?

>Jack Neill
>Centreville, ***ia  USA

    Do you butterfly?  

    If so, how high does your head come up when you
    do the power dolphin kick to get your arms coming

    when i did butterfly I used to look ahead and breathe.
    it worked.  Kept me on course and away from the ropes.

    great for taking a mid-day "impress the babe" stroking
    in the Hotel pool as the babes watch your "power" stroking
    take you effortlessly down the lane you decide to make
    ....some gals even get into the pool and watch you from
    underwater view.  

    Now, say you are competing.  Who is to your right and who
    is to your left and who is underneath now has no value in
    your goal.  You want to know who is about to pass you.

    By breathing on the left and on the right....guess what?

    You get a cherry-pop...right answer.

     If you are doing the stroke correctly and are getting max
     height from the power dolphin kick that helps you get those
     arms out of water, you should have plenty of room to see
     on right or left.  

     It's what is done in crawl...all 100 and over do it.  Look
     and find.  so why not butterfly?

     As the arms come out of the water...you sneak a peak as you
     breathe and then the arms go "ka-chunk" and back into the
     water you go and ad infinitum over and over until you hit
    the goal.  

     It's part of the Power Kick....the doing the dolphin with
      the power to get your arms and chest high enough to take
      breaths off of each side....those who cannot get their
      bodies up and out on the arm stroke...well, they are too
      low in the water to be able to breathe....their kick
      is not helping them create the necessary power to get the
       arms out of water high enough to take those  SNEAKY PEEKS
      to know where the ENEMY is coming up from.....or wathing
      them pass you by ... then you go back to putting your head
       out of water directly in front...becaue you cannot catch
       em and it don't matter anymore to look to the sides...no
       one there to check out ... they all are ahead of you....

      You have to develop your kick to power your body out of th e
      water for those arms to be high enough for you to see prior
      to them making their revolving complete....as you stroke out
      is when you look to either side...breathe and complete the

        Develop the KICK....it's the key to butterfly breathing

       Use those fins and do dolphin kick with them....they work.

       bill conduit


Butterfly Breathing

Post by Chip Zemp » Sun, 11 Aug 1996 04:00:00

Kids will try side-breathing in fly because it looks cool. They see
somebody fast doing it, and they think it is some sort of magical potion
that will instantly make them fast too.

It takes a great deal of flexibility to pull it off without making your
shoulders uneven. I suspect that it also tends to make one arm do more
work than the other.

The jury's still out on this one. There are a few great swimmers who have
had spectacular success with it. Would they have swum as fast breathing to
the front? Maybe they would have swim faster? Who knows?

There's another generation coming up with a lot of swimmers trying it.
When they get a few years of side-breathing under their belt, then we'll

It reminds me a little of the late sixties when David Wilkie and Tracy
Caulkins were making everyone scratch their heads with their new

I did see an underwater shot of Pankratov snatching a breath that really
impressed me, though. It looked like a freestyle breath - with most of his
head still in the water. Stewart lifts out of the water and breathes in
his armpit by comparison.

But I really haven't seen much tape of either of them. Wish I could have
seen more.

Why doesn't NBC get coaches to do the expert commentary instead of swimmers?

(Never mind - I already know the answer.)

Chip Zempel