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?
Centreville, ***ia USA
> 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?
I seem to remember Pankratov doing it when he broke the world record
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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
>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?
>Centreville, ***ia USA
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
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
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.
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
Why doesn't NBC get coaches to do the expert commentary instead of swimmers?
(Never mind - I already know the answer.)
10. Butterfly timing
13. Butterfly query