Butterfly - Side Breathing vs. Forward Breathing

Butterfly - Side Breathing vs. Forward Breathing

Post by Mayst » Tue, 27 Jan 1998 04:00:00


I have a couple of girls who are wanting to use the side breathing
method for the 100 fly. Is this a more effective method than the
standard forward breathing method? I told them that this method seems
to work for some, but not for all. Any suggestions?

 
 
 

Butterfly - Side Breathing vs. Forward Breathing

Post by John Warin » Tue, 27 Jan 1998 04:00:00

Coach Mayster,

Although more difficult to master, side breathing is more efficient.  I
used the classic forward breathing technique during my age group and
university career,  However, I have since found a number of reasons to
recommend side breathing:

1.      Side breathing does not require you to lift the centre of mass of your
head as high on each breath.  This has two beneficial effects:

a.      The swimmer does less work on each stroke; and
b.      The swimmer is less likely to lower his behind when taking a breath.  If
your craning your neck to take a breath, that force gets transmitted down
your back tending to push it down.

2.      The swimmer is far less likely to ingest unwanted water when side
breathing.  This is the reason I started using this technique.  Swimming
butterfly in workout can be a really miserable experience in a wavy pool.
Even when racing in the most advanced pools there are always a series of
large following waves to greet you off the turn, the point in the race when
you've just gone five to 10 metres without a breath.  Experienced forward
breathers just don't breath if they see a wave coming at them.  However,
this means you've either got to wait two strokes for your next breath, or
break form and take two breaths in a row.  And, there is still no guarantee
that there will not be another wave on the next breath.  Since your head
breaks the wave and opens up an air pocket beside your mouth; You can
always take a clean breath with your head to the side.

On the cautionary side there are a couple of things to watch for:

1.      You can no longer see forward when your head is above water.  This is
not generally a problem for the majority of swimmers who wear goggles and
can judge the turn under water on a non-breathing stroke.  I, however, am
from the old school: if you don't need goggles, don't wear them; its one
less thing to go wrong in a race.  In my case, I take one forward breath
inside the flags to judge the distance to the wall.

2.      breathing to the side can develop unwanted asymmetries in the stoke such
as dipping the shoulder on the non-breathing side or shortening the entry
of of the hand on the breathing side.

Once the technique is mastered, side breathing will allow the athlete to
swim butterfly faster than the classic forward method.

John Waring,
Ottawa, Canada



Quote:
> I have a couple of girls who are wanting to use the side breathing
> method for the 100 fly. Is this a more effective method than the
> standard forward breathing method? I told them that this method seems
> to work for some, but not for all. Any suggestions?


 
 
 

Butterfly - Side Breathing vs. Forward Breathing

Post by Master of Marble » Tue, 27 Jan 1998 04:00:00

Quote:
> I have a couple of girls who are wanting to use the side breathing
> method for the 100 fly. Is this a more effective method than the
> standard forward breathing method? I told them that this method seems
> to work for some, but not for all. Any suggestions?

Breathing to the side in butterfly has one rather annoying side-effect:
Swimmers tend to develop lop-sided stroke techniques.  I've experimented
with the style a bit myself and can't find any real advantages either in
dynamics or conservation of energy.  The breathing is too far-removed from
freestyle to really gain from the aspect.  If someone does know of a plus
to the style, I'd like to hear it as well.

                                        Marble

 
 
 

Butterfly - Side Breathing vs. Forward Breathing

Post by Bea and Marvin Jone » Tue, 27 Jan 1998 04:00:00

Quote:
> I have a couple of girls who are wanting to use the side breathing
> method for the 100 fly. Is this a more effective method than the
> standard forward breathing method? I told them that this method seems
> to work for some, but not for all. Any suggestions?

Opinions:
 1. If you do breath to the side -- at least develop the ability
    to do bilateral breathing.  This should eliminate the 'lop-sided'
    problems.
    Do lots of 1-arm drills -- down on one arm - back on the other'n.
 2. You'll be able to see the folks in the other lanes a wee bit easier.

Jonesy
jonz<AT>rmi.net

 
 
 

Butterfly - Side Breathing vs. Forward Breathing

Post by Anto » Wed, 28 Jan 1998 04:00:00

It is interesting to note that the current 100m l/c and s/c w.r. holder,
Michael Klim, breathes to the front and on the 2nd 50m breathes almost
every stroke.

And Scott Goodman, who had the fastest 200m fly time in '97 (and got
himself disqualified at the Worlds for breaking...) uses a forward
breathing style every stroke for this event.

However, Frank Espisito who ended up winning the 200m fly at Worlds,
uses a side breathing style, except for the last stroke before the
walls.

The 200m w.r. holder, Dennis Pankratov, also uses the side-breathing
technique very effectively.

It would be good to know if you really can keep the centre of mass of
the head lower with sideways breathing, or maybe it just depends on the
person's neck flexibility?

Anton.

 
 
 

Butterfly - Side Breathing vs. Forward Breathing

Post by Harm Scholte » Sat, 31 Jan 1998 04:00:00



Quote:
>It is interesting to note that the current 100m l/c and s/c w.r. holder,
>Michael Klim, breathes to the front and on the 2nd 50m breathes almost
>every stroke.

Correct, but Klim is a really powerful swimmer, who uses a very strong
and fast arm recovery to throw himself forward. This does not combine
well with side breathing.

Quote:
>And Scott Goodman, who had the fastest 200m fly time in '97 (and got
>himself disqualified at the Worlds for breaking...) uses a forward
>breathing style every stroke for this event.

>However, Frank Espisito who ended up winning the 200m fly at Worlds,
>uses a side breathing style, except for the last stroke before the
>walls.

>The 200m w.r. holder, Dennis Pankratov, also uses the side-breathing
>technique very effectively.

>It would be good to know if you really can keep the centre of mass of
>the head lower with sideways breathing, or maybe it just depends on the
>person's neck flexibility?

>Anton.

It is probably not the center of mass which is important here.
Somebody else already noted in this group, that, when you pull your
head out of the water, your hips tend to sink, thus creating more
drag. Side breathing can help you lying flatter in the water, with
minimal rotation about the transversal axis.

Marco.

 
 
 

Butterfly - Side Breathing vs. Forward Breathing

Post by Mark A. Lope » Sat, 31 Jan 1998 04:00:00

On the hand if the forward breathing is done correctly, you should not have
the hip problem.  When breathing forward, the head is NOT lifted out of the
water as so many like to say.  Rather the chin is extended forward, and kept
low to the water.  The head should be no higher than when breathing to the
side.  I have never noticed a difference in time either way.  I can swim the
same time either to the side or forward.  I find that I like side in the 200
more, because I feel like (althought I probably don't) I get more air, and I
can get a better look at the swimmers around me.  In the 100 I like front,
more concentration on the wall because it is a flat sprint.  I tell my newer
swimmers to breath forward, but as they get more experienced I let them
experiment and choose whatever is most comfortable.

Oh yeah, in side breathing you need to be careful of lifting the head also.
Sometimes I find that swimmers are just as bad about the head during side as
they are during front.

Quote:



> >It is interesting to note that the current 100m l/c and s/c w.r. holder,
> >Michael Klim, breathes to the front and on the 2nd 50m breathes almost
> >every stroke.

> Correct, but Klim is a really powerful swimmer, who uses a very strong
> and fast arm recovery to throw himself forward. This does not combine
> well with side breathing.

> >And Scott Goodman, who had the fastest 200m fly time in '97 (and got
> >himself disqualified at the Worlds for breaking...) uses a forward
> >breathing style every stroke for this event.

> >However, Frank Espisito who ended up winning the 200m fly at Worlds,
> >uses a side breathing style, except for the last stroke before the
> >walls.

> >The 200m w.r. holder, Dennis Pankratov, also uses the side-breathing
> >technique very effectively.

> >It would be good to know if you really can keep the centre of mass of
> >the head lower with sideways breathing, or maybe it just depends on the
> >person's neck flexibility?

> >Anton.
> It is probably not the center of mass which is important here.
> Somebody else already noted in this group, that, when you pull your
> head out of the water, your hips tend to sink, thus creating more
> drag. Side breathing can help you lying flatter in the water, with
> minimal rotation about the transversal axis.

> Marco.

 
 
 

Butterfly - Side Breathing vs. Forward Breathing

Post by Anto » Sun, 01 Feb 1998 04:00:00

Yes, but isn't the centre of mass of the head (not the body) what is
important?

By breathing to the side it may be possible for those with enough neck
flexibility to keep their heads lower without upsetting the equillibrium
of the stroke.  However this may not apply to most butterfliers.

Michael Klim's powerful stroke must also be technically excellent,
because power is not much good unless it is translated into forward
propulsion with minimal drag.  Possibly his timing and technique in
general allow him to swim fast and effeciently even when breathing
forwards on all or most strokes in a race.

Some commentators have speculated the Geoff Huegill (the other
Australian 100 fly competitor at the Worlds) has the best technique in
the World at present.  Part of their reasoning is that he keeps his head
lower when breathing and only breathes every 2nd stroke.  But after
watching replays in slow motion I think that his head actually rises
substantially higher than Klim's!  Has anyone else noticed this?

Anton.

 
 
 

Butterfly - Side Breathing vs. Forward Breathing

Post by jim pischa » Mon, 02 Feb 1998 04:00:00

<Snipped>

Quote:

> >However, Frank Espisito who ended up winning the 200m fly at Worlds,
> >uses a side breathing style, except for the last stroke before the
> >walls.

Am I missing something here? The results I saw show Espisito second to
Denis Silantiev,76,UKR. Just trying to keep the record straight.

<Snipped>

Quote:
> >Anton.

Jim
 
 
 

Butterfly - Side Breathing vs. Forward Breathing

Post by Anto » Tue, 03 Feb 1998 04:00:00

Jim,

You are completely correct of course!

I posted that after watching a replay of the race where I was
concentrating on Espisito's breathing, and side breathing in fly was on
the top of my mind...causing me to temporarily forget that Silantiev
out-touched him!!

Sorry for the confusion regarding the winner, but hopefully the point I
was making regarding the discussion topic was clear. :)

Anton.