Freestyle and Backstroke Breakouts
Youre coming out of a freestyle or backstroke turn, streamlining on your
side. With which arm do you pull first?
You can create several advantages by pulling first with the arm that has the
shoulder facing the bottom: (Note: Because of the natural rotation, or body
roll, in freestyle, it is easy to tell which side is facing the bottom.
However, on backstroke, most swimmers push off fairly flat on their backs. Do
what the best backstrokers do and drop one shoulder a split second before your
breakout to gain the advantages described below.)
You can gain more rotational power and distance. This rotational power allows
you to use your hips more effectively, greatly increasing the distance you
cover on your first stroke cycle.
By taking your first breath on the opposite side of your breakout stroke
(breakout stroke on the left, first breath to the right), you ensure that you
will do a complete stroke cycle before your first breath. (Note: Swimmers who
breathe on their left side should streamline on their sides with the right
shoulder facing the bottom.)
By controlling the timing of your first breath, you can hold the velocity
gained from the push much longer, and carry this increased velocity into the
rest of the length.
In addition, by controlling the timing of the first breath, you will find it
easier to reach your ideal tempo (stroke rate).