After the push-off, the pulldown is usually the most propulsive part of the breaststroke pullout. However, there are crucial mistakes swimmers make that either cause them to lose propulsion or increase their drag. Coach Gary Hall Sr takes swimmers Sam and Chloe through some of these common mistakes in the video above.
The first mistake we see most swimmers doing is pulling too wide during the pulldown. Most swimmers imagine the pulldown as a breaststroke pulling motion, when instead it should resemble a butterfly pulling motion. This should include minimal out sweep while focusing on pushing the hands straight back.
Another mistake in the breaststroke pullout we see is how swimmers finish their pullout. What we typically see is the hands and arms finishing alongside the body with the shoulders flat. Instead, we advise swimmers to finish with the hands on top of their thighs with their shoulders hunched. This offers a body position that causes less frontal drag.
The third most common mistake we see is when swimmers draw their hands back up after the pulldown. Too many times we see them bringing their hands back up away from the bodyline, causing excessive drag. The hands and arms should be brought back up close to the body and following the bodyline as closely as possible. When the arms straighten, most will be tempted to finish in a superman position. Since we know the hyperstreamline position is the best one we can be in during the push-off, why not finish the breaststroke pullout also in hyperstreamline? We recommend this to all swimmers and hope you make the same change to your pullout.