Key Factors Related to Short Course 100 m Breaststroke Performance

Bjørn Harald Olstad, Henrik Wathne, Tomohiro Gonjo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background and aim: To identify kinematic variables related to short course 100 m breaststroke performance. Methods: An automatic race analysis system was utilized to obtain start (0–15 m), turn (5 m before the wall until 10 m out), finish (95–100 m), and clean swimming (the rest of the race) segment times as well as cycle rate and cycle length during each swimming cycle from 15 male swimmers during a 100 m breaststroke race. A bivariate correlation and a partial correlation were employed to assess the relationship between each variable and swimming time. Results: Turns were the largest time contributor to the finishing time (44.30 ± 0.58%), followed by clean swimming (38.93 ± 0.50%), start (11.39 ± 0.22%), and finish (5.36 ± 0.18%). The finishing time was correlated (p < 0.001) with start segment time (r = 0.979), clean swimming time (r = 0.940), and 10 m turn-out time (r = 0.829). The clean swimming time was associated with the finishing time, but cycle rate and cycle length were not. In both start and turns, the peak velocity (i.e., take-off and push-off velocity) and the transition velocity were related to the segment time (r ≤ −0.673, p ≤ 0.006). Conclusions: Breaststroke training should focus on: (I) 15 m start with generating high take-off velocity, (II) improving clean swimming velocity by finding an optimal balance between cycle length and rate, (III) 10 m turn-out with maintaining a strong wall push-off, and (IV) establishing a high transition velocity from underwater to surface swimming.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6257
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2020


  • Athletic Performance/physiology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena/physiology
  • Humans
  • Maintenance
  • Male
  • Reaction Time/physiology
  • Swimming/physiology


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