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Propulsive efficiency of breaststroke and freestyle swimming


Average drag at a given rate of movement by three top swimmers was about twice as great in breast stroke and freestyle swimming as in passive towing with the body extended and horizontal in the water. The greatest degree of propulsive efficiency (7.7%) was calculated for the arm strokes alone in the freestyle. The freestyle and breast stroke produced values for efficiency amounting to 5.6 to 6.6% and 3.8 to 5.7% respectively. Propulsive efficiency was calculated for the leg strokes only in the breast stroke and freestyle at 2.4 to 3.8% and 1.3 to 2.4% respectively.

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Holmér, I. Propulsive efficiency of breaststroke and freestyle swimming. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 33, 95–103 (1974).

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