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This is the oldest of the main four competitive strokes and one, which is used by swimmers of all abilities. However, for various reasons it is the slowest of the strokes. Firstly, the recovery of the arms and legs beneath the water creates considerable resistance when swimming at speed. Next, the propulsive movements are less continuous than those of the front and back crawl. Finally the relatively high position of the head, especially when inhaling, causes the body to be inclined from the horizontal, producing additional resistance.
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Unlike other competitive strokes, breaststroke derives great propulsive effect from the strong thrust of the legs.

Body Position

For most effective streamlining a near horizontal position is desirable. However, to permit the leg action under breaststroke to take place beneath the surface of the water, some adjustment has to be made to this position. As a consequence proficient swimmers adopt a position, which is slightly inclined from the head to the feet.

In order to maintain, as streamlined position as possible, as the arm pull takes place the legs should remain in trailing, extended position. ...

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