This drill does not accommodate breathing during the freestyle stroke. Step 4: Repeat the drill, this time using three strokes and three kicks. Try again with your eyes closed and re-check. It puts strain on my shoulder to pull with my arm straight. Being balanced while swimming backstroke means that you can easily keep your body in a horizontal position in the water.. Video Demonstration. Of the many misconceptions about the backstroke arm stroke, the most common is that the arms remain straight throughout the stroke, like a windmill. I lose my handful of water at the end of the arch. This timing helps my pull but not my push. If your elbow drops at this point, your forearm will not engage the water. Without this roll, it is nearly impossible, and painful for many swimmers, as the shoulder joint is not designed for this range of motion from a flat position. In Backstroke, this swimming technique is common because it increases the pulling power and the awareness of where a swimmer’s body position is in the lane, particularly outdoors in the bright sun however elevating the head in swimming backstroke increases frontal drag, slowing the swimmer down. I am struggling to keep my face up during the kick only phase. Backstroke recovery drills should emphasize these elements: Exit —The entire power phase should be pressing against the water in the direction of your feet, the same way a rocket’s thrust is directly opposite the direction of travel. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The backstroke start. Take 6 more kicks and repeat! Try it on land until you develop the feeling. It can be uncomfortable to swim on your back at first, but if you work on backstroke regularly you’ll feel like a natural in no time! Be sure you are switching with your hips as well as your shoulders in a unified action. Take time to analyze what muscles you are engaging to achieve your straight spine, then, do it in the water. Align the hand grabbing the rope with outside of your shoulder, and keep it outside of your shoulder the entire time. I am comfortably able to enter the water at 12:00. Think of it as a transition, instead of a pause. The key to good backstroke is rotation and head position. View Lesson; Backstroke - Building a Continuous Kick. Coordinated backstroke unifies the individual actions of the stroke into a seamless effort forward. Throughout the drill, look straight up at the ceiling or the sky. – A stable head position in backstroke is key to getting the most out of your stroke. There should be no pause, just a feeling the arms are balancing each other and unified in their action. It is awkward at first. Practice aligning your recovery over your shoulder, and aiming for a 1:00 entry. Related: How to Swim Backstroke with Perfect Technique, Round 1: No equipment; Round 2: Add fins; Round 3; Fins and paddles. Your hand should be moving fastest at the end of the arch, pressing the water down and past your hip. The video below demonstrates the swimming drill covered in this article: If you have heavy legs, it is even more important to learn to rotate your pelvis forward. Try it and see what happens to your body, and how much water you get up your nose. Exactly. Make sure your ears are underwater and your neck is relaxed. Kicking well on the back requires employing leg muscles differently than humans commonly do for most land activities. Try it on land looking in a mirror. Then, he would make sure the swimmer's kicking is up to par. Reposition your forearm so when your arm moves through the stroke, it quickly becomes perpendicular to the surface of the water. Make sure your kick is productive without any bicycling action. As you spring off the wall, throw your hands directly over your head. I can't see if my hand is still dog-eared at entry. The opposition timing of the backstroke makes the arm stroke recovery an active part of the stroke. Required fields are marked *. How to perform this drill: The swimmer performs a standard backstroke start off the starting block. Be sure you are not doing a wide kick at this point to help your arm enter the water with speed. Try again with your eyes closed and re-check. If I don't bring both arms down when I push off, I can't get my face out of the water. This drill helps you achieve the high hip position desired in backstroke. Use a mirror. The recovering side should be higher in the water than the side with underwater arm. Make sure your chin is neutral and that your spine is straight. Now exaggerate your head position in the other direction. If it is not locked, make the correction while looking in the mirror. •Head demonstration with pencil •Positioning Techniques •Mirrors •Start turning head as non-breathing arm is about to enter •Return head quickly after breath •One-sided position “11” drill Problem: Head lifts before and/or after breath, swimmer loses balance while breathing causing inefficient pull, late breathing Remember that beyond alignment, the main benefit of a locked elbow is that it increases the opposition balance, or feeling of connection between the arms. Take 6 more kicks and repeat! Focus on this balance. Doing so produces a wave, which washes over your face. Water still goes over my face when I exhale. The backstroke kick is only about twelve inches at its deepest. When you finish with your palm up, you are lifting the water. Continue to the far end of the pool. Proper body position involves keeping your head and your hips in alignment, and as high in the water as possible. Website      Try ELITE for Free      About. Make sure your elbow in positioned high from the start. Best backstrokers of all time. This timing helps my push, but not my pull. Good spinal alignment and core tension not only improve comfort on the back, but can also contribute to an effective backstroke. Practice for several length of the pool. As your hand reaches its deepest point, move your fingertips and hand upward into position to press against the water. Remember to kick with more force upward than downward. The goal of the following backstroke breathing drills is to develop rhythmic breathing and more a comfortable, productive backstroke. Step 3: Continue doing three strokes, kicking the whole time, and then six kicks in the side position until you reach the far end of the pool. Float with your palms facing the surface of the water. The head position in backstroke should change throughout the stroke cycle. (W/Fins)With fins All of the Backstroke Drills can be performed with fins. Although similar in its alternating motion to the flutter kick of freestyle, there are certain distinctions. You can check it by standing against a wall and pressing every inch of your spine into the wall. First, a backstroker with the head held high has more awareness of where he/she is in the lane. But in the backstroke, it is your spine that you float on, and that is what needs to be straight. A straight arm stroke is often associated with shoulder problems. It is important to work on this because correct alignment begins the stroke from a position of strength. Exactly. Try using a quicker kick rhythm. The back of my hand slaps the water in the dog- eared position. ... Backstroke - Cup On Head Balance. Try reaching farther outside the shoulder. This will help with your breathing timing. There are two reasons most swimmers are more comfortable swimming backstroke with their heads held too high, a position I often refer to as ‘reading in bed’. This is feedback that you are lifting your knees. When I do a quarter roll, my head turns too, and the cup falls off. 4 Drills for Backstroke Beginners. Think of it as a transition instead of a pause. Do this drill for half a length, then finish the length by swimming easy backstroke focusing on rhythm and rotation. Ears just in the water so head is resting on small pillow. This will help in building power in the kick and work on getting better body position. Bronze medallist Elisabeth Beisel teaches you how you can improve your head position with just a glass of water. It shows that the straight arm pull over-taxes the shoulder, where as the high elbow bent arm stroke allows you to stroke comfortably without pain. Lessons: 49 Videos. Start off with a small cup, or water bottle. Step 1: Push off the wall preparing to do the backstroke, straight spine and good water-line. This drill focuses on finding balance on your right and left sides, allowing you to practice proper rotation. Remember that the point of this drill is to work on your recovery alignment. So, if you are trying to achieve a 1:00 entry, reach for 2:00. Catch a breath during the stroke on your back. Simply drop your heel into the water. As you become more comfortable, try to incorporate the switch between each stroke. Align your extended arm straight and lock your elbow. Since you are upside-down when doing backstroke, the idea of head position while swimming is a little different, so you may have to do some translating; Looking straight up at the sky or ceiling with your head lined up with your body? Turn your knees inward and let your feet follow. Using your peripheral vision, check your knees. This indicates that the path of your stroke is circular, instead of S shaped. You can swim next to a lane line, or if you are at an indoor pool, watch the lines on the ceiling to go straight. Remember to first position your hand so that your pinkie enters the water first, and then add the dog-eared hand position. Doing so actually pulls your body down, not forward. Head Back/Head Down A good contrast drill is to swim one length of backstroke with your head tilted back and your eyes looking for the other end of the pool. Accomplishing this requires the recovering arm to be aligned correctly itself in relation to the rest of the body. If that is not frequent enough, slow down your stroke rate, and try to make more forward progress with each stroke in order to go faster. An effective flutter kick is a significant part of an efficient backstroke. Although your knee will bend, it is only as a result of your dropping your heel into the water, not by lifting your knee. Your face should remain out of the water the whole time. The goal of the following leverage drills for backstroke is to learn to incorporate a productive roll into the stroke. If you succeed, you need to rotate your pelvis more forward to close this gap. As you practice more, you will be able to hold on to the rhythm for longer. It would be best to work on developing a symmetrical roll so that you have equal breathing pockets, and have more choices in changing your breathing pattern. You might feel sort of like an elongated banana in the front of your body. Be very focused on noticing the depth that your hand achieves, the bent arm position in the middle of the stroke, and your roll until you feel dizzy. The goal of the following coordination drills is to bring together the many elements that contribute to a good backstroke and to use them in combination for efficient backstroke action. Focus on that rather than how fast you are going. Focus on your straight spine and core stability. Kick up towards the surface with more force. Throughout the drill, look straight up at the ceiling or the sky. Doing this makes my hips higher than my belly button. Aaron did something subtle, nuanced, enigmatic and spectacular in his backstroke pull: a deep, radial finish-scull that passed through a fingertips-to-the-bottom-of-the-pool hand position. That hand should be gaining speed and beginning to push towards your feet. There are two reasons most swimmers are more comfortable swimming backstroke with their heads held too high, a position I often refer to as ‘reading in bed’. Feeling the most advantageous foot position, Understanding the changing orientation of the kick, Maintaining a stable head position while kicking, Learning to feel the water with the forearm, Feeling the roll that begins the arm stroke, Using a bent arm mid-pull similar to freestyle, Feeling the natural range of motion of the shoulder, Learning to fully align your recovering arm, Extending the stroke range by locking the recovering elbow, Maintaining a firm arm and a relaxed hand, Experimenting with different breathing rhythms, Matching the stroke rate and the breathing rhythm, Becoming comfortable breathing in the backstroke, Using the ebb and flow of the water to time your breathing, Finding another benefit of the roll in and out of the stroke, Becoming comfortable when breathing in the backstroke, Feeling the roll into and out of each stroke, Transferring power from the core to the limbs, Feeling the high elbow position of strength, Experiencing your body moving past your hand, Understanding the role of opposition in backstroke leverage, Checking opposition at various stages in the stroke, Balancing the recovery arm with the stroking arm, Blending the actions of the roll and the arm stroke, Using the hip roll to initiate the recovery, Developing a balanced, effective backstroke, Maintaining a stable head position while swimming backstroke, Recognizing the momentary non-opposition point in the backstroke, Making the most of both arms pressing on the water at once. 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