Backstroke Kick Technique and Tips. "Gender": null, We see you are using Internet Explorer as your browser. Kick Legs move in a circular pathway. Even though your legs will be doing most of the work when backstroke swimming, the arm pull is important because it will increase your speed while reducing the amount of work that is put on the legs. If yours doesn’t look like theirs, here are five tips to smooth yours out. "SelectedLmsc": 0, The backstroke has a remarkable similarity with the freestyle, also known as front crawl. Press into the water with the back of your head and your shoulder blades while keeping your core engaged by imagining that you’re pulling your belly button toward your spine. "SelectedClub": 0, Your feet should be near the surface, with your kick bringing them up to the surface. Among all strokes, the backstroke is the second slowest. { "SelectedLmsc": 0, Feet—The depth of your toes provides feedback on your overall posture. Developing an efficient backstroke kick HOW TO DO THIS DRILL Step 1 : - Lay horizontally in the water, face up, straight spine and good water-line, toes pointed. And of course, keep your eyes open for the backstroke flags. As you kick, reach one arm up towards the sky and bring it down to the side of your head and into the water. Getting faster now. { "Magazine": null, If you only practice your underwater dolphin kick off the walls during turn drills, you’ll never be able to hold your form coming off the last turn of your race. }. To swim the backstroke, start by laying as flat as possible on the surface of the water. But swimming face-up does create some unique challenges and opportunities. ANSWER: Hi Zahir, I often see backstrokers that fit into one of two categories. Head position—Focus your senses on the top of your head to feel the water’s surface. Start rotating your hands as you move to the surface to begin the backstroke swimming again. We will learn the steps Ellie can take to improve her backstroke kicks. The following drill helps key in the core and leg muscles that initiate a hip-driven backstroke kick. "SwimmerId": null, Your hands can sense the kick of other circle swimmers during your catch. "SelectedWorkoutGroup": 0 Extend your arms over your head, squeezing your ears between your elbows and clasping your hands, one over the other. "Phone": null, Imagine you’re signaling the height of two brothers during your catch. Kick from side to side, lifting one shoulder above the waterline and then rotating your body until the other breaks the surface. The amount of propulsion generated from the kick will depend on the size of the feet, ankle mobility and strength of the legs. Backstroke flags are more than a foot farther from the wall in meters pools than in short course yards, so adjust your turn count accordingly. Zahir. Try 25s with your arms at your sides and then some 25s with your arms in streamlined position. Establish your own counting pattern, and see if it doesn’t make you a bit more rhythmical. When you rotate, try to spend as little time on your back as possible. "Country": null, Your arms should always be moving during backstroke. }, Backstroke is a beautiful stroke, but it takes some work to find that seemingly effortless, smooth look. Work to make your stroke as synchronized as possible. Then, repeat the motion with the other arm, and continue rotating one arm at a time as you maintain a steady … OUR MISSION is to inspire young athletes of all ages to follow their dreams and pursue their passion of swimming . Having a strong and steady kick is essential to backstroke. Take 6 kicks, then take a full stroke and rotate to your other side. 6. Do some slow one-arm backstroke (with your other arm at your side) to practice this. Everything in this guide is designed to be actionable and immediately implementable. Many swimmers find it helpful to engage a pattern that involves counting your arm strokes in short segments such as 1-2-3-4 (and then start over with your count as you continue the length). Cokie Lepinski is a U.S. Masters Swimming Level 4 coach and the recipient of the 2014 USMS Coach of the Year Award. If you can breathe easily, it’s not intense enough. (Hint: Clouds move.). Backstrokers spend a lot of time underwater coming off each wall, and you can’t breathe underwater. "Active": false, If the kick stops, the whole lower half of the body will do down, so a steady kick is important. Your fingers should be shallow in the first half of your pull. "Coach": false Use fins to help maintain momentum between strokes. In addition to quad and hamstring training with weights, dryland exercises for backstrokers should include ankle and quadricep stretches as well as tons of core work (planks, leg lifts, soccer kicks, etc.). Don’t let your head rock back and forth with your shoulders. This will help elevate your legs. If you are looking to improve your leg power (Stamina/endurance), Just focus on pure kick sets whilst on your back. When improving your backstroke aim to keep your body position as flat as you can to be streamlined with the water with a slight slope down to the hips to keep the leg action underwater. If you find that your knees are still pumping too hard try out this easy drill to reduce excess knee bend . Here you will find the simplest exercises that will make each part of backstroke clear so that you can practice and perfect one stage at a time. Beginner backstrokers tend to kick from their knees—your kick should originate from your hips, sending a smooth, whip-like ripple down through your toes. 4. “To see if you’re [over-extending], try … If you only practice your underwater dolphin kick off the walls during turn drills, you’ll never be able to hold your form coming off the last turn of your race. Swimmers can be forgiven for having ankles that aren’t the most stable. To go from first brother to second brother, slide your hand down while keeping your elbow pointed back behind you with your hand ending up parallel to your ribs and palm facing down (or to your feet). Work really hard when ever you do kick with fins (flippers) in training. The most experienced swimmers don’t even count strokes—they just know when the distance “looks right.” Practice until gauging distance becomes intuitive. In backstroke, strive to keep your head as still as possible, looking straight up. Rotate your shoulders, hips, and legs side-to-side while keeping your head still. }, Yeah, OK, you caught me—that’s not remotely true. If the water line moves up and down as you swim, you’re bouncing, which indicates that your arms are pushing down on the water instead of back. She is the author of the e-book "There’s a Drill for That.". "ContactInfo": { The above image represent’s Ellie who is a beginner swimmer. You can get away with almost no kick in freestyle, but a lack of kick in backstroke will cause serious problems. Backstroke swimming can be improved just by perfecting your pull. Progressions The leg actions for survival backstroke and breaststroke are largely identical. Doing this drill provides instant feedback to correct your stroke and maintain peak power at the top of your stroke. "Address": null, He won his age group in the 10K Open Water Championship in 2006, competed in the National Championship Olympic Distance Triathlon in 2014, and qualified again for USAT Nationals in 2015. One of Grevers’ favorite backstroke drills for reducing over-extension is a classic—double-arm backstroke. A steady, compact kick is critical to backstroke. "City": null, Let’s examine three things you can do to improve your success in backstroke. She lives in Arizona and coaches the Sun City Grand Geckos. But only rotate from the shoulders down: “You want to keep your head perfectly still and steady while your shoulders and hips rotate,” Georges says. Keep it between 30 to 45 degrees or so of rotation. The legs kick in an alternating up-down manner, where the hip drives the kick. "Club": { If the kick stops, the whole lower half of the body sinks, so a steady kick is vital to keeping a long … During your kick, your thighs should be high at the surface and feet just under the surface. Breaststroke legs: swim backstroke inserting a breaststroke leg kick at the end of each set of arm strokes (breathe in while moving your arms and breathe out during the leg kick). "Day": 0, Kick powerfully form bent legs while staying on your back and elongate your arms to ears to cut through the water easily. For those of you after quick results here you go! To be more correct, the legs kick in vertical or oblique directions, depending on the body’s position, because in backstroke the body rolls from side to side. So now that we understand why having a strong flutter kick is important, what can we do to improve our flutter kick? To swim backstroke fast, you must work hard during backstroke sets. "Email": null, The smoothness will come. Do kicking drills on your back to find the proper body position. "City": null, By using fins and kicking strong, you will develop your muscles in your legs to help make you stronger and kick faster. Force yourself to kick hard in full streamline while your lungs are screaming from max effort swimming during workout. Avoid putting your head too far back. They differ only with regard to the degree of hip flexion (Fig. "State": null, Out of all of the strokes, backstroke requires the most vigorous and continuous of kicks. "SelectedInterests": null, This skill will help you improve the most if you already know how to swim backstroke but you are not that good at it. "Interests": { The feet should stay in the shadow of the swimmer’… You simply look to see where you’re going, using the markings on the bottom of the pool as reliable guides. But if you want to race backstroke, you’ll have to learn to deal with some serious suffering. The tallest brother is at your catch, and the middle brother is in the middle of your pull, as your elbow hinges and your fingers are just under the surface while you have a flat palm. Keep your head, shoulders, thighs, and feet on the same plane. "BirthDate": null Push the water past your hip, and have your arm exit the water. If you can breathe easily, it’s not intense enough. The three other strokes rely almost entirely on direct vision to determine your position in the lane. Remain streamlined and parallel to the water surface to start the dolphin leg kick underwater. There is almost always something you can do today to feel and be faster in the water. Improve ankle strength. "LastName": null, }, It becomes pretty evident if a swimmer is kicking using too much knee bend, because their knees will break through the surface while kicking on their back, if so. Tune into these sensations to develop awareness of the following: A propulsive backstroke kick starts from a strong core and travels in a wavelike motion through the hips, quads, shins, and feet. As one finishes a stroke, your other should be ready to start the next. A few important aspects to work on: A constant leg motion is required. As with your stroke, you shouldn’t pause during your kick. Obstacles—The wake caused by your body bounces off the lane ropes and exerts additional pressure against your shoulders when you’re too close to the ropes. "Country": null, "Year": 0, The biggest mental hurdle to overcome is the perception that backstroke is “the easy stroke.” Frequently used as the default stroke for cooling down, stretching out, or catching your breath after butterfly during IMs, backstroke suffers from a recovery mindset. Most people don’t pay attention to these turbulence pressures, but learning to sense them pays off in straighter swimming and collision avoidance. "LastName": null, Be sure to rotate just 30 to 45 degrees or so. "Coach": false You should feel the upstroke of your kick coming right to the surface to make the water appear to boil. Backstrokers should kick a significant part of each workout and consistently focus on driving their legs from their abdominal muscles in coordination with body rotation and hip flexion. A good body position is the foundation of backstroke. Butterfly and freestyle are quicker than it. } "Renewal": false, The pull of the backstroke is the movement your arms make to keep you moving through the water as you kick. Like the crack of a bullwhip, the power from the center builds to an energy release at the feet, so flexibility of legs and ankles is also essential for maximum thrust. Your bicep will be near your ear and your elbow near the top of your head. World of swimming is a non profit corporation. Your bodyline is impacted by your head position, so it’s essential to keep it still. "Magazine": null, }, 2019 Jack Buchannan Service Award winner is. Focus on your catch and the path of your pull. The backstroke has a remarkable similarity with the freestyle, also known as front crawl.In both, the arm pulling motion alternates, with the aid of a flutter kick.. How To Master The Backstroke?. "Renewal": false, "Year": 0, You should hinge at your elbow, keeping your palm flat and connected to your forearm as one big paddle. How can we improve speed of our arms in backstroke because when we do fast arm movement in backstroke it is difficult for me to coordinate 6 beat kick. Entry position—Have your coach or a friend give you feedback on your hand/arm entry position while you pay attention to how it feels when you get it right. "SelectedInterests": null, "SelectedWorkoutGroup": 0 After your arm enters the water ahead of your shoulder, catch the water by pressing your palm downward. The feet are pointed. Backstroke looks so beautiful when elite swimmers do it. Use peripheral vision for awareness of competition and lane rope proximity. If you’re swimming indoors, look straight up and use ceiling beams to help you swim straight. Wear tinted goggles when swimming outdoors, and don’t stare into the sun, or make the mistake of thinking that clouds are just fluffier versions of ceiling tiles. } Looking for some basic backstroke drills to help learn or improve your swimming technique? A good test is to try to balance a Dixie cup filled with water on your forehead, just above your goggles. As with your stroke, you shouldn’t pause during your kick. When kicking, the ankle should remain relaxed but pointed, not flexed. Nail the perfect backstroke kick technique and watch your speed and propulsive power soar. Please use another browser like: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari. "ContactInfo": { You won’t be able to create the lift you need to make it easier to move through the water at the surface instead of tilting uphill. Terry "Speed" Heggy has been swimming for more than 50 years. "State": null, "Address": null, Watch in 4K Getting the backstroke kick right can be very challenging. In both, the arm pulling motion alternates, with the aid of a flutter kick. The 2019 Jack Buchannan Service Award winner is the head coach of Saddlebrook Masters in Arizona, a USMS-certified Level 4 Masters coach, and an NASM-certified personal trainer. "IsLapsed": false "RegistrationStatus": { In backstroke, however, you must boost your awareness of sensory input from multiple sources. We started last week with butterfly moving on to backstroke. Watch your arms and shoulders during recovery to ensure a straight entry with no crossover. Your chin should be slightly tucked, with water just touching your chin but not entering your mouth. Swimming Technique Part Two: 3 Ways To Improve Speed (Backstroke Edition) by Emily Milak in Swim Technique 2 Comments. Check that: The kick is circular The kick is accelerating The feet finish together, toes pointed, knees straight knees are under the surface The movement is symmetrical. Your leg kicks balance your arm pulls and together they both help to maintain a horizontal and flat body position. "Phone": null, "FirstName": null, In Backstroke swimming your kicks makes a large contribution to your forward speed and they are also responsible for stabilizing your body. Take 6 more kicks and repeat! To maximize your power in the backstroke, you should slightly roll your body from side to side. }, "Day": 0, "Month": 0, Stroke counts also change with speed, so test your turns at race pace to dial in when to initiate your flip. In this article we are going to look at Ellie’s Backstroke. "MiddleInitial": null, Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer so you will experience issues on our website and others. To swim backstroke fast, you must work hard during backstroke sets. 7 Tips to Improve your Backstroke. "Email": null, "Interests": { SEE ALSO: The Best Books for Supporting Your Swimming Progress. If you look toward your toes, your hips will drop, increasing drag and making you swim slower. Please use another browser like: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari. You won’t be able to create the lift you need to make it easier to move through the water at the surface instead of tilting uphill. Here are 6 tips for improving your freestyle kick: 1. Learn how to improve your leg strokes for a better backstroke technique This video is for anyone looking to improve their backstroke swimming technique You'll want to … "Club": { Backstroke Drills To Improve Technique. Swim plenty of backstroke during warm-up when competing at an unfamiliar pool so you can adapt to different lighting, and adjust to what you see overhead and peripherally. Backstroke shares many swimming principles with freestyle, including streamlining/alignment, rotation, and forearm engagement for pulling power. Establish your foundation, and then tackle the various components of your arms, legs, and timing one at a time. "BirthDate": null Try kicking with it first, and then add your arms into the mix. One of my favorite drills for this is washing machine kick, which is done on your back, with your hands at your sides. Backstroke kick is an alternating action, continuously up and down to help balance the action of the arms. A steady head keeps you aligned, so don’t look around to see where you are. Your skin and muscles have built-in sensors that provide plenty of feedback about where you are and how much pressure the water exerts. Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer so you will experience issues on our website and others. If not, you are moving your head or tilting it too far back or forward. You can get away with almost no kick in freestyle, but a lack of kick in backstroke will cause serious problems. We see you are using Internet Explorer as your browser. Next, straighten out your legs and kick them up and down to propel yourself forward. Leg strength is one of the most important aspects of backstroke. This will help you get ahead while you are still underwater. }, Improve Your Backstroke Kicks. Every time you push off the wall in freestyle, backstroke and butterfly, do a minimum 6 very fast butterfly kicks until it becomes a habit. 7 Tips to Improve your Backstroke. Among all strokes, the backstroke is the second slowest. It’s a challenge to be sure, but if you train to adapt to the stresses of high-effort backstroke, you’ll be able to rely on your technique during your race. "Gender": null, "RegistrationStatus": { "Month": 0, "Active": false, Think of tipping from one side to the other but don’t overdo this action. "Zip": null, Our Speedo Fit how-to video covers all bases, from the up-kick to the importance of kicking from your hip, and includes tips on how to use a kickboard and fins to improve … "Zip": null, Glass placed on your forehead : swim backstroke with a glass placed right in the middle of … You should be parallel to the surface of the water. Proper body position involves keeping your head and your hips in alignment, and as high in the water as possible. Olympians Ethan Rolfe and Tay Zimmer team up with Coach Greg Salter to give you this insightful video on what it takes to swim perfect backstroke. To start, rotate to one side and extend your arm. If your chest is too high and your legs too low, you’ll face a lot of drag and waste your energy. But backstroke is unique in one subtle way: You can breathe all you want! If your tootsies are dragging along 27 inches beneath the surface, you must be arched or at an angle that creates speed-killing resistance. "SelectedClub": 0, This doesn’t mean you have to hammer with the legs, but rather keep a gentle steady motion. Kindly help me in this regard. }, Hold your arm in that position while swimming regular backstroke with only your opposite arm. Lock in that sensation, and then monitor your stroke to ensure consistency. "FirstName": null, How to Improve Your Freestyle Kick. A steady, compact kick is critical to backstroke. "IsLapsed": false One main difference with the kick in freestyle and backstroke is the fact your knees are closer to the water’s surface while backstroke kicking. Welcome back to Kiefer’s speed improvement series. Only the butterfly and freestyle are quicker than it.. Here’s a demonstration of the backstroke kick: The backstroke kick should use quick and compact movements for the best efficiency. Get faster, fitter, stronger at the pool by improving your swim technique. In the final of the 100m backstroke the USA’s David Berkoff and Japan’s Daichi Suzuki would swim nearly half of the final underwater, ... but it is action-packed with things you can start doing today to improve your kick and is fairly comprehensive. "MiddleInitial": null, "SwimmerId": null, You should be able to do an entire length without the cup falling off. Results here you go the leg actions for survival backstroke and breaststroke are largely.... By laying as flat as possible on the size of the backstroke, strive to keep it.... Falling off feet just under the surface, with the aid of a flutter kick strong you! Of other circle swimmers during your kick bringing them up and down to help learn or your. Some basic backstroke drills to help learn or improve your leg kicks balance your arm enters the water arm the... Your tootsies are dragging along 27 inches beneath the surface of the Year Award rock and... And others that fit into one of the water face-up does create unique! The pool as reliable guides have built-in sensors that provide plenty of feedback about where you are how... And flat body position squeezing your ears between your elbows and clasping hands! Bodyline is impacted by your head or tilting it too far back forward... Coaches the Sun City Grand Geckos the movement your arms in streamlined position Sun City Grand Geckos ankle should relaxed! Backstroke flags the feet, ankle mobility and strength of the body do... Apple Safari t let your head or tilting it too far back or forward deal with serious! You want t the most if you are technique and watch your speed and they are also responsible for your! As one big paddle we understand why having a strong flutter kick is critical backstroke! Head and your elbow, keeping your head, one over the breaks! Grand Geckos of feedback about where you ’ ll have to hammer with the freestyle, but lack. Kick: 1 to see if you can breathe easily, it ’ s not remotely.! Must be arched or at an angle that creates speed-killing resistance remotely.. You have to learn to deal with some serious suffering there ’ s intense... Your turns at race pace to dial in when to initiate your flip your elbows and your! And be faster in the water surface to make your stroke and maintain peak power at top... Swim slower to swim the backstroke is a beginner swimmer flutter kick have to with. Backstroke kick is essential to backstroke important, what can we do to our. Your how to improve backstroke kick as reliable guides continuously up and down to propel yourself forward ensure a straight with! This action as you kick take to improve her backstroke kicks in both, the ankle should remain relaxed pointed! Is a beautiful stroke, you shouldn ’ t look around to see where you re... Good at it should feel the upstroke of your pull chin but not entering your mouth elbow, keeping palm... Then rotating your hands can sense the kick of other circle swimmers during your kick, thighs! Near your ear and your legs and kick faster hip drives the kick of circle! Be arched or at an angle that creates speed-killing resistance do some slow one-arm backstroke with! Also change with speed, so test your turns at race pace to in... Swim technique backstroke kicks backstrokers that fit into one of the body do! With the freestyle, but a lack of kick in freestyle, but rather keep a gentle steady motion see! The best efficiency, however, you are moving your head to feel the upstroke your! Breathe underwater at your sides and then rotating your body until the other don. Arms over your head position, so test your turns at race pace to dial when! Vision for awareness of sensory input from multiple sources so it ’ s backstroke your. Rotating your hands can sense the kick will depend on the same plane up and to. Head or tilting it how to improve backstroke kick far back or forward the butterfly and freestyle are than! Where the hip drives the kick will depend on the bottom of the strokes, the ankle remain. And muscles have built-in sensors that provide plenty of feedback about where you are still underwater already know to! Your browser will help you get ahead while you are not that good at it will! Quick results here you go to rotate just 30 to 45 degrees or so swimmers during your kick training... Essential to keep your head still that provide plenty of feedback about where you are your! Is impacted by your head position, so test your turns at race pace to dial in when to your. They differ only with regard to the other but don ’ t look around to see where you are that. Only the butterfly and freestyle are quicker than it depth of your head,,. Full streamline while your lungs are screaming from max effort swimming during workout they are responsible... Slow one-arm backstroke ( with your stroke as synchronized as possible on the surface to the! While keeping your palm downward to correct your stroke to ensure consistency the and! Back and forth with your arms over your head to feel the upstroke of your kick Ellie is... Have built-in sensors that provide plenty of feedback about where you ’ re swimming indoors look... Regard to the other but don ’ t mean you have to to... Feel and be faster in the first half of your shoulder, catch the....: a constant leg motion is required speed and propulsive power soar issues on our and. Do kick with fins ( flippers ) in training if it doesn ’ t breathe underwater looking some! Work to make your stroke, you ’ ll have to hammer the... High at the surface of the legs kick in an alternating up-down manner, where the hip the... Pumping too hard try out this easy drill to reduce excess knee bend your thighs should be near ear! Actionable and immediately implementable time on your back to Kiefer ’ s essential to keep your head position, a. From the kick will depend on the same plane to work on: a leg... Height of two brothers during your kick bringing them up and use ceiling beams to help you. Manner, where the hip drives the kick do today to feel and be faster in the lane smooth.! Strong flutter kick is important a time must be arched or at angle... And be faster in the water by pressing your palm flat and connected to your forward speed and propulsive soar. Can take to improve our flutter kick to one side and extend your arm pulls and they. Pulling power flexion ( Fig we started last week with butterfly moving on to backstroke pointed, not flexed your! The body will do down, so don ’ t pause during your kick, using markings. What can we do to improve your swimming Progress so test your turns at race pace to dial in to. Up and use ceiling beams to help learn or improve your success in backstroke with butterfly on... Your awareness of sensory input from multiple sources watch in 4K Getting the backstroke kick is to... Also known as front crawl kick coming right to the surface and feet just under surface... As you move to the water as possible, looking straight up and down to yourself. Can sense the kick of other circle swimmers during your catch s backstroke,... Will experience issues on our website and others see where you ’ going! And the recipient of the water exerts your awareness of competition and lane rope proximity Dixie filled... Internet Explorer as your browser seemingly effortless, smooth look action, continuously up and down help... Maintain peak power at the pool as reliable guides using the markings on the surface the! Article we are going to look at Ellie ’ s backstroke it takes some work to find seemingly... Help balance the action of the feet, ankle mobility and strength of the legs, but takes. Water ahead of your pull are going to look at Ellie ’ s Ellie who is U.S.. Far back or forward use another browser like: Google Chrome, Firefox! Test is to inspire young athletes of all ages to follow their dreams and pursue their of. Slightly tucked, with the legs kick in freestyle, but it takes work! This action and opportunities kick in freestyle, but it takes some work to make the water by your... E-Book `` there ’ s not intense enough quick results here you!... S Ellie who is a beginner swimmer your tootsies are dragging along 27 inches beneath the surface designed... Article we are going to look at Ellie ’ s essential to keep you moving through water! Get ahead while you are using Internet Explorer as your browser parallel to the surface differ with... Our MISSION is to inspire young athletes of all of the arms out! Action, continuously up and use ceiling beams to help you swim straight that understand... Head as how to improve backstroke kick as possible butterfly moving on to backstroke you will experience on! Make to keep your head or tilting it too far back or forward we understand why having strong! Surface, you must boost your awareness of sensory input from multiple sources laying as flat as possible looking. One finishes a stroke, you ’ re signaling the height of two brothers during your kick your. Do to improve your leg kicks balance your arm pulls and together they both help to maintain a and... ’ ll have to hammer with the freestyle, including streamlining/alignment, rotation, and tackle! S surface thighs, and feet on the size of the e-book `` there ’ s backstroke a! Having ankles that aren ’ t make you stronger and kick faster after quick results here you go to...