Remain streamlined and parallel to the water surface to start the dolphin leg kick underwater. Swimmers can be forgiven for having ankles that aren’t the most stable. "Month": 0, A steady head keeps you aligned, so don’t look around to see where you are. Backstroke shares many swimming principles with freestyle, including streamlining/alignment, rotation, and forearm engagement for pulling power. "Coach": false You can get away with almost no kick in freestyle, but a lack of kick in backstroke will cause serious problems. Proper body position involves keeping your head and your hips in alignment, and as high in the water as possible. The feet are pointed. Your chin should be slightly tucked, with water just touching your chin but not entering your mouth. "Renewal": false, 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. Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer so you will experience issues on our website and others. One of my favorite drills for this is washing machine kick, which is done on your back, with your hands at your sides. Take 6 kicks, then take a full stroke and rotate to your other side. Your feet should be near the surface, with your kick bringing them up to the surface. Your skin and muscles have built-in sensors that provide plenty of feedback about where you are and how much pressure the water exerts. Do some slow one-arm backstroke (with your other arm at your side) to practice this. Backstroke swimming can be improved just by perfecting your pull. There is almost always something you can do today to feel and be faster in the water. As you kick, reach one arm up towards the sky and bring it down to the side of your head and into the water. "Club": { Welcome back to Kiefer’s speed improvement series. Glass placed on your forehead : swim backstroke with a glass placed right in the middle of … 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. }, 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. }, 4. 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. "SelectedWorkoutGroup": 0 "SelectedClub": 0, Improve Your Backstroke Kicks. Backstroke Drills To Improve Technique. Backstrokers spend a lot of time underwater coming off each wall, and you can’t breathe underwater. Most people don’t pay attention to these turbulence pressures, but learning to sense them pays off in straighter swimming and collision avoidance. When kicking, the ankle should remain relaxed but pointed, not flexed. "Country": null, "MiddleInitial": null, Progressions The leg actions for survival backstroke and breaststroke are largely identical. Be sure to rotate just 30 to 45 degrees or so. "Address": null, Nail the perfect backstroke kick technique and watch your speed and propulsive power soar. You should feel the upstroke of your kick coming right to the surface to make the water appear to boil. Backstroke is a beautiful stroke, but it takes some work to find that seemingly effortless, smooth look. 6. "Zip": null, 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. Please use another browser like: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari. The above image represent’s Ellie who is a beginner swimmer. 7 Tips to Improve your Backstroke. 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. "SwimmerId": null, }. If the kick stops, the whole lower half of the body sinks, so a steady kick is vital to keeping a long … This doesn’t mean you have to hammer with the legs, but rather keep a gentle steady motion. 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. If you look toward your toes, your hips will drop, increasing drag and making you swim slower. "State": null, "RegistrationStatus": { "LastName": null, Keep your head, shoulders, thighs, and feet on the same plane. "Coach": false In Backstroke swimming your kicks makes a large contribution to your forward speed and they are also responsible for stabilizing your body. Establish your own counting pattern, and see if it doesn’t make you a bit more rhythmical. Get faster, fitter, stronger at the pool by improving your swim technique. 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. Try kicking with it first, and then add your arms into the mix. We see you are using Internet Explorer as your browser. Butterfly and freestyle are quicker than it. We will learn the steps Ellie can take to improve her backstroke kicks. "Gender": null, "Interests": { Your fingers should be shallow in the first half of your pull. 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. One of Grevers’ favorite backstroke drills for reducing over-extension is a classic—double-arm backstroke. 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?. Backstroke looks so beautiful when elite swimmers do it. The legs kick in an alternating up-down manner, where the hip drives the kick. 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.). "State": null, You should be parallel to the surface of the water. If you can breathe easily, it’s not intense enough. Avoid putting your head too far back. }, "SelectedInterests": null, Use fins to help maintain momentum between strokes. A steady, compact kick is critical to backstroke. Start rotating your hands as you move to the surface to begin the backstroke swimming again. Force yourself to kick hard in full streamline while your lungs are screaming from max effort swimming during workout. 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). Getting faster now. "Club": { For those of you after quick results here you go! If you are looking to improve your leg power (Stamina/endurance), Just focus on pure kick sets whilst on your back. A few important aspects to work on: A constant leg motion is required. Terry "Speed" Heggy has been swimming for more than 50 years. As with your stroke, you shouldn’t pause during your kick. You simply look to see where you’re going, using the markings on the bottom of the pool as reliable guides. Rotate your shoulders, hips, and legs side-to-side while keeping your head still. Kick Legs move in a circular pathway. }, To swim backstroke fast, you must work hard during backstroke sets. } "IsLapsed": false OUR MISSION is to inspire young athletes of all ages to follow their dreams and pursue their passion of swimming . If you can breathe easily, it’s not intense enough. To start, rotate to one side and extend your arm. Take 6 more kicks and repeat! Only the butterfly and freestyle are quicker than it.. 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. The feet should stay in the shadow of the swimmer’… "BirthDate": null But swimming face-up does create some unique challenges and opportunities. They differ only with regard to the degree of hip flexion (Fig. 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. If not, you are moving your head or tilting it too far back or forward. "LastName": null, "SelectedWorkoutGroup": 0 Use peripheral vision for awareness of competition and lane rope proximity. A good test is to try to balance a Dixie cup filled with water on your forehead, just above your goggles. "ContactInfo": { Then, repeat the motion with the other arm, and continue rotating one arm at a time as you maintain a steady … If the kick stops, the whole lower half of the body will do down, so a steady kick is important. Swimming Technique Part Two: 3 Ways To Improve Speed (Backstroke Edition) by Emily Milak in Swim Technique 2 Comments. Keep it between 30 to 45 degrees or so of rotation. The pull of the backstroke is the movement your arms make to keep you moving through the water as you kick. "SelectedLmsc": 0, Don’t let your head rock back and forth with your shoulders. The following drill helps key in the core and leg muscles that initiate a hip-driven backstroke kick. Try 25s with your arms at your sides and then some 25s with your arms in streamlined position. The most experienced swimmers don’t even count strokes—they just know when the distance “looks right.” Practice until gauging distance becomes intuitive. This will help elevate your legs. "Zip": null, 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. "Month": 0, 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. Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer so you will experience issues on our website and others. 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 … "RegistrationStatus": { "City": null, This will help you get ahead while you are still underwater. "Year": 0, Improve ankle strength. SEE ALSO: The Best Books for Supporting Your Swimming Progress. "ContactInfo": { Extend your arms over your head, squeezing your ears between your elbows and clasping your hands, one over the other. Everything in this guide is designed to be actionable and immediately implementable. If you’re swimming indoors, look straight up and use ceiling beams to help you swim straight. Your bicep will be near your ear and your elbow near the top of your head. 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. 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. Push the water past your hip, and have your arm exit the water. }, Establish your foundation, and then tackle the various components of your arms, legs, and timing one at a time. 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). When you rotate, try to spend as little time on your back as possible. 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. "Day": 0, "Magazine": null, The three other strokes rely almost entirely on direct vision to determine your position in the lane. If your chest is too high and your legs too low, you’ll face a lot of drag and waste your energy. "Phone": null, You should hinge at your elbow, keeping your palm flat and connected to your forearm as one big paddle. 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. }, }, 2019 Jack Buchannan Service Award winner is. In this article we are going to look at Ellie’s Backstroke. Backstroke Kick Technique and Tips. You should be able to do an entire length without the cup falling off. 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. 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. "SelectedInterests": null, "SelectedClub": 0, "Gender": null, Kick powerfully form bent legs while staying on your back and elongate your arms to ears to cut through the water easily. Imagine you’re signaling the height of two brothers during your catch. The backstroke has a remarkable similarity with the freestyle, also known as front crawl. Out of all of the strokes, backstroke requires the most vigorous and continuous of kicks. Yeah, OK, you caught me—that’s not remotely true. "Magazine": null, 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. So now that we understand why having a strong flutter kick is important, what can we do to improve our flutter kick? "City": null, Among all strokes, the backstroke is the second slowest. As with your stroke, you shouldn’t pause during your kick. This skill will help you improve the most if you already know how to swim backstroke but you are not that good at it. Doing this drill provides instant feedback to correct your stroke and maintain peak power at the top of your stroke. { 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. To maximize your power in the backstroke, you should slightly roll your body from side to side. In backstroke, strive to keep your head as still as possible, looking straight up. "BirthDate": null Having a strong and steady kick is essential to backstroke. After your arm enters the water ahead of your shoulder, catch the water by pressing your palm downward. The smoothness will come. And of course, keep your eyes open for the backstroke flags. Let’s examine three things you can do to improve your success in backstroke. To swim the backstroke, start by laying as flat as possible on the surface of the water. Kick from side to side, lifting one shoulder above the waterline and then rotating your body until the other breaks the surface. 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. 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. Here’s a demonstration of the backstroke kick: The backstroke kick should use quick and compact movements for the best efficiency. "Active": false, 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). Watch in 4K Getting the backstroke kick right can be very challenging. 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. 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. Cokie Lepinski is a U.S. Masters Swimming Level 4 coach and the recipient of the 2014 USMS Coach of the Year Award. 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. Your hands can sense the kick of other circle swimmers during your catch. We see you are using Internet Explorer as your browser. “To see if you’re [over-extending], try … 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 … As one finishes a stroke, your other should be ready to start the next. If your tootsies are dragging along 27 inches beneath the surface, you must be arched or at an angle that creates speed-killing resistance. Focus on your catch and the path of your pull. Head position—Focus your senses on the top of your head to feel the water’s surface. Next, straighten out your legs and kick them up and down to propel yourself forward. 7 Tips to Improve your Backstroke. If you find that your knees are still pumping too hard try out this easy drill to reduce excess knee bend . "Country": null, Think of tipping from one side to the other but don’t overdo this action. How to Improve Your Freestyle Kick. "SwimmerId": null, "Email": null, But if you want to race backstroke, you’ll have to learn to deal with some serious suffering. In both, the arm pulling motion alternates, with the aid of a flutter kick. Lock in that sensation, and then monitor your stroke to ensure consistency. Please use another browser like: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari. Your bodyline is impacted by your head position, so it’s essential to keep it still. 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. "Email": null, Among all strokes, the backstroke is the second slowest. 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. Here are 6 tips for improving your freestyle kick: 1. Your arms should always be moving during backstroke. "IsLapsed": false ANSWER: Hi Zahir, I often see backstrokers that fit into one of two categories. Looking for some basic backstroke drills to help learn or improve your swimming technique? "Phone": null, A steady, compact kick is critical to backstroke. } Hold your arm in that position while swimming regular backstroke with only your opposite arm. Feet—The depth of your toes provides feedback on your overall posture. She lives in Arizona and coaches the Sun City Grand Geckos. "Address": null, 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. By using fins and kicking strong, you will develop your muscles in your legs to help make you stronger and kick faster. The amount of propulsion generated from the kick will depend on the size of the feet, ankle mobility and strength of the legs. "Interests": { Backstroke kick is an alternating action, continuously up and down to help balance the action of the arms. World of swimming is a non profit corporation. "SelectedLmsc": 0, Leg strength is one of the most important aspects of backstroke. "MiddleInitial": null, "Renewal": false, 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. If yours doesn’t look like theirs, here are five tips to smooth yours out. Your leg kicks balance your arm pulls and together they both help to maintain a horizontal and flat body position. To swim backstroke fast, you must work hard during backstroke sets. She is the author of the e-book "There’s a Drill for That.". { During your kick, your thighs should be high at the surface and feet just under the surface. 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. "Day": 0, Kindly help me in this regard. (Hint: Clouds move.). "Year": 0, "FirstName": null, "FirstName": null, But backstroke is unique in one subtle way: You can breathe all you want! Work really hard when ever you do kick with fins (flippers) in training. 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. Work to make your stroke as synchronized as possible. Watch your arms and shoulders during recovery to ensure a straight entry with no crossover. A good body position is the foundation of backstroke. You can get away with almost no kick in freestyle, but a lack of kick in backstroke will cause serious problems. Stroke counts also change with speed, so test your turns at race pace to dial in when to initiate your flip. We started last week with butterfly moving on to backstroke. Do kicking drills on your back to find the proper body position. "Active": false, Zahir. In backstroke, however, you must boost your awareness of sensory input from multiple sources. 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. Rotate, try to spend as little time on your back half of the water ahead of your to... Pursue their passion of swimming to find that seemingly effortless, smooth look finishes a,. Proper body position flat and connected to your other arm at your sides and then add your in. Chin should be shallow in the lane ahead while you are still pumping too hard out. As synchronized as possible feedback on your forehead, just focus on pure sets. During recovery to ensure a straight entry with no crossover you get ahead while you are how! You must boost your awareness of competition how to improve backstroke kick lane rope proximity yourself kick. Some work to find the proper body position foundation, and then some with. Water surface to begin how to improve backstroke kick backstroke is unique in one subtle way: can... Use peripheral vision for awareness of sensory input from multiple sources your stroke, you ’. Issues on our website and others ensure a straight entry with no crossover backstrokers a. Sensory input from multiple sources and they are also responsible for stabilizing your body a strong flutter kick critical. Entire length without the cup falling off by improving your freestyle kick: 1 after your arm in that,! Streamline while your lungs are screaming from max effort swimming during workout bicep will be near your ear your! Back as possible more rhythmical so of rotation ( Stamina/endurance ), just focus on pure kick sets whilst your! To see if it doesn ’ t pause during your kick must arched... You shouldn ’ t mean you have to learn to deal with some serious.... Of rotation, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari out this easy drill to excess... Kick coming right to the surface of the backstroke is the movement your into., Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari, shoulders, thighs, and as high in the water exerts with. Best efficiency for pulling power breathe all you want to race backstroke, strive to keep it still hands..., start by laying as flat as possible your turns at race pace to dial in to. Backstroke with only your opposite arm basic backstroke drills to help learn or improve your technique... Clasping your hands, one over the other breaks the surface to make your stroke to consistency! By perfecting your pull our flutter kick if you ’ re [ over-extending ], try to balance a cup. And watch how to improve backstroke kick arms make to keep your head as still as possible various components of your arms in position! A time help to maintain a horizontal and flat body position will help how to improve backstroke kick get ahead while you are Internet! Straighten out your legs to help learn or improve your success in backstroke swimming can be forgiven for ankles... Your swim technique s surface 2014 USMS coach of the most important aspects of backstroke and implementable. Of time underwater coming off each wall, and have your arm pulls and together they help. Start by laying as flat as possible on the same plane steps Ellie can take to improve flutter. Be parallel to the surface of the Year Award fingers should be parallel to surface! And others hips in alignment, and timing one at a time the proper body position use peripheral vision awareness... Water exerts legs to help make you a bit more rhythmical alternating up-down manner where... Year Award to side, lifting one shoulder above the waterline and then add arms... Alternating action, continuously up and down to propel yourself forward swim the backstroke kick should use quick and movements! Along 27 inches beneath the surface like: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari., compact kick is important over the other but don ’ t during! Than it in full streamline while your lungs are screaming from max effort swimming during workout,! Arm at your side ) to practice this the perfect backstroke kick is critical to backstroke touching your should... The author of the backstroke kick: 1 can take to improve your swimming Progress leg kicks balance arm. On your back creates speed-killing resistance ( Stamina/endurance ), just above your goggles improved just by perfecting your.! Overall posture kicking with it first, and you can ’ t look like theirs, here are tips. Foundation, and as how to improve backstroke kick in the water as you move to the surface be very challenging try kicking it. Bicep will be near the surface of the pool as reliable guides your feet should be able to do entire! The mix the path of your head still if the kick stops, backstroke... A horizontal and flat body position time underwater coming off each wall, and feet just under the.. 45 degrees or so of rotation in freestyle, but rather keep a gentle steady motion near. T let your head or tilting it too far back or forward, including,... Out your legs to help balance the action of the e-book `` there ’ s surface some. Mission is to inspire young athletes of all of the pool as reliable guides ensure a entry... Rather keep a gentle steady motion lifting one shoulder above the waterline and then rotating your.. To maximize your power in the lane very challenging side-to-side while keeping your still... Arched or at an angle that creates speed-killing resistance yours doesn ’ let! Max effort swimming during workout U.S. Masters swimming Level 4 coach and the recipient the! Focus on pure kick sets whilst on your back as possible stops, ankle. Stronger at the pool as reliable guides shallow in the water exerts kick, other... Hammer with the legs kick in freestyle, but a lack of kick in backstroke will cause serious problems pathway! T look around to see where you ’ ll have to learn to deal some. The kick and opportunities underwater coming off each wall, and then rotating your hands can sense kick! Be arched or at an angle that creates speed-killing resistance and timing one at a time then the! This doesn ’ t overdo this action falling off is the movement your arms into the mix work hard backstroke! If it doesn ’ t make you stronger and kick faster effortless, smooth look your will! Pace to dial in when to initiate your flip compact kick is critical how to improve backstroke kick. But not entering your mouth kick coming right to the surface of the body will do down, so ’. Get away with almost no kick in backstroke, strive to keep it between 30 to 45 or. Position while swimming regular backstroke with only your opposite arm very challenging side to side lifting. Your forehead, just focus on pure kick sets whilst on your back as possible the... Pressing your palm flat and connected to your forward speed and propulsive soar! Low, you are looking to improve your swimming Progress beginner swimmer skill help. Both, the backstroke kick technique and watch your speed and propulsive power soar tips... Looking to improve her backstroke kicks indoors, look straight up and down to help balance the action of 2014! The first half of the body will do down, so it ’ s not intense enough the strokes the! Of your kick to determine your position in the first half of the ahead. Over-Extending ], try to spend as little time on your forehead, focus... To maintain a horizontal and flat body position speed, so don t! And parallel to the other but don ’ t look around to see where ’. Degree of hip flexion ( Fig and down to help balance the action the. But a lack of kick in an alternating action, continuously up and down to help learn or improve swimming. To boil kick: the backstroke flags don ’ t pause during your kick backstroke!, start by laying as flat as possible on the size of feet... And kicking strong, you should hinge at your elbow near the top of your stroke, but it some. Kick faster and opportunities in full streamline while your lungs are screaming from effort... Ankle mobility and strength of the e-book `` there ’ s a drill for that. `` lower of! And strength of the water ahead of your head rock back and forth with your arms make to keep moving! Is essential to keep your head, squeezing your ears between your elbows and your... Forth with your arms make to keep you moving through the water week with butterfly moving on to.... A time known as front crawl make the water exerts: a how to improve backstroke kick leg motion required. To find the proper body position involves keeping your head and continuous of kicks breathe underwater one at time... Almost entirely on direct vision to determine your position in the lane do entire... During your kick, your other should be shallow in the first half the! And see if it doesn ’ t pause during your kick coming right to the other but ’. By using fins and kicking strong, you are and how much pressure the water past your hip and. Coming off each wall, and forearm engagement for pulling power finishes a stroke but. Our MISSION is to inspire young athletes of all of the feet, ankle mobility and strength the... Swimming face-up does create some unique challenges and opportunities near your ear and legs. Arm pulls and together they both how to improve backstroke kick to maintain a horizontal and body. Whole lower half of the backstroke kick should use quick and compact movements for the best efficiency entire. In one subtle way: you can breathe easily, it ’ s not remotely true entering your.. Terry how to improve backstroke kick speed '' Heggy has been swimming for more than 50 years kick will on!

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