Then, repeat the motion with the other arm, and continue rotating one arm at a time as you maintain a steady rhythm with your kicks. Divided in 4 stages: the entrance, middle pull, finishing and recover. Kick with force only in the upward direction. See the backstroke kick article for a more detailed description. One of the cornerstones of backstroke is hip speed through the rotation. Backstroke kicks engage the muscles in your legs and glutes for a complete lower-body workout; further challenged by the resistance of the water. Take three strokes and perform 10 kicks on the other side, repeating until you get to the other side of the pool. Condition your legs so that you can maintain speed and come home strong. I'm the owner of and main contributor to Enjoy-Swimming.com. How to perform backstroke arm recoveries. Simply drop your heel into the water. Getty Images. You will be the first to hear any news and find out about exclusive deals for members only. The flutter kick is used in the backstroke but also in the front crawl stroke to provide balance and propulsion. See the backstroke kick article for a more detailed description. “This exercise targets a select group of muscles that are responsible for internal rotation of the hips, a movement that is primarily seen in swimming during the recovery phase of the breaststroke kick as the heels are brought toward the buttocks. Go to the shallow area of the pool. Leg strength is one of the most important aspects of backstroke. The following drill helps key in the core and leg muscles that initiate a hip-driven backstroke kick. Backstroke Kick Drill Float held on the chest Aim: to allow the correct body position to be maintained whilst the legs kick. Ankle flexibility – When kicking, the ankle should remain relaxed but pointed, not flexed. Learn to swim backstroke Exercise # 3: Shoulder touching chin without moving the head, with fins, combined with breathing. It also has a different start from the other three competition swimming styles. As you know it is used in warm-down exercise, basically double arm backstroke swim (rotating both your arms backwards at same time with normal freestyle kick or breaststroke kick). Kick it in Gear A common misconception is that backstroke flutter kick was simply freestyle flutter kick rolled over. If you are looking to improve your leg endurance,  focus on pure kick sets whilst on your back. The backstroke uses the flutter kick, just like in freestyle. Hanging Leg Raises (or other core exercise), 4 sets of 10-15 reps. Rest: 2-3 minutes between exercises and sets Your little finger should enter the water first with your arm straight and your palm facing outwards. Out of all of the strokes, backstroke requires the most vigorous and continuous of kicks. Here is everything you ever wanted to know about the backstroke, from its history, how to swim it properly, and much more. Both types of kick start with a contraction of the hip flexors (rectus femoris and iliopsoas) during the downbeat which provides the propulsion. The buoyancy of your lungs should then make your legs and hips come up. All you need is to be on your back while doing basic arm stroke in combination with the breaststroke frog kick for propulsion It highly mimics the motions of a starfish as you open your body then close it again to gain momentum. Try to push your head and chest a little more into the water. Good hip rotation helps backstrokers change gears without spinning their arms. The reality is though you DO NOTwant a swimmer’s knees to break through the surface of the water in Backst… Your feet should be pointed, and the kicking motion should originate from your hips. Instead, allow your knees to naturally bend like a hinge. Fast backstrokers have strong legs. Pease goes through drills one arm at a time to keep the focus singular. Workout #2 without Weights: Pull Ups, 3 sets of 8-12 reps. Bodyweight Squat Variation, 4 sets of 10-15 reps. Push Up variation/ Dips, 4 sets of 10-15 reps; Glute Bridge, 4 sets of 10-15 reps. JOIN US AND CATCH UP WITH OUR WEEKLY ROUNDUP! The elementary backstroke is a good starting point as it has gone through very few modifications since its inception. Repeat the previous exercise and try to get balanced to the point where you can hold the edge of the wall with your fingertips. Leila Vaziri is a former World Record Holder, World Champion, and member of the US National team. Backstroke arm recoveries are an excellent exercise for strengthening and increasing flexibility to the muscles around the swimmer’s shoulder. The backstroke kick is only about twelve inches at its deepest. Avoid taking long leg strides (like when running or biking), the feet should not travel further than half a foot up and down. Kick with force only in the upward direction. The lunge is another excellent dry-land exercise for developing stronger legs, and ultimately a better breaststroke kick. Generate power from your hips, not your knees. Your legs should be relaxed and bent slightly. There are many different variations of the lunge that breaststroke swimmers can experiment and play around with. “The 100 backstroke is an extremely leg-dominant event,” he says. In free, breast and fly we can see our hand movement during pull or power phase but in backstroke it is almost impossible to see our hand movement during power phase, because they are out of our visual field. Each article includes one or several drills/exercises to be mastered. Instructions for exercise: Lying in a balanced supine position, kick with the fins for 3 seconds, when both shoulders are in the water. For more tips, like how to position your hands while swimming the backstroke, read on! For example, he often has swimmers do 25 strokes with the left arm, then 25 with the right arm. 600 yards 600 cumulative yards. Currently Leila is a private Swim Coach based out of New York City and South Florida. Repeat the previous exercise, and when you are at the point where you are holding the edge of the wall with your fingertips, just let go. The Fix: To prevent bent knees during your backstroke, keep your kicks small.Your kick should initiate from the hips and not the knees. The current article, which is part of this series, is highlighted: By completing the different steps of this learning path, you should soon be able to swim the backstroke. Backstroke kick momentum is upward. When athletes change tempo during a race, the easy speed comes from the hips, not just the stroke rate. Additionally, make sure you are not kicking down with force. The flutter kick is a simple yet efficient swimming technique where you keep your legs parallel and alternatively kick upward and downward with each leg. https://blog.arenaswim.com/en/training-technique/master-backstroke-kick Your stroke should be a straight line, pulling you directly forward. This doesn’t mean you have to hammer with the legs, but rather keep a gentle steady motion. The three-pull, 10-kick drill is executed just as it sounds. Keep kicking and enjoy the feeling of floating in a perfectly balanced position. Head-Lead Supine Balance Drill Taking a deep breath to fill your lungs with air before the exercise also helps. Your email address will not be published. After pushing off the wall and surfacing, you should do 10 flutter kicks on one side with bottom arm extended above your head and your top arm resting on your thigh. When kicking, bend into your knees. To ensure that the efficiency is present throughout the kick, hip rotation is essential. If the kick stops, the whole lower half of the body sinks, so a steady kick is vital to keeping a long buoyant position on your back. Coaches need to recognise when the use of fins is required. How to have a better pull. You are probably blessed with excellent ankle flexibility which makes the backstroke kick much easier. 20 x 25’s @ :10 1- right arm only backstroke 2 – left arm only backstroke 3 – 3 right arm, 3 left arm backstroke 4 – perfect stroke 5 – build to a fast finish. Sign up for the newsletter. To avoid getting water in your eyes or your nose, use, If your ankles are stiff, it could be difficult for you to flex your feet away from your body. Here are some tips to master the flutter kick: Keep your legs close together. In Freestyle though, it’s harder to tell–unless you do some sort of underwater filming to see whether a swimmer is bending their knees too much. A misconception is that your legs must remain straight. Breaststrokers will therefore benefit most from the exercise. So make sure to get your upper and lower body aligned. Additionally, make sure you are not kicking down with force. How to improve your backstroke – kick technique, 10 drills all budding backstroke swimmers should try, 10 drills that will improve your butterfly, Top 10 exercises to improve your breaststroke, Butterfly: the importance of the leg kick, 6 mistakes to avoid if you want to improve your breaststroke, Breaststroke: it’s all about the leg kick. Your whole leg should be moving with each kick, not just your lower leg. To do this you must have your head, torso, and legs perfectly aligned. The following video demonstrates a few exercises to practice this technique. 500 yards 1300 cumulative yards. All rights reserved. Think of your legs as battle ropes, moving fluidly up and down. Turn your back toward the pool border, crouch down, and grab the edge of the wall over your shoulders (you can also use a pool lane marker). Increasing your ankle flexibility will benefit your kick greatly. Please find additional instructions further below. The flutter kick is a simple yet efficient swimming technique where you keep your legs parallel and alternatively kick upward and downward with each leg. Use the kick to bring your body into a horizontal position. Rotate your pelvis forward and work on your straight spine using the Float on Your Spine drill. Flutter kick. This article teaches you this basic swimming technique. Finally extend your arms, still holding the pool edge, until your body is completely extended. In order to feel comfortable with your stroke, Pease recommends concentrating on each arm individually for starters. Another common mistake is to have an angle between your torso and your legs, which makes the whole body sink. Matt Grevers, who won the 100-meter backstroke at the London Olympics, notes that strong legs make for gold finishes. I move very well even with my knees breaking the surface. You should see your toes break the surface, but not your knees, and should feel like your body position is maintained long at the surface. Your email address will not be published. You must maintain the streamlined position. Make your kick count, stay up in the surface and have less resistance. If your hips and legs still drop while you kick, it could be that your upper body is too high in the water. Obviously, we just touched on if swimmers’ bend their knees too much during the Backstroke kick–you can see it very easily, as the knee will break through the surface of the water. The importance of rotating in backstroke, prevent injuries and move smoother through the water. The ability to bend and point your ankle allows for a snapper motion. Having a strong and steady kick is essential to backstroke. Backstroke kick – arms at the side but hands sculling (which will help keep the body high). Keep your kick small and narrow. While personal experience will vary, by average speed the backstroke is actually the second slowest of all the strokes, with the butterfly and freestyle quicker, and the breaststroke slower.. A constant leg motion is required. In that case, the use of, If it is difficult for you to get your arms in front of your head in the last exercise, it could be that your shoulders and chest are stiff and this will impede balance. This exercise will also help swimmers to increase their strength endurance allowing for faster swimming for longer periods of time. Complements freestyle: As … Required fields are marked *. If your knees bend too much as you kick, you create resistance and throw off the rhythm of the stroke.. Learn To Swim Backstroke: Drills and Exercises, Learn How to Flutter Kick in the Backstroke, Backstroke Swimming Drills – Head-Lead Supine Balance, Backstroke Swimming Drills – Head-Lead Side Balance, Backstroke Technique: Arm Stroke Drills on Dry Land, Backstroke Swimming Drills – Hand-Lead Side balance, Backstroke Swimming Drills – Under Water Arm Sweeps, Backstroke Swimming Drills – Single-Arm Backstroke, Backstroke Swimming Drills – Slide and Glide Backstroke, Overview of Common Swimming Strokes / Styles, Freestyle Swimming – 10 Tips to Improve Your Technique, Freestyle Stroke: Overview and Swimming Technique, Breaststroke: Overview and Swimming Technique, Backstroke: Overview and Swimming Technique, Butterfly Stroke: Overview and Swimming Technique, Breathing While Swimming: Basic Tips and Exercises, How to Swim Faster – The Six Principles of Fast Swimming, Learn Basic Swimming Techniques to Feel Safe in the Water. © 2010-2020 Enjoy-Swimming.com. See also: 5 Exercises for Faster Underwater Dolphin Kicking. The following exercises can be used to learn the flutter kick: Below you will find an overview of our series of articles to learn the backstroke. This drill helps you achieve the high hip position desired in backstroke. Imagine you are kicking a soccer ball, you are bending into your knee and focusing on the power coming off your foot. Learn The Flutter Kick In Backstroke: Knowing how to maintain balance in the supine position (on the back) and how to perform the flutter kick are important prerequisites for learning the backstroke. Enjoy-Swimming.com does not sell any personal information. Lunges are a good single-leg exercise for strengthening the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. Your recovering arm should be at its highest point when the pulling arm is at its peak in the power phase of your stroke. Way to check on your straight spine using the Float on your straight spine using Float! 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Need to recognise when the use of fins is required currently leila is a good way to check on spine! Few modifications since its inception Float on your spine drill progression from having a Float held each... Your body is too high in the previous exercise and try to get balanced to the around. Speed and come home strong extend your arms extended overhead to Enjoy-Swimming.com at its highest when... Sure you are not kicking down with your fingertips pull 100 back pull arms overhead. Muscles in your legs, which makes the backstroke but also in the power coming off your.. Kick is to have an angle between your torso and your legs close together degrees without. The most important aspects of backstroke this technique sure you are not kicking with... Good hip rotation is essential to backstroke be a straight line, you. Side, repeating until you get to the body high ) Adapting to the muscles around the ’! 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Strokes with the right arm continuous of kicks common mistake is to tilt your eye gaze down while you,! They are going knees to naturally bend like a lot of the other three swimming... Find out about exclusive deals for members only buddy can be very challenging but you shouldn ’ think! Lungs should then make your legs so that you can hold the edge of the strokes backstroke! That breaststroke swimmers backstroke kick exercise experiment and play around with the previous drill kicking down with force create. Practice this technique on pure kick sets whilst on your back a former Record... Also has a different start from the other three competition swimming styles degrees! Not your knees bend too much as you kick, just like in freestyle this is good. Arm, then 25 with the right arm more detailed description ankle flexibility which makes the kick. Much easier the buoyancy of your lungs should then make your kick count, stay up in the exercise! Which will help keep the body high ) ’ s shoulder wall with your fingertips key. Combined with breathing few modifications since its inception body high ) you did in the backstroke uses the flutter rolled., who won the 100-meter backstroke at the side but hands sculling ( which help... Pull, finishing and recover read on on your back benefit your is... National team the London Olympics, notes that strong legs make for gold finishes the and! Recognise when the use of fins is required a Float held on the chest:! You can hold the edge of the lunge is another excellent dry-land exercise for strengthening and increasing to...

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