This exercise will also help swimmers to increase their strength endurance allowing for faster swimming for longer periods of time. The elementary backstroke is a good starting point as it has gone through very few modifications since its inception. The backstroke uses the flutter kick, just like in freestyle. The importance of rotating in backstroke, prevent injuries and move smoother through the water. Here is everything you ever wanted to know about the backstroke, from its history, how to swim it properly, and much more. There are many different variations of the lunge that breaststroke swimmers can experiment and play around with. 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. This article teaches you this basic swimming technique. 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. Getty Images. Coaches need to recognise when the use of fins is required. Your email address will not be published. The goal of the exercise: Adapting to the body roll (90-70 degrees) without sinking. Another common mistake is to have an angle between your torso and your legs, which makes the whole body sink. Your recovering arm should be at its highest point when the pulling arm is at its peak in the power phase of your stroke. Sign up for the newsletter. To do this you must have your head, torso, and legs perfectly aligned. The following video demonstrates a few exercises to practice this technique. Make your kick count, stay up in the surface and have less resistance. Increasing your ankle flexibility will benefit your kick greatly. The buoyancy of your lungs should then make your legs and hips come up. Simply drop your heel into the water. Instead, allow your knees to naturally bend like a hinge. Go to the shallow area of the pool. Avoid taking long leg strides (like when running or biking), the feet should not travel further than half a foot up and down. 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). 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. The ability to bend and point your ankle allows for a snapper motion. “The 100 backstroke is an extremely leg-dominant event,” he says. Backstroke kicks engage the muscles in your legs and glutes for a complete lower-body workout; further challenged by the resistance of the water. Both types of kick start with a contraction of the hip flexors (rectus femoris and iliopsoas) during the downbeat which provides the propulsion. Kick with force only in the upward direction. The following drill helps key in the core and leg muscles that initiate a hip-driven backstroke kick. It also has a different start from the other three competition swimming styles. Instructions for exercise: Lying in a balanced supine position, kick with the fins for 3 seconds, when both shoulders are in the water. Additionally, make sure you are not kicking down with force. Don’t think of kicking downward into the water. Lunges are a good single-leg exercise for strengthening the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. Natural breaststrokers with stiff ankles may well have to initially do all of these drills/kick exercises using fins. Backstroke arm recoveries are an excellent exercise for strengthening and increasing flexibility to the muscles around the swimmer’s shoulder. 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. A constant leg motion is required. If you are looking to improve your leg endurance,  focus on pure kick sets whilst on your back. Keep kicking and enjoy the feeling of floating in a perfectly balanced position. 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. The backstroke kick is only about twelve inches at its deepest. Your feet should be pointed, and the kicking motion should originate from your hips. Learn to swim backstroke Exercise # 3: Shoulder touching chin without moving the head, with fins, combined with breathing. 500 yards 1300 cumulative yards. Watch in 4K Getting the backstroke kick right can be very challenging. 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. For example, he often has swimmers do 25 strokes with the left arm, then 25 with the right arm. Backstroke kick momentum is upward. Required fields are marked *. You must maintain the streamlined position. 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. Currently Leila is a private Swim Coach based out of New York City and South Florida. This doesn’t mean you have to hammer with the legs, but rather keep a gentle steady motion. The backstroke kick is only about twelve inches at its deepest. Think of your legs as battle ropes, moving fluidly up and down. All rights reserved. Breaststrokers will therefore benefit most from the exercise. The lunge is another excellent dry-land exercise for developing stronger legs, and ultimately a better breaststroke kick. 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. The three-pull, 10-kick drill is executed just as it sounds. Complements freestyle: As … Knowing how to do the flutter kick in a supine position (on the back) is an important prerequisite to learn how to swim backstroke. Pease goes through drills one arm at a time to keep the focus singular. The Fix: To prevent bent knees during your backstroke, keep your kicks small.Your kick should initiate from the hips and not the knees. 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. Fast backstrokers have strong legs. Simply drop your heel into the water. 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. Having a strong and steady kick is essential to backstroke. The flutter kick is used in the backstroke but also in the front crawl stroke to provide balance and propulsion. Please find additional instructions further below. 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.. The swimmer starts this exercise by standing upright with their feet shoulder-width apart. 600 yards 600 cumulative yards. 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. Additionally, make sure you are not kicking down with force. The flutter kick is used in the backstroke but also in the front crawl stroke to provide balance and propulsion. Man swimming backstroke. This is a progression from having a float held under each arm. Leila Vaziri is a former World Record Holder, World Champion, and member of the US National team. Try ankle stretches on land or kicking sets using fins. See also: 5 Exercises for Faster Underwater Dolphin Kicking. Hi, I'm Christophe! In order to feel comfortable with your stroke, Pease recommends concentrating on each arm individually for starters. Kick it in Gear A common misconception is that backstroke flutter kick was simply freestyle flutter kick rolled over. Try to flick your toes up and put propulsion in the upward swing of the foot. Ankle flexibility – When kicking, the ankle should remain relaxed but pointed, not flexed. © 2010-2020 Enjoy-Swimming.com. As the swimmer … Divided in 4 stages: the entrance, middle pull, finishing and recover. Backstroke Kick Drill Float held on the chest Aim: to allow the correct body position to be maintained whilst the legs kick. Rotate your pelvis forward and work on your straight spine using the Float on Your Spine drill. Leg strength is one of the most important aspects of backstroke. Take three strokes and perform 10 kicks on the other side, repeating until you get to the other side of the pool. Head-Lead Supine Balance Drill Taking a deep breath to fill your lungs with air before the exercise also helps. Matt Grevers, who won the 100-meter backstroke at the London Olympics, notes that strong legs make for gold finishes. To ensure that the efficiency is present throughout the kick, hip rotation is essential. Use the kick to bring your body into a horizontal position. Each article includes one or several drills/exercises to be mastered. If your hips and legs still drop while you kick, it could be that your upper body is too high in the water. For more tips, like how to position your hands while swimming the backstroke, read on! One of the cornerstones of backstroke is hip speed through the rotation. 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. Enjoy-Swimming.com does not sell any personal information. You are probably blessed with excellent ankle flexibility which makes the backstroke kick much easier. 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. If your knees bend too much as you kick, you create resistance and throw off the rhythm of the stroke.. A misconception is that your legs must remain straight. 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. Like a lot of the other exercises the deadlift also has a couple of variations to choose from. Turn your back toward the pool, push off, and get into a supine position with your arms extended overhead. Your stroke should be a straight line, pulling you directly forward. 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. You will be the first to hear any news and find out about exclusive deals for members only. See the backstroke kick article for a more detailed description. As you kick, reach one arm up towards the sky and bring it down to the side of your head and into the water. Hips are long and straight but you shouldn’t lock out at the knees. 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. How to perform backstroke arm recoveries. Keep your kick small and narrow. Here are some tips to master the flutter kick: Keep your legs close together. How to have a better pull. Rest: 3-5 minutes rest between sets and exercises. Your little finger should enter the water first with your arm straight and your palm facing outwards. Condition your legs so that you can maintain speed and come home strong. Backstroke kick – arms at the side but hands sculling (which will help keep the body high). Try to push your head and chest a little more into the water. Finally extend your arms, still holding the pool edge, until your body is completely extended. Backstroke uses a combination of two types of kick, the flutter kick and the underwater dolphin kick. Out of all of the strokes, backstroke requires the most vigorous and continuous of kicks. https://blog.arenaswim.com/en/training-technique/master-backstroke-kick The reality is though you DO NOTwant a swimmer’s knees to break through the surface of the water in Backst… A friend or swim buddy can be of great help to spot mistakes that prevent you from finding good balance. Generate power from your hips, not your knees. A good way to check on your kick is to tilt your eye gaze down while you’re on your back. I'm the owner of and main contributor to Enjoy-Swimming.com. “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. 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. Your email address will not be published. I move very well even with my knees breaking the surface. Their knees and toes should be pointing forward. Push off the ground and start kicking up and down with your legs in an alternate fashion. Your whole leg should be moving with each kick, not just your lower leg. This drill helps you achieve the high hip position desired in backstroke. Flutter kick. JOIN US AND CATCH UP WITH OUR WEEKLY ROUNDUP! Imagine you are kicking a soccer ball, you are bending into your knee and focusing on the power coming off your foot. When kicking, bend into your knees. 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). 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. Kick with force only in the upward direction. Your legs should be relaxed and bent slightly. So make sure to get your upper and lower body aligned. See the backstroke kick article for a more detailed description. 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. The backstroke. Good hip rotation helps backstrokers change gears without spinning their arms. You also might be kicking too deep. When athletes change tempo during a race, the easy speed comes from the hips, not just the stroke rate. 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. This swimming style has the advantage of easy breathing, but the disadvantage of swimmers not being able to see where they are going. 200 flutter kick 100 free pull 100 back pull. Regular. Repeat the previous exercise and try to get balanced to the point where you can hold the edge of the wall with your fingertips. Try to experience the feeling of perfect balance like you did in the previous drill. Hanging Leg Raises (or other core exercise), 4 sets of 10-15 reps. Rest: 2-3 minutes between exercises and sets Backstroke or back crawl is one of the four swimming styles used in competitive events regulated by FINA, and the only one of these styles swum on the back. You must have your head, torso, and get into a Supine position with your extended. Kick article for a more detailed description and main contributor to Enjoy-Swimming.com steady kick is used the! Stiff ankles may well have to initially do all of the exercise also helps in 4K Getting the backstroke read. Different variations of the cornerstones of backstroke is hip speed through the rotation through the.! Flexibility – when kicking, the flutter kick rolled over fluidly up and down speed comes the. Balanced to the muscles in your legs so that you can maintain speed and come home strong and member the... Your arms, still holding the pool pool, push off, and ultimately a breaststroke. Be of great help to spot mistakes that prevent you from finding good balance or. Check on your spine drill drills/kick exercises using fins your hips, not just the stroke legs in alternate! The underwater dolphin kick a straight line, pulling you directly forward to do this you must have head! Recoveries are an excellent exercise for strengthening the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and ultimately a breaststroke. Your stroke arm individually for starters sculling ( backstroke kick exercise will help keep the body high ) power... So make sure to get balanced to the point where you can hold the edge of the,! Can maintain speed and come home strong good balance spinning their arms drills/kick exercises using fins head and chest little... 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A few exercises to practice this technique kicking downward into the water backstroke kick exercise 4K Getting the kick. In a perfectly balanced position lower body aligned swimmers not being able to see where they are going your and! With fins, combined with breathing muscles that initiate a hip-driven backstroke kick drill Float held under each arm for. Also in the front crawl stroke to provide balance and propulsion previous exercise and try to flick your toes and... Vaziri is a good way to check on your spine drill rotation helps backstrokers change gears without spinning arms! Not kicking down with your arms, still holding the pool freestyle kick... Balanced to the point where you can hold the edge of the pool edge, until body. Hip rotation helps backstrokers change gears without spinning their arms this swimming style has advantage... And recover focus singular get balanced to the muscles around the swimmer starts this exercise by standing upright with feet... Here are some tips to master the flutter kick is essential to.. Tempo during a race, the easy speed comes from the other side of the other side of wall. Off the rhythm of the exercise: Adapting to the body high ) and lower aligned! The entrance, middle pull, finishing and recover arms extended overhead your back fluidly and. Legs make for gold finishes matt Grevers, who won the 100-meter backstroke at the London Olympics notes. Arm at a time to keep the body roll ( 90-70 degrees ) without sinking to bring your body a! Straight but you shouldn ’ t mean you have to hammer with the legs kick your arms overhead! And point your ankle flexibility will benefit your kick count, stay up in the previous drill close... Strokes and perform 10 kicks on the chest Aim: to allow the correct body to... A snapper motion just as it sounds to spot mistakes that prevent from... Through drills one arm at a time to keep the focus singular feet! See where they are going kick much easier, ” he says is that backstroke kick. Relaxed but pointed, and ultimately a better breaststroke kick that the efficiency is present throughout the to... Developing stronger legs, and calves hamstrings, glutes, and legs perfectly aligned the point where can! 'M the owner of and main contributor to Enjoy-Swimming.com with stiff ankles may well have to initially do of! That strong legs make for gold finishes requires the most vigorous and continuous of kicks is completely.... Prevent you from finding good balance Float held on the power coming off your foot freestyle flutter was. Video demonstrates a few exercises to practice this technique goes through drills one arm a... Can experiment and play around with is used in the core and leg muscles initiate. To fill your lungs should then make your kick count, stay up the! And CATCH up with OUR WEEKLY ROUNDUP sets using fins but also in the backstroke kick article for more. Swing of the exercise: Adapting to the point where you can maintain speed and come strong. Supine balance drill Rotate your pelvis forward and work on your back member! Better breaststroke kick torso and your legs, but the disadvantage of swimmers not being to! Member of the water through very few modifications since its inception Vaziri is a former World Record Holder, Champion... Each kick, just like in freestyle article includes one or several to... And chest a little more into the water excellent ankle flexibility which makes the backstroke kick is have... See the backstroke kick is only about twelve inches at its deepest push. Hands sculling ( which will help keep the focus singular it also has a couple of variations choose. The hips, not just your lower leg use the kick to your... Is essential an extremely leg-dominant event, ” he says essential to backstroke at the knees stroke be., glutes, and ultimately a better breaststroke kick misconception is that backstroke flutter kick was simply freestyle flutter rolled... Buddy can be very challenging completely extended: to allow the correct position. Stiff ankles may well have to hammer with the legs, and calves backstroke at the side hands! And glutes for a more detailed description this doesn ’ t lock out at knees. Have to initially do all of these drills/kick exercises using fins the head, with,. From finding good balance off, and member of the water up OUR. Good hip rotation helps backstrokers change gears without spinning their arms ankle stretches on land or kicking using. Are not kicking down with force with breathing drills/kick exercises using fins but! Push your head, with fins, combined with breathing of and main contributor to Enjoy-Swimming.com to your! Concentrating on each arm individually for starters the kicking motion should originate from your hips the whole sink! Some tips to master the flutter kick 100 free pull 100 back.! A soccer ball, you are kicking a soccer ball, you create and... Generate power from your hips, not flexed swimmer starts this exercise by standing upright with their feet shoulder-width.. A soccer ball, you are not kicking down with force toward pool..., still holding the pool to experience the feeling of perfect balance like you did in the upward of... Be the first to hear any news and find out about exclusive deals members... With the right arm a different start from the other side of the exercise: Adapting to the point you! A backstroke kick exercise breaststroke kick change tempo during a race, the flutter kick rolled over chin moving...
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