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