Though less popular than freestyle, Backstroke has its own attraction and challenge. Backstroke, known as the “upside-down freestyle,” is a unique way to swim. Backstroke masters should focus on body placement, arm movement, leg kicks, body rolls, and breathing. This handbook offers expert backstroke advice.
Let’s start with body positioning, the backstroke’s foundation. Backstroke is swum on the back, which novices may find strange. Your body should be horizontal, just below the water, with your head back and eyes up. Lifting your head forward can drop your hips, increasing drag. Floating on your back and keeping balance is an excellent technique to practice.
Arm movement follows. Backstroke alternates arms underneath and above water. Each arm action involves entry, pull, push, and recovery. Pinky-first, the hand enters the water. A semi-circular underwater pull and push transfer water toward the feet. Thumb-first, the arm recovers from the water. To enhance propulsion, keep elbows straight during recovery and bent during pull-push.
Backstroke’s leg kick. Like freestyle, backstroke uses the flutter kick, a hip-driven up-and-down movement. To kick smoothly, keep your legs extended and close together with relaxed ankles. Avoid excessive knee bending, which wastes energy. Kickboard improves kicks and leg strength.
Backstroke, like freestyle, involves a body roll. Hips and shoulders should roll your body side to side around your spine. The roll slims your physique in the water and boosts arm stroke power. It also reduces shoulder discomfort by improving movement.
Backstroke is easier to breathe in because your face is above the water. Maintaining a steady pace and preventing water from splashing into your nose or mouth might be difficult. Breathe in as you recover and out as you draw underwater. This syncs breathing with strokes, establishing rhythm and energy.
Many backstroke swimmers struggle to keep centered and swim straight without being able to see. Use backstroke flags and ceiling structures or clouds as cues. To time your turn, count strokes from the flags to the wall.
If you’re used to facing downstrokes, backstroke may seem awkward at first. Persistence and repetition can make the backstroke a useful swimming skill. It delivers a balanced workout and relieves neck discomfort from forward-gazing strokes.
Mastering backstroke requires learning and practicing each of these fundamentals. Always integrate each component gradually. Take your time and master each step before moving on. Swimming requires strength, stamina, and technique. These suggestions will help you master backstroke.