There are four fundamental strokes in swimming, all of which use the arms in a different manner. The amount of propulsion generated from the kick will depend on the size of the feet, ankle mobility and strength of the legs. This is a great drill for developing a strong, deep catch in the pull while also working on reinforcing full body rotation with each stroke. Your backstroke arms will be pulling one after the other, so one arm will always be out of the water or stretched out along the side of your head.Perform your log roll either with one arm by your head and one by your side, or with both arms by your sides, whichever is most comfortable for you. I have the swimmers stand with both arms by the side and looking straight ahead. Entering the water pinky-first is the recommended way to create the least amount of drag. However, in the backstroke kick, lifting your knees weakens your kick. arm!action! Back crawl uses an alternating arm action. Remember to do both arms. Rolling from side to side moves the arm in a better starting position to sweep underwater. The recovering arm extends forward underwater during the second upsweep of the stroking arm. In this backstroke article, we explain the different phases of the arm stroke movements in detail. Backstroke - Technique Alternating circular arm action over and under the water with a straight arm recovery, brushing your ears and elbows locked straight. The catch occurs at the end of the first downsweep when the arm is bent about 90°, and the forearm and palm are facing outward and backward. The action of the backstroke kick, like that of the crawl kick, emanates from the hips, one leg lifting up as the other drops down. The feet should be limp at all times, as limp as can be. It’s all in the hips. Swimming backstroke/ arm action. The arm action is continuous and alternating. Required fields are marked *. Your knees should be slightly apart, but no wider than your shoulders (Fig 2). I've been teaching swimming for over 30 years and I built this site so that I can share all my knowledge, wisdom and experience from the thousands of swimming lessons I have had the pleasure of teaching. Using your visual analysis, that would make it about parallel to 12 o’clock. Depending on the swimmer’s style, a third propulsive phase may be added at the end of the second downsweep. The arms alternate so that always one arm is underwater while the other arm is recovering. In other words maintain your long flat stretched out position and simply roll onto your front.From there you can begin to swim whichever swimming stroke you wish to do from there. They then complete a down sweep keeping the hand 90 degrees to the body. In order to feel comfortable with your stroke, Pease recommends concentrating on each arm individually for starters. Part of the reason this error is so comm… The first upsweep ends when the hand is near the water surface and at the level of the shoulder. One arm is under the water moving through the propulsive phase as the other is lifted over the water in recovery. Swimmers should maintain a continuous kicking action with a smooth arm action. Otherwise, water will be unnecessarily pushed upward, increasing drag. During this phase, the whole arm moves backward, upward and inward as a unit. From under water it looks like this: Head is steady. There are two possible arm actions for backstroke: The straight arm pull - easier to learn and used in more recreational swimming. The propulsion is generated from alternate arm stroke and flutter kick actions. Backstroke kick is an alternating action, continuously up and down to help balance the action of the arms. There are four partsto the arms in backstroke which are the entry, catch, propulsive phase and recovery which I will discuss in moredetail. The alternating arm action and continuous kick are so superior that they are the nearly exclusive style used in the sport. Hi, I'm Christophe! This exercise should be performed with an alternate right arm/left leg and left arm/right leg action. Backstroke*Technique ! The ideal stroke is when the arms just flow into the catch and through the pull. If you feel discomfort in your shoulder, move your hand entry out to 11 and 1. 2) Although the body rolls from side to side while swimming backstroke, the head keeps a neutral position, with the back of the head in the water and the face oriented toward the ceiling. Purpose: This drill introduces the swimmer to rotating from their back to their front in order to perform a backstroke turn. When swimming backstroke you will find that the arms provide main propulsion. The stroking arm leaves the water and becomes the recovering arm during the first downsweep of the other arm. 5. Once the basic float, which is the corner stone of all good swimming technique is learned, the propulsive skills of kicking and then the arm pulling action can be added. Swimming requires your arms and legs to remain in motion in order to stay afloat and propel yourself backward or forward. The little finger and side of the hand cuts its entry into the water to begin the propulsive phase. If your hand entry is at 12 o’clock, above your head rather than above the same shoulder, then you are inviting shoulder injury. leg!kick! So if you're a fellow teacher, beginner swimmer or an improver, there is something here for you. Body position is one of the backstroke basics. In backstroke, as in all strokes, keeping the head firmly situated on top of the spine ensures the body advances in the least resistive cross-sectional profile. what!are!they?! The backstroke arm action was divided i nto six . Backstroke Drills A good drill to hone your backstroke technique is to do the one-arm backstroke drill. The elementary backstroke is a basic swimming technique that is easy to learn and, therefore, useful for improving your water confidence as a beginner. A Steady Head: body position or aquatic posture. The hand enters the water in front of the shoulder and with the pinky finger first. 4. Do single-arm backstroke drills to strengthen your arm action for the backstroke. Then, the pull begins with the body tilted toward the pulling side. Get over to Facebook and join the Swim Teach group where swimming teachers help beginners learn how to swim. The entry should be gentle to avoid pushing water downward and forward with the arm, which would increase drag. Backstroke - Technique Alternating circular arm action over and under the water with a straight arm recovery, brushing your ears and elbows locked straight. This is facilitated by the fact that the body has rolled toward the other arm and the shoulder of the arm about to leave the water is already close to the water surface. tep 3: To engage the correct backstroke kicking muscles, the quads and the hamstrings, resume your backstroke float, hands leading, spine straight, good water-line, squeezing your ears with your elbows, and begin kicking with absolutely no bend at the hips. I am a member of the Amazon Associates Program and I will earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Backstroke is the only competitive stroke performed on the back. So the forearm only pushes water backward at the beginning of the downsweep. Step 1 : - Push off the wall on your back, both arms extended, preparing to do the backstroke, straight spine, good water-line, productive kick. The recovering arm moves in a half-circle from the hip to an upward-pointing position to the overhead position where it enters the water again. The second downsweep is the second propulsive phase of the arm stroke. To maximize your power in the backstroke, you should slightly roll your body from side to side. When swimming backstroke you will find that the arms provide main propulsion. The leg action starts with a bend at the knee joint to drop the lower legs (leg recovery) to set up the propulsive phase. For backstroke arms to be both efficient and effective, the entry must be in line with the shoulder, with the upper arm just brushing the ear. It is vital to backstroke and many put undue strain on their muscles by keeping their body and legs in the same position. The hand entry into the water is controlled with the palm facing out and the little finger first to reducing resistance as it enters the Back Crawl Arm Action The arms contribute to most of the forward movement. I work first on the recovery. It is a long axis stroke, the body rotates on an imaginary central axis from the head to the toe. Backstroke Arm Technique Tips. That practice was modified toward the end of the 19th century by bringing forward first one arm above the water, then the other, and then each in turn. But it makes sense that this position puts more strain on the shoulders than a flat hand entry, palm facing upward. If you watch Ryan Lochte’s video above carefully, you’ll see that his palm is facing downward and forward instead of inward during the upsweep and release. The paired arm action in the propulsive phase can be compared to the backstroke action, but the hands do not extend far beyond the shoulders in survival backstroke. Arms without floats. One arm is under the water moving through the propulsive phase as the other is lifted over the water in recovery. As you swim on your back performing your backstroke your body position is long, flat and horizontal (assuming your technique is correct). As I recover the arms, my main thought is to go straight over the top, and I want the hands to enter at 11 and 1. entry of the hand into the water to the beginning of its . This is simply when one arm is moving towards the catch and the other is … Maintain a flat position for a smooth transition from back to front and this will maintain the rhythm of your swimming stroke. They then sweep up and in maintaining the elbow lower and forward. Propulsion then occurs as arm pull through 180 degrees to the hip. Backstroke*Exercises! (Fig 4) The arm action of survival backstroke - 'drawing wings' Your arms follow a curve; 'drawing wings' until your hands and arms reach the glide position (Fig 1). When I think about that, the arm is in exactly the same position as a thumb-first entry in freestyle, which might lead to shoulder injury. Beginner learns may use a straight arm throughout the stroke – often referred to as a windmill action. Arm Action The hands initially sweep and catch in a downward and outward pattern. During this phase, the whole arm moves backward, upward and inward as a unit. The ideal stroke is when the arms just flow into the catch and through the pull. Swimming backstroke/ arm action timing When swimming backstroke your arms can be seen opposite each other but there is a period in this cycle when both arms are in the water at the same time. The log roll is the best way to move from back to front or indeed from front to back quickly and decisively, whilst at the same time maintaining stability in the water.The moment you raise your head, bend your knees or allow your hips to drop the result will be that unstable sinking feeling! Mastering this catch and push phase in backstroke is essential for efficient propulsion. leg!kick! 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). For a more detailed analysis of backstroke arm action click here. The float held on the chest provides support for the beginner and the single arm action allows easy learning without compromising the swimmer’s coordination. Swimming backstroke/ arm action When swimming backstroke you will find that the arms provide main propulsion. During the recovery, the arm should be extended and neither too relaxed nor too tense. In backstroke, the arm action will provide the majority of the propulsion. Thumb will exit the water first with the back of … During the cross-over entry, the hand that is entering into the water behind the head, actually over-reaches up top and crosses the swimmer’s midline (prior to entering the water). Eddy currents are always present no matter how efficient the moving object is through the water but the narrower and more streamlined the object, the less effect eddy currents have.An in-toeing backstroke kick will therefore be more streamlined and generate less drag. The arm action is continuous and alternating. Start standing and have the swimmers engage their core, tuck the hips under, and make sure the ribs are pressed in. Does this mean swimming backstroke is inevitably prone to shoulder injury? With regards to propulsion, in-toeing may not increase propulsion but will assist it by decreasing drag. The best way to describe the kind of movement you need is a ‘log roll’. ", Sign up for the Swim Teach Newsletter and get  Free Stuff, Top Tips, and Loads More  -Straight to Your Inbox, #1 The Complete Beginners Guide To Swimming. Arms should be fully extended and the little finger enters first. When the shoulders and hips are connected, the arms can just flow. 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