Improving And Mastering In Backstroke

Backstroke Marching Soldier Technique Drill is a great kicking drill as well as rotation. Marching Soldier Drill will not be the swimmers favorite drill because the weigh

Backstroke Positioning Technique & Tips

Want to master your backstroke positioning? Complete with advice from our elite swim coach, to learn how to maintain the correct head and body positioning during your swim. Result: better energy conservation and a reduction in drag.

  • Backstroke Body Position

The correct body position allows you to become more streamlined, improving your efficiency in the water.

  • Backstroke Head Positioning

Keep your head in a neutral position, facing the ceiling directly above you. This keeps you as high as possible in the water.

A Steady Head: body position or aquatic posture


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. Excessive head movement creates unwanted lateral or vert

ical motion in the body. Backstroke swimmers should also maintain a high chest and high hips in the water, connected to a rhythmic rotation of the shoulders.

Good backstrokers swim as if their spines are BBQ skewers around which their upper torsos rotate. Their faces are stable and nearly dry, and their bodies move through the surface in a horizontal and shallow trough. The water level should pass just under the ears, chin held in a neutral position, and eyes looking upwards. To assist in raising their hips, swimmers can coordinate body position and kick by leaning onto their upper back as if on a seesaw.

  • Correction point for head position: “Point nose or chin to sky.”
  • Correction point for rocking head: “Reach wider.”
  • Correction point for body too low: “Lift up belly button.”

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The length and depth of the stroke is affected by rotation of the torso. The shoulder should roll up out of the water


before the hand (on that same side) exits at the side. The shoulders and hips must stay on the same rotational plane. However, recent trends show a flatter backstroke with greater rotation in the shoulders than in hips. Currently many top backstroke swimmers rotate less than 30 degrees to each side. As such, a greater emphasis should be placed on rotating (or snapping) hips upward rather than downward.

Once a hand has made its catch, swimmers should begin immediately thinking of rotating that same side hip to the up position. An emphasis on “hips downward” will sacrifice tempo and balance. When to rotate is actually much more important than how much to rotating. Rotation must be completed before the start of the pull/catch. Rotation should occur quickly and only at the finish and entry of each pull.

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Alternating Arms

The arms alternate in a continuous motion, each arm moving in opposition to the other. In the airborne phase—from the hand exit through re-entry—the vertical semicircles of each arm should remain parallel and equidistant. Underwater, the arms move from a slow to fast rhythm in a sweeping motion and the hands enter the water forcefully above, or outside, the shoulder. As there is no overlap or catch-up phase, the arms, much like a propeller, work as a single unit, not as separate entities.


Backstroke swimmers should also emphasize underwater hand speeds equal to the speed of the recovery. As compared to freestyle, this leads to what appears to be a reduced distance per stroke and the appearance that fast backstrokers are just spinning. Good backstrokers reach a balance point during the arm exchange where, if viewed from the side, a letter “L” is formed by the recovering arm pointing straight up as the submerged arm passes the shoulder plane at the exact exchange between the pull and the push. The elbow is maintained in a locked position from the underwater extension at the end of the push phase, continuing up through surface, along the entire recovery arc, and then back into the water at the entry, and to the catch.

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Backstroke Technique Tips

Pull your stomach in, flattening your back to eliminate arching. This will help you maintain your high, straight position.

A kickboard can help you practice holding your body in a stable position.


Source :- Speedo


About the author

Sanuj Srivastava

Hello everyone ! myself Sanuj Srivastava, I'm a National swimmer and Computer Olympiad winner. I'm working on writing articles for competitive swimming. If you have some problem in swimming that needs some creative injection then that’s where I come in!
My aim is to bring across your message and identity in the most creative way.


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  • I need nutrion pointers for my 14 yo daughter. She is a picky eater and is a great swimmer , but could be better with proper eating.

    • HI JUDY!
      thanks for contacting us here is some simple but effective points that help your daughter!
      1. Simple carbs directly before, during and directly after workouts.
      2. A little protein before a workout goes a long way.
      3. Hydration is very important because during swimming lots of sweating occurred, therefore to recover this we need to hydrate during the workout.
      It is important that your child has a sensible breakfast on the morning of the gala, if there is time. Some good suggestions are:
      – breakfast cereals – fortified with vitamins and minerals, and served with semi-skimmed milk.
      – bread and bread products – muffins, crumpets, pancakes with honey.
      – cooked breakfast, with lean bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms and hash browns (all oven baked).
      Drinks – this can be milk, fruit juice, or water.
      Fresh fruit – bananas are very good source of energy, and again can be eaten en route.

      It is better that you provide a packed lunch for your child. The following are some ideas for lunch time:
      – filled rolls/sandwiches/pitta breads/bagels with a protein base – try and use wholemeal varieties if possible.
      – pasta/rice/couscous salads with a protein base, and vegetables mixed through it. Add low fat salad dressing or mayonnaise, if required.
      – chicken pieces.
      – salad or crunchy crudités – add dips for extra flavour.
      – fruit – this can be fresh, tinned, dried, fruit smoothies, or juice.
      – dairy products – yoghurts, probiotic drinks, piece of cheese.
      – drinks.

      Probably the most important items that they will need during the day. Snacks should be healthy, and easy to eat on poolside. There is a large selection of snacks available in supermarkets. A few good ones to try are (but no sweets!):
      – cereal bars, oatcakes, fruit/malt loaf, muffins, pancakes, teacakes, spiced buns.
      – fruit – this can be as before.

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