Backstroke

Training Multiple Strokes

Even if you are a triathlete who competes only in freestyle, it is important to train more than one stroke.  Swimming, is the perfect example of a repetitive motion activity.  Even a sprinter, who in general, does fewer overall yards than other freestylers, does thousands of shoulder rotations in their career. It is important to…

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Connect the Dots to Swim Faster

Connection is an important concept for swimming faster, but not often discussed. Simply put connection is all of the motions in a stroke flowing smoothly together to maximize the production and delivery of power to create forward momentum. What does that mean to your stroke? When we develop our stroke mechanics it is common to…

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Swim Faster Backstroke: Control your Backstroke Breathing

Backstroke it the only one of the four competitive strokes that does not automatically force some level of control on your breathing. The sequence of each stroke provides a built-in moment where your face is in the water creating a regulated breathing pattern. Backstroke’s face out aspect allows for uncontrolled breathing, this I not a…

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Backstroke Coaching Center Launched

I am pleased to announce the addition of Backstroke to our Coaching Center video collection. Regular users of the Swim Stroke Tools Coaching Center already know that the Coaching Center offers a suite of the best videos available on freestyle and flip turns.  I have scrubbed the internet for the best in each skill and…

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Drop 5 seconds off your 50 backstroke!

There are many steps to an effective backstroke start, but two seem to be the most neglected by the learner, and the lack of these two items is a significant slow down in your 50 yard back time. Get your head back. As you begin to drive with the legs you need to throw the…

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How to Get Out of a Muscle Memory Rut

Muscle memory allows us to perform complex repetitive motions without thinking about them.   Could you imagine early man trying to hunt if they had to actively think about how to walk?  The mind would be so preoccupied with flexing the ankle, bending the knee, rotating the hip that we would get eaten by the first…

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Clarifying the new “Lochte” rule on pushing off the wall.

Recently swimming has instituted a new rule on kicking off of the wall, commonly referred to as the Lochte rule. Backstroker, Ryan Lochte may be said to have the strong underwater kicks in the sport. Recently he started kicking off of every turn on his back in freestyle events. For him this was faster. Swimming’s…

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Hypoxic Training

The term hypoxic is the adjective form of hypoxia which is defined as in adequate oxygen in the blood.  Swimmers have traditionally used hypoxic work in their training when they are limiting their breathing to one breath every three, four, five, six or more strokes. I grew up doing this form of training, as did…

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Ankle Flexibility and the flutter kick

Ankle flexibility is key to a good flutter kick.  If you are unable to move your foot comfortably into plantar flexion (pointed toe) your flutter kick will actually pull you backwards.  Even if you are doing only a light two-beat kick just to keep your legs afloat you must be able to point your toes.…

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Everything you need to know about flutter kick

The flutter kick is a simple motion, but like many other parts of swimming is often done incorrectly. The power of the flutter kick comes from the larger muscles of the upper leg and hip, including the Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Pectineus, Adductor Longus, ErectusFfemoris, and well, all of them. In order to deliver the…

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