View Full Version : Back stroke questions

February 17th, 2009, 06:25 PM
I have a couple of questions on back stroke. 1) should the head be still and rotate the shoulder be the correct motion? 2) when should you start to make flip turns (usually how far away from the end you should start to flip & turn)? Thanks

February 17th, 2009, 06:53 PM
As a backstroker, my answer to question no. 1 is Yes. My answer to question number 2 is use the backstroke flags to time your turn. Many people with long arms take 3 or 4, shorter arms maybe more depending upon kick, but you time the turn based on the flags. The best way to start this process is to go past the flags several yards and stop. Then start the swim toward the flags into the wall. Swim all the way in to the wall counting your strokes the moment you see those flags and stop at the wall. Then do this again and reduce the count by one and commit to the turn. You will then see how far away or how close you are to the wall, but it will give you an indication whether you will take three, four or five strokes before commiting to the turn.

Takes lots of practice to know you can trust this count. And if, when swimming in an outdoor pool and the wind is blowing, you must take that into account which is why I look at the line the flags are on, not the flags themselves in case of wind.

If no flags, you will need another measuring factor like a side ladder or chair on the deck.


Ex-distance guy
February 18th, 2009, 12:12 AM
In my opinion, your head should never move during stroke. It should be chin-up, locked as if you had a tight wire running through the top of your head-down your spine-out your tailbone, your body rotating about the said wire. Catching (no crossover) as early as possible while arms still following through with a good underwater finish (don't rip hand out too early), generating lift in the water- maintaining a quick enough turnover to keep your body as "plained out" as possible.
Another tip, become proficient in underwater dolphins. During practice sets, train 8 minimum kicks off every turn, every set. It will become easier to apply during race time. Equating to ..... fast backstroke. You cannot be fast in backstroke without great dolphins, deal with it.

Ex-distance guy
February 18th, 2009, 12:21 AM
As for backstroke flip turns, keep a stroke count. As soon as you pass the flags, count the number of strokes it takes you to finish, subtract 1. You can utilize your allowed 'freestyle pull' as you flip over to your belly ready to turn. Don't cram your turns. Main advise, swim more laps backstroke and think about your 'stroke-count' flags into wall. The more you do, the more natural it will become. Eventually you will become so proficient with the standard distance that you won't have to think about it.