PDA

View Full Version : Backstroke - pinkie out?



globuggie
October 4th, 2007, 07:00 AM
Last night I went to a coached practice for the first time in a long time, and the coach had me and one other person do backstroke pinkie out/pinkie in instead of thumb out/pinkie in. That was the first time I had ever had a coach tell me to do something like that, and I didn't get a chance to ask the purpose. Do any of you coaches or more experienced swimmers know why a coach might tell a swimmer to do that?

MAC swimmer
October 4th, 2007, 08:52 AM
I was coached the opposite of that just 6 months ago, specifically in reagrds to where to end your underwater pull...it is supposed to be pretty far off your body and much shorter than I was expecting. Such a power stroke will make it EASIER (take less energy) to bring your hand out of the water THUMB FIRST.

Is this current thinking?

swimminlyn
October 4th, 2007, 09:30 AM
I have been doing thumb out pinkie in for probably 10 years. My backstroke is still slow though.

globuggie
October 4th, 2007, 10:07 AM
I don't think the coach was trying to teach pinkie out as a general rule for all backstrokers, it was just for two of the twelve or so of us. My only guess is that a pinkie-first recovery forces the body to rotate more, and maybe I was swimming very flat. But any other ideas are welcome.

art_z
October 4th, 2007, 10:10 AM
When your hand finishes at your side after a stroke. your thumb is already pointing "up" (or opposite of the bottom of the pool). You should then bring your arm out of the water thumb first, rotate , and enter pinky first. If its akward, there is a drill specifically designed to practice this movement where your arm comes up thumb first, arms stops while pointing straight up, rotate hand 180 degrees, enter hand in water.

Allen Stark
October 4th, 2007, 03:10 PM
While he may have been doing it as a drill,it is not a good practice in general. Aside from being awkward,it will put more strain on your shoulder,making impingement problems more likely.

quicksilver
October 4th, 2007, 04:13 PM
Thumb out...pinkie in.


I explain to the kids...as if their arm is the big hand on a clock...

From 9 o'clock until 1 o'clock...the thumb leads the recovery.
From 1 o'clock until 3 o'clock the arm rotates and the pinkie gets ready for slicing the surface upon entry.

When your arm leaves the water...it should be relaxed.
Thumb out ensures that your hand can make a clean exit...and your triceps muscles won't be tight.
(As Allen said...impingement could be very likely with pinkie out the whole way.)


By the time your arm is ready to re-enter the water...it should do a last minute rotation so that the pinkie is slicing into the surface.
(Slapping the water with the back of one's hand is bad form...but many have done well with this kind of entry.)

geochuck
October 4th, 2007, 04:20 PM
On backstroke I like the little pinkie to exit the water first, I believe it causes less muscle stress. Just sit there or lie on the floor I think you will find more stress when your hand comes up thumb up.

knelson
October 4th, 2007, 04:28 PM
Gee, I don't know. It seems like turning the arm such that the pinkie is up puts a lot more strain on the tri and shoulder to me.

geochuck
October 4th, 2007, 04:50 PM
Just watched a bunch of backstroke videos. It looks like most of the winners of the races the little fingers did come out first but the thumb was not pointed directley to the bottom.

Allen Stark
October 4th, 2007, 04:58 PM
George,pinky up is exactly the worse position for impingement.

Slowswim
October 4th, 2007, 05:08 PM
George:

My hand has much greater range of motion thumb up. Pinkie up, I can feel it in my should and Tri, too.

quicksilver
October 4th, 2007, 05:15 PM
George I know your forte is freestyle, but try this...

Hold your right arm straight out in front of you.
Put your left hand on the tricep of your right arm.
Rotate your hand...thumb down pinkie up...and feel the tricep muscle get tight.


On backstroke I like the little pinkie to exit the water first, I believe it causes less muscle stress. Just sit there or lie on the floor I think you will find more stress when your hand comes up thumb up.

geochuck
October 4th, 2007, 07:07 PM
You are right Quickguy but that is not what we are doing.

I don't think any of you understand. When the stroke is at the finsh when swimming backstroke it does not finish thumbs up. If it does you are a mechanical swimmer and you are not flowing. It should finish with the palm facing the bottom. With the rotation of the body the hands are in a horizontal position. As the hand exits the little pinkie rises slightly a head of the thumb. It is not pinkie strait up and thumb strait to the bottom.

Quick Hold your right arm straight out in front of you.
Put your left hand on the tricep of your right arm.
Have your hand horizontal to the floor...tilt the pinkie up ever so little raise your arm over your head and rotate guess what the hand is ready to enter.
Then do it with the thumb strait up and the pinkie down and rise your hand now shoulder hurts and the hand is not in the postion to enter the water.

phdude
October 4th, 2007, 10:25 PM
George is right-if you look at Peirsol or Lochte swimming they swim w/ their pinkies out from what I can tell. It's hard to tell how their hands are oriented when they exit but Swimming Fastest advocates entering w/ the pinkie down , pinky out on the 2nd peak, and thumb barely ahead of the pinky on the exit if I am reading the diagrams well. In my opinion the three-peak method is fastest, I used to use it in club swimming to go 54. Now I can't seem to get my arms to remember the motion, and I go thumb out during the pull. I wonder if it's a coincidence that I am stuck at 1:13

pwolf66
October 4th, 2007, 10:58 PM
George is spot on. While taking just the suppination (palm facing away from the body) aspect into consideration, it would not seem to be a good thing but when you consider mechanical advantage along with the rotation of the shoulder, engaging the triceps at the start on the water exit actually speeds up the over water recovery and also adds a little stored elastic energy to the start of the arm pull. By having the hand slightly suppinated with palm angled away from the body, you only have to engage the rotational muscles in the shoulder to move the arm instead of having to perform a combination rotation and suppination while recovering.

Paul

ALM
October 4th, 2007, 11:21 PM
Years ago I attended a swim clinic that was hosted by the coach at the University of Kansas. He taught the "pinkie out, pinkie in" theory. A couple of years later, I attended their swim clinic again. He had changed his philosophy and was now teaching "thumb out, pinkie in". I asked him why he changed and he said that he had found that a lot of his backstrokers were having shoulder problems. Switching to the "thumb out" method seemed to solve the problem.

Anna Lea

Slowswim
October 5th, 2007, 09:31 AM
I just tried this this morning and have to change my position (no pun intended). The pinkie out/pinkie in made swimming from my shoulder easier. When the thumb comes out first you can bend your elbow and cheat the recovery. With the pinkie out the elbow is straight and the recovery starts with the shoulder.

geochuck
October 5th, 2007, 09:38 AM
If the thumb comes out first it should be rotated to the palms down and pinkie slightly up very soon. I find it is easier no muscle strain. It is not an extreme pinkie up.

I have been an all strokes swimmer in the past. I did hold the Canadian records for the 100 IM under a minute. It was on the books for a few years, but was taken off when they removed that dinkey distance from the record books. I was also 200 IM and 400 IM guy but they liked to dq me for my breaststroke which would be legal to day.

As far as my backstroke a great 50 but not such a great 100. The hundred back for me was a marathon swim.

geochuck
October 5th, 2007, 09:41 AM
I read this but don't under stand which felt better?
I just tried this this morning and have to change my position (no pun intended). The pinkie out/pinkie in made swimming from my shoulder easier. When the thumb comes out first you can bend your elbow and cheat the recovery. With the pinkie out the elbow is straight and the recovery starts with the shoulder.

I just read your post a second time I now understand.

quicksilver
October 5th, 2007, 10:16 AM
I respect your difference of opinion George.

As an age group swimmer I've gone as fast as a minute for 100 long course meters. Thumb out ...pinkie in.
The only way I could survive a 200 was stay loose. Pinkie out from the onset of the recovery tends to tighten up the arms...although it does set the hand in position for an ideal entry.

Phdude...relearning the three peak is tricky.
Sculling drills will help fine tune the hand motion for that extra swish on the exit.

geochuck
October 5th, 2007, 01:33 PM
Go swim drill of the week for this week is great, side ways sculling. I like all of their sculling drills http://www.goswim.tv/drilloftheweek_comments.php?id=4780_0_20_0_C

RecreationalSwimmer
October 5th, 2007, 02:33 PM
In all honesty, some of the Go Swim drills seem like pointless drudgery. However, their .mov DVD trailer with Aaron Peirsol is a treat. There are some finer points to be learned for example the fluid motion with which he ends each stroke:

http://www.goswim.tv/vids/AaronTrailer.mov

geochuck
October 5th, 2007, 03:01 PM
As we can see the stroke is finished with the palm facing the bottom. He has great technique. It is hard to tell but the hand does exit palm down. it could be neutral thumb and pinkie out at same time. But the natural thing for the hand, the thumb would be lower then the rest of the fingers including the pinkie.

Maybe his middle finger exits first.