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Thread: The Backstroke Lane

  1. #201
    Very Active Member quicksilver's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Redbird Alum View Post
    So my question is, would backstrokers see an increase in power/speed if we established the EHF, but then tried to maintain the depth of the pull and dropped the "S"?

    I hope to experiment with this myself, but wondered if any of you fellow backstrokers have already done this work and figured out it was not going to work. Anyone care to respond?
    I had seen the same interview with David Marsh. And the more shallow horizontal pull works very well provided you've got the arm strength to throw water towards your feet from that position.

    Aaron Piersol is good example as well. And if you've ever watched him on the last 20 meters of a 100 back, he finishes quite strong with a very rapid turnover.

    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpLr5YwXKKg&NR=1"]YouTube - Swimming - Go Swim Backstroke with Aaron Peirsol[/nomedia]

  2. #202
    Very Active Member Redbird Alum's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by quicksilver View Post
    ... the more shallow horizontal pull works very well provided you've got the arm strength to throw water towards your feet from that position. ...
    YOWzaa... that comment is VERY true. I tried the EHF and straight pull last evening with kick and with pull buoy to eliminate kick. There are a few sore muscle spots across my shoulder/pec front and shoulder blade today that I haven't experienced in years.

    I'm going to have to keep working on this for awhile.


  3. #203
    Very Active Member quicksilver's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Redbird Alum View Post
    There are a few sore muscle spots across my shoulder/pec front and shoulder blade today that I haven't experienced in years.

    I'm going to have to keep working on this for awhile.
    Sounds as if you're getting the correct traction on each pull.

    Not sure if this suggestion helps, but being good at pull-ups and chins-ups can develop strength which translates quite well for swimming specific muscles.

  4. #204
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    If I read the rules correctly your feet must be totally submerged for starts now. No more standing upright as your toes must not be curled over the gutter before or after the start.

    Dumb question but a change since I swam and wanted to confirm.

  5. #205
    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by 2trax4me View Post
    If I read the rules correctly your feet must be totally submerged for starts now. No more standing upright as your toes must not be curled over the gutter before or after the start.
    That's not quite right. You feet do not need to be completely submerged, but it is true that you cannot curl your toes over the gutter. For most US pools they amount to much the same thing -- feet must be submerged -- but for "FINA walls" (which do not have a gutter) you can have your feet out of the water quite a bit.

    No more stand-up starts, unfortunately.

  6. #206
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    'saw this in another thread:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/2175526.stm

    The last sentence might be taken as a challenge by some (not me) in this lane.

  7. #207
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    This is my first visit to this thread. I had a lot of reading to do to catch up.
    I have a few suggestions that I have learned over the years (I'm 70 for FINA meets and a backstroker).
    1. In some pools, I find it better to start holding the gutter. However, at some meets, the touch pad extend up 18 in and you have to use the starting block.
    2. I always had a hard time going straight and usually hugged the lane line as a guide. One year my coach had us do lots and lots of drills: six kicks on side/switch to other side and "L" drill where you hold your arm straight up forming an L with your body for a count of 3. When I went to nationals that year in an outdoor pool, I remember being amazed that I went straight. I believe the drills made a huge difference.
    3. As a kid, I did not backstroke except on IM. I was always dead by the breaststroke. I didn't learn until I was coaching that I had been holding my breath and gulping air. Now I consciously breath in on one arm, out on the other. I have asthma so exhaling is always a problem.
    4. Kicking. When I coach I had trouble getting swimmers not to bend their knees. This past weekend at SwimFest I learned to tell them to imaginge kicking a ball. You bring your leg back, you don't bend your knee. It works like a charm to correct the kick.
    5. In a Richard Quick video, he advocated turning your hips before your hand enters the water. This requires a quick snap of the hips. It solves two problems. One, your hand will enter with more force. Two, you can't over-reach if you are on your side.

    I don't know why I haven't read this thread before. I found it very interesting and helpful. I am still trying to decide how much, if at all, I should dolphin off the walls.

  8. #208
    Won Slowest Swimmer Award bzaks1424's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Betsy View Post
    I am still trying to decide how much, if at all, I should dolphin off the walls.
    First off: Welcome!

    Second off: You should try to do this up to the 15 meter mark every time.
    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3myuvcZ0M0"]YouTube - ‪Fast Underwater Swimming by LiL'B‬‏[/nomedia]
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  9. #209
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by bzaks1424 View Post
    First off: Welcome!

    Second off: You should try to do this up to the 15 meter mark every time.
    YouTube - ‪Fast Underwater Swimming by LiL'B‬‏
    That was amazing!

    So, Michael, how 'bout you try that at your next meet and take the DQ, too?!

    P.S. Betsy, it was great meeting you at SwimFest! As a coach, you might be interested in my recent post on "The Breaststroke Lane". I included a link to the video and notes from Dr. G's power testing.
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

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  10. #210
    Very Active Member Swimosaur's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_S View Post
    'saw this in another thread:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/2175526.stm

    The last sentence might be taken as a challenge by some (not me) in this lane.
    Here's the last sentence, from 2002:

    No one has ever swum the Channel using the backstroke.
    Apparently, that was wrong. According to the records page of the Channel Swimming Association, Haydn Welsh swam the Channel backstroke in 13 hours, 42 minutes, sometime in 1992. Apparently by 2002, his swim was somehow forgotten.

    In the meantime, Tina Neill swam an all-backstroke crossing in 2005. At the time, Swimming World believed it to be the first backstroke crossing ever.

    Neill Crosses English Channel Swimming Backstroke --September 14, 2005

    ENGLAND, August 9. TINA Neill, 39, of St. Paul, Minnesota, became the first person to successfully complete a solo crossing of the English Channel using only the backstroke.

    She walked into the surf, backward, at 2:50 am at Samphire Hoe Beach just outside Dover and landed on Wissant Beach, France, again walking out backward, at 4:12 pm for a total time of 13 hours and 22 minutes ...
    The June 2006 newsletter of the Channel Swimming Association clarified,

    Just for the record: Haydn Welch has asked us to confirm that whilst Tina Neill was the first lady to swim the Channel backstroke in 2005, he was in fact the first swimmer. Haydn made the first recorded successful backstroke swim on the 6th Sept 1993.
    I cannot explain why the records page of the Channel Swimming Association says Welch swam in 1992, but the newsletter says 1993.

    In any case, the Channel has been crossed backstroke at least twice.

  11. #211
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimosaur View Post
    In any case, the Channel has been crossed backstroke at least twice.
    Would be interesting to know how they navigated.

  12. #212
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Wow, that is a fantastic video. It really shows the speed of the underwater.
    Chris Stevenson, are you faster underwater (for just 25) or swimming?

  13. #213
    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Betsy View Post
    Wow, that is a fantastic video. It really shows the speed of the underwater.
    Chris Stevenson, are you faster underwater (for just 25) or swimming?
    Underwater is definitely faster than my backstroke swimming, and just about the same speed as my freestyle sprint.

  14. #214
    Very Active Member swim53's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    I always had a hard time going straight and usually hugged the lane line as a guide. One year my coach had us do lots and lots of drills: six kicks on side/switch to other side and "L" drill where you hold your arm straight up forming an L with your body for a count of 3. When I went to nationals that year in an outdoor pool, I remember being amazed that I went straight. I believe the drills made a huge difference.

    Thanks Betsy. Is this drill Richard Quick's L drill? Where can I see a video?

  15. #215
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    I first learned the drill at a clinic. I can't remember if it was in Quick's video or not. I borrowed the DVD from a coach.

  16. #216
    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Betsy View Post
    I first learned the drill at a clinic. I can't remember if it was in Quick's video or not. I borrowed the DVD from a coach.
    It is a pretty old drill. I believe Diane Cayce has been using it for decades. Though she calls it the "rifle" drill, emphasizing that she wants you sighting along the arm to the ceiling. I like this description of the drill because it emphasizes both rotation and proper head position.

  17. #217
    Very Active Member Redbird Alum's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    A good article about Canadians at Worlds...

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/sport...074/story.html

    Very impressive, mature comment from Sinead regarding her approach to her backstroke competitions... especially after setting a record...

    I'm really happy about the record,'' said the 18-year-old Russell. I just wanted to go race my heat, I didn't expect to beat the time again. The key is to work on me and not everyone else around me."

    Probably a good starting point for coaching any backstroker!


  18. #218
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Backstroke - still starting out, totally. Although my lifetime backstroke net distance is likely < 300M, I tried it recently and I have to say it just felt damn good. Not "good" as in form, but more as a relief.

    Maybe it's my body telling me to swim upside-down for a change.

    Is backstroke typically less demanding on shoulders than free?

  19. #219
    Age Grouper in Training jaadams1's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    Backstroke - still starting out, totally. Although my lifetime backstroke net distance is likely < 300M, I tried it recently and I have to say it just felt damn good. Not "good" as in form, but more as a relief.

    Maybe it's my body telling me to swim upside-down for a change.

    Is backstroke typically less demanding on shoulders than free?
    I don't know if it any less demanding on the shoulders, but I like to kind of "unwind" in my warmups with some backstroke. Example: 200 Free, 100 Back, 200 Free, 100 Back. After the warmup, backstroke is evil (so is breaststroke)
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  20. #220
    Very Active Member Redbird Alum's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    ... Is backstroke typically less demanding on shoulders than free? ...
    Um... NO. Actually, even with a tremendous rotation, if you are pulling correctly, you are pulling with the elbow located somewhat behind the shoulder and chest.

    To experience the difference in stressors, stand at the edge of the pool where your shoulder is level to the deck.

    Facing the deck (freestyle) lay the arm in front of you, palm down and push down on the deck. Now turn 90 degrees to the deck (backstroke), lay the arm out to the side with the elbow slightly behind the shoulder on the deck, again palm down, and push down. You will likely note the shoulder stress more across the front of your shoulder.


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