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Thread: Help with back stroke timing

  1. #1
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    Help with back stroke timing

    New swimmer.....basically just learned back stroke 2-3 months ago. I cannot figure out the timing of my stroke, I feel like my hands get stuck at my hips? When exactly should my one arm be starting recovery phase? In other words, should my arms always be 180 degrees from each other?

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Help with back stroke timing

    Have you joined a Masters tea? Swim it like free only on your back. Yes, the hands/arms should be in opposition to each other

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    Re: Help with back stroke timing

    I have joined a team for the last year, only recently have been trying to learn fly and back to do IM's. There just seems to be a timing thing I'm missing something on back because I'm drowning.... I can swim a 10k free but am taxed after 25 yards of back....

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Help with back stroke timing

    OK that info helps..
    Are you dropping "your elbow enough to have the hand catch and "throw" the water down towards you feet?
    Are you pulling out too wide with the are too straight? your hand should follow a path like taking a ball and throwing it down towards you feet if you were standing up.
    Are you keeping your head back to look up not at the feet?
    Are you kicking up to the water surface?

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    Re: Help with back stroke timing

    This is helpful
    I don't think I'm dropping my arms enough, but I feel it's because of a lack of rotation? The problem is the more I put into the rotation, the more fatiguing the stroke.
    I don't think my arms are too straight on the pull, I like your analogy though and will try that though process
    I've been experimenting with head position a lot. My issue is that I'm really bottom heavy (I was a speed skater until 1-1/2 years ago)If I don't look straight up, my butt and legs really sink
    I've been working a lot on my kick, I can comfortably do streamline kicking on my back form many lengths, but when I add the arms it goes bad!

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    Very Active Member Redbird Alum's Avatar
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    Re: Help with back stroke timing

    Larry -

    The fact that you can streamline your kick for some distance is great!

    Can you get someone to take a video of your backstroke? Side view and end view would help.
    Also, Orca is spot on with the throw the ball analogy.

    The "bottom heavy" thing is a direct correlation to your head position. Make sure your head is far enough back in the water that your ears are under. Keep it aligned as if your nose has a string directly up to the ceiling.

    Another key in the backstroke is core strength (Abdomen and lower back). You have to be able to keep the axis from the top of your head through your feet in line, NO Sitting!

    Again, a video would help, but keep up the good work!


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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Help with back stroke timing

    With speed skating as a back ground, you must have strong muscles to kick with.
    Are you kicking up to the surface ? And do not bend your knees as if riding a bicycle.

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    Re: Help with back stroke timing

    Actually I'm finding those muscles to not help much at all! Speed skating is very similar to swim in the correct technique makes a HUGE difference. For whatever reason, my skater legs are not very good at kicking, firstly I lack the ankle flexibility conducive to good kicking (I've been working a lot on that, but training your ankles to loosen up after 53 years is not an overnight process). Secondly, the predominate muscles for skating are the glutes and quads, it seems my hamstrings a very under developed?

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    Very Active Member Sumorunner's Avatar
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    Re: Help with back stroke timing

    Lack of ankle flexibility is exactly the problem I had, making the transition from lifelong runner. The kick not only isn't there, it is at times counter-productive. The more I concentrate on a kick, the more it takes away from my stroke. Still, after two years with a masters team, on a flutter kick set I can stare at the pool bottom and count the number of tiles go by one by one. I find back and breast stroke kicking to be OK though.

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