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Swim Backstroke Fast

While backstroke maintains the body in a streamlined position, with the limbs able to apply constant propulsive forces due to the arms alternating action and the continuous flutter action of the legs, it is not as fast or efficient as freestyle. Backstroke is swum with arms out to the side of the body, meaning a swimmer cannot pull directly under their body, resulting in not reaching full potential power.

Hi, I’m Gary Barclay, and I’m going to give you a couple of tips in regards to how you can swim backstroke fast. The first tip is to make sure that when you swim backstroke that you keep your fingers together. You don’t want them too tight, just nicely together like that, so that when you swim through the water you’re pulling with the whole of your hand here and your forearm. Secondly, when you enter the water, you enter little finger first and then press up and keep a high elbow. You can actually pull around the side with your arm and pull yourself forward.

Remember in swimming, you actually move in the direction of the back of your hand, so you want the back of your hand facing in the direction that you want to go. And the final tip in backstroke is to make sure that as you’re pulling under water that you actually accelerate. So as your hands are pulling through, that you get faster, that you pull through faster through the water. To swim backstroke fast you need to start with the correct technique.

Backstroke Questions

How to do a Backstroke to Breaststroke Turn in an IM

QUESTION: To Gary, Just a quick query re: the IM, and in particular the backstroke to breaststroke turn. Once the swimmer touches the wall on their back, must they flip backwards or just push off on their front before gliding and pulling through under the water. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated-ie step by […]

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How to Improve Backstroke Arm Speed?

QUESTION: Hi Gary, How can we improve speed of our arms in backstroke because when we do fast arm movement in backstroke it is difficult for me to coordinate 6 beat kick. Kindly help me in this regard. Zahir ANSWER: Hi Zahir, I often see backstrokers that fit into one of two categories. There are […]

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Problem with Backstroke Flip Turn

QUESTION: Hi Gary,  I need help with my backstroke flip turn, I normally swim a good backstroke but my problem with this stroke is the flip turn, once I perform it I lose momentum and speed and I end up messing my remaining laps of the set I am doing. My problem is getting water […]

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What am I Doing Wrong in Backstroke?

QUESTION Hi my name is Tito, I’m training to be a lifeguard but my only problems are my endurance due to my asthma and when it’s time to backstroke I have to use a ten pound weight and almost immediately I sink. What am I doing wrong? I try to keep my chest up as […]

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Backstroke Technique – Rotation

Gary Barclay explains rotation of the shoulders and body in backstroke swimming. Hi, I’m Gary Barclay, and we’re going to have a look at one of the most common problems in backstroke. And that is the lack of rotation through the shoulders and through the body, through the axis of the body. So what happens […]

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