I was talking with 12 year old boy swimmer about 4 weeks ago and he was explaining to me how he had been getting really frustrated. He felt that he trained harder than some of their team mates however they always seemed to swim faster. I asked him to send me a video of himself swimming each stroke for me […]
Archive | Backstroke
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.
Wearing a Nose Clip in Swimming
QUESTION: Hi Gary, I noticed some swimmers used nose clip (or nose plug) when competing in backstroke races. Does this gadget help in any way? Also, is it advisable for young swimmers to use it? Regards Kim (Singapore) ANSWER: Hi Kim, The main reason that some swimmers use a nose clip in backstroke is to […]
How to Improve Your Kick?
QUESTION: Hi Gary, My 13 year old son would like to know how to improve his kick in training. He really struggles in kick sets and often gets overlapped. He swam at Age Nationals this year and has just moved clubs from a 25m training pool to a 50m training pool. He is coping with […]
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 […]
How to Swim Straight in Backstroke
QUESTION: Please answer why my grand daughter aged 11 always goes cross while swimming back stroke particularly towards the right? Thanks RP ANSWER: Hi RP, In backstroke, swimmers are often reliant on the roof or lane ropes to ensure they swim in a straight line. This is of course very difficult in outdoor pools as […]
Frustrated Parent Over 13 Year Old Swimmers Technique
QUESTION: Hello Gary, I bought your book ‘Swimming for Parents’ and understand that by 13-18 years, technique plays a great role in whether the swimmer will excel or not. My son who is 13, currently, was winning every race at 12 years old during championship meets, now he seems to be faltering in every practice, […]
Patience with Young Swimmer
QUESTION: My daughter is 9 years old and has shown potential for swimming from a young age. She is very tall for her age, very lean and long (her legs go up to her armpits!!). She would be described as gangly. She is having a weekly 1 hour “squad” lesson with a very competent teacher. Over […]
Flip Turns and Breathing
QUESTION: Hi Gary! I had a question on flip turns. Whenever I do my flip turns, I seem to run out of breath very quickly–I always have to breathe before the flags after I push off the wall. How can I go further and should I take a breath right before I flip? Thank you, […]
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 […]
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 […]