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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 they only have the sky to look at.

To swim in a straight line in backstroke it is necessary for both arms to apply the same amount of force on the water as each other.  If one arm pulls through slightly harder or fasterthan the other, then the swimmer will move in a slight sideways direction towards the side that is pulling more strongly.

This is most likely what your grand-daughter is doing – pulling harder with her right hand or getting a better catch on the water on her right side than on her left.

My recommendation is that she practice pulling through the water with the same motion and speed with each arm to reduce crossing to her right.

Regards

Gary

The Swimming Expert



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