If the swimmer has poor ankle flexibility, he will not be able to point his feet, and the propulsion of the legs will be lacking. Both types of kick start with a contraction of the hip flexors (rectus femoris and iliopsoas) during the downbeat which provides the propulsion. Your kick shouldn’t be super wide — no more than 12 to 18 inches. Progressions The leg actions for survival backstroke and breaststroke are largely identical. I've been teaching swimming for over 30 years and I built this site so that I can share all my knowledge, wisdom and experience from the thousands of swimming lessons I have had the pleasure of teaching. In fact, you can even think of it as an upside down freestyle. An excessive knee bend will not only cost energy but will cause the legs to gradually sink. Breastroke (can rest briefly) Another name for the freestyle? Here’s a demonstration of the backstroke kick: The backstroke kick should use quick and compact movements for the best efficiency. Emphasize on practice, as it will make your backstroke swimming technique perfect. The upbeat starts when the lower leg is still moving downward from the previous kick. 1. The float will provide support so that the swimmer can focus on kicking up towards the water surface whilst maintaining a level head and level hips. Last week, I broke down freestyleinto its most basic components, so this week I’m going to focus on backstroke. Bring the legs together straight to beghin the next frog kick movement. The smaller and faster your kick, the faster you will go! Performing backstroke kick whilst holding a float will help to focus the swimmer on kicking from the hip and not from the knee. Pin 1. Maybe you are putting so much effort into kicking that it is sapping your energy. Help them point their toes and straighten their legs. An easy exercise to help maintain leg kick technique at the correct level in the water is to hold a float or kick board across the chest and perform the leg kick. The kick is called a scissors kick as it resembles scissors closing. Swimmers with flexible ankles are at an advantage here because they can keep the top of the foot facing backward for a longer time and therefore have better propulsion. Backstroke kick is an alternating action, continuously up and down to help balance the action of the arms. It stabilizes the swimmer’s body in the water because the leg movements balance out the arm movements. Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer and the author of the books YourSwimBook and Conquer the Pool. Breaststroke is allowed one dolphin kick during the pullout. Your leg kicks balance your arm pulls and together they both help to maintain a horizontal and flat body position. The upbeat of the third kick occurs during the middle part of the arm recovery. 9. noun. Dolphin Kick: Used underwater in a streamline position when coming off the walls for all strokes except breaststroke. You can synchronize butterfly kick with arm movement to acquire a very powerful and smooth body movement. Inverted butterfly: Similar to elementary backstroke, but with a dolphin kick. The downbeat of the second kick occurs during the release and beginning of the recovery of the arm. This same exercise will help iron out another common mistake, that being kicking from the knee. Swimming offers many benefits as a full-body exercise. These movements engage the glutes, rectus femoris, quadriceps and hamstrings. The timing between the left arm and left leg is as follows (backstroke arm movement described here): The timing between the right arm and the right leg is of course similar. The legs kick in an alternating up-down manner, where the hip drives the kick. In Freestyle though, it’s harder to tell–unless you do some sort of underwater filming to see whether a swimmer is bending their knees too much. As the swimmer extends their knee/s, they engage their thighs (quadriceps). However, the arm action causes the body to roll making the legs kick part sideways, part vertical and partly to the other side. Your email address will not be published. A whip kick, dolphin, flutter or frog kick is used. Backstroke kick is a flutter kick, just like freestyle. The kick should originate from the hip and not from the knee, so the whole leg performs the kick. A good drill that lets you practice balance is balance on the back. This six-beat kick produces the best propulsion. The backstroke has four steps: early pull, middle pull, late pull and recovery. The timing between arms and legs in the backstroke is similar to the timing in front crawl when a six-beat kick is used. Menu. Hi, I'm Christophe! This pattern means each foot kicks three times per backstroke cycle, for a total of six kicks. • Significant plantar flexion of the feet is an advantage in generating propulsion. Jeff Pease, a longtime swim coach who's in charge of North Coast Aquatics in Carlsbad, Calif., has a detailed plan on how he'd teach the backstroke to first-timers. The amount of propulsion generated from the kick will depend on the size of the feet, ankle mobility and strength of the legs. in backstroke the body rolls from side to side, Backstroke Swimming Technique – Body Position and Head Position, Swimming Backstroke – Arm Technique and Movements, Swimming Backstroke – Breathing Technique and Tips, Elementary Backstroke: Swimming Technique and Tips, Swimming Backstroke: How to Avoid Bumping into the Wall with the Head, Learn To Swim Backstroke: Drills and Exercises, Overview of Common Swimming Strokes / Styles, Freestyle Swimming – 10 Tips to Improve Your Technique, Freestyle Stroke: Overview and Swimming Technique, Breaststroke: Overview and Swimming Technique, Backstroke: Overview and Swimming Technique, Butterfly Stroke: Overview and Swimming Technique, Breathing While Swimming: Basic Tips and Exercises, How to Swim Faster – The Six Principles of Fast Swimming, Learn Basic Swimming Techniques to Feel Safe in the Water. I have even seen cases where the flutter kick used without arm strokes was moving the swimmer backward instead of forward because the ankles were so stiff. When swimming backstroke, most swimmers use a six-beat kicking pattern. Ankles should be relaxed and loose allowing the feet to kick in a 'flipper' like action. Click here for more backstroke drills to help improve your technique. Scissors kick. The most common fault with the leg kick during back stroke is closely related to the body position, when the swimmer allows their legs to sink well below the water surface. Required fields are marked *. 2) Next, you practice balance by floating on your back and sides and using the flutter kick to move forward. Your leg kicks balance your arm pulls and together they both help to maintain a horizontal and flat body position. In a backstroke, the flutter kick is similar except you position yourself face-up (in a back float) while being horizontal. Muscles in the shoulders, hips and legs propel the swimmer forward. Regular use of swimming fins can improve the ankles’ flexibility over time if they are stiff. Definition of backstroke : a swimming stroke executed on the back and usually consisting of alternating circular arm pulls and a flutter kick Other Words from backstroke Example Sentences Learn More about backstroke Other Words from backstroke Flip Turn: Used in competition for backstroke and freestyle, and some turns in the IM. ", Sign up for the Swim Teach Newsletter and get Free Stuff, Top Tips, and Loads More -Straight to Your Inbox, #1 The Complete Beginners Guide To Swimming. Your torso will need to stay straight and flat while your back glides across the … Obviously, we just touched on if swimmers’ bend their knees too much during the Backstroke kick–you can see it very easily, as the knee will break through the surface of the water. What does flutter-kick mean? A common misconception is that backstroke flutter kick was simply freestyle flutter kick rolled over. Key points: • The legs are extended. 10. The series can be divided into the following stages: 1) First, you practice the flutter kick on your back while holding on to the edge of the pool. The propulsive phase of the kick ends when the leg is fully extended. Holding just above their ankles, move their legs up and down so they get a sense of the motion. No more getting tired as you kick and no more slowly sinking as you move through the water. Watch our Speedo Fit videos to get expert backstroke technique tips for your kick - helping you to swim better and Get Speedo Fit. The upbeat of the first kick occurs during the extension forward and first downsweep of the arm. Arms. About Olivier Poirier-Leroy. 2. Elementary backstroke, a slow, resting stroke. This is the beginning of the propulsive phase and water is pushed backward by the lower leg and the foot. Feel like you are getting nowhere fast, apart from downwards as you gradually sink? The toes should just break the water surface and the legs kicking from the hip with a slight bend at the knee. Want to clean up your backstroke kick? This is often used for training. In longer distance swimming, a four-beat kick or a two-beat kick can be used to save energy. 0. The greatest water resistance is in the downward movement of the kick. • The leg swings from the hip. But your backstroke flutter kick should go farther up and down than your freestyle flutter kick. Much like the frog kick used during the breastroke, the elementary backstroke kick involves drawing the knees up and out with the heels touching. 4. The pressure of the water against the foot moves it in a neutral position. Alternatively, click through to buy from Amazon. Elementary Backstroke is a resting stroke, while backstroke is a competitive stroke? As the arm pulls through to completion, the overall path should follow the shape of the letter S. Entry. I personally find this stroke to be the easiest to perform besides freestyle. SEE ALSO: The Best Books for Supporting Your Swimming Progress. As you did teaching freestyle, you can start with your child sitting on a top step. This version of backstroke arm action is used more by competitive swimmers. Only then will the leg kick be at its most efficient. © 2010-2020 Enjoy-Swimming.com. Whether you're doing this kick as part of the backstroke or freestyle -- or as a vertical kick while treading water -- you largely work the same muscles. Simply click around and scroll about, or get in touch and ask me a question. Come on over, upload your videos of you swimming and get some tips and advice. 3. This six-beat kick produces the best propulsion. When swimming backstroke, most swimmers use a six-beat kicking pattern. Both arms stay in the water and pull at once along the sides of the swimmer. All the answers, tips and drills are in my book 'How To Swim Backstroke'. Enjoy-Swimming.com does not sell any personal information. Also known as the ‘fifth stroke’. The amount of propulsion generated from the kick will depend on the size of the feet, ankle mobility and strength of the legs. The Starts/Turns/Diving leg movement for the flutter kick originate? You may also be interested in the following articles that cover the backstroke’s swimming technique: Your email address will not be published. It’s short and fast, and your toes should be pointed. The same principles will be used, despite being on your back. Old English Backstroke : Lying on back, breaststroke legs and butterfly arms; Forward backstroke: Done lying on back and floating. Is your backstroke kick technique letting you down? The downward movement of the leg should be more relaxed than the upward movement so the leg muscles can rest. This pattern means each foot kicks three times per backstroke cycle, for a total of six kicks. So if you're a fellow teacher, beginner swimmer or an improver, there is something here for you. Backstroke? ... What kind of kick do use for sidestroke. The upbeat of the second kick occurs during the second downsweep and second upsweep of the arm. Backstroke uses a combination of two types of kick, the flutter kick and the underwater dolphin kick. Here are a few other differences you should keep in mind. Stretch the legs out with pointed toes to the sides, pushing through the water. The biceps are the primary muscles uses within the backstroke swimming event. Get over to Facebook and join the Swim Teach group where swimming teachers help beginners learn how to swim. In butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle, you are allowed as many dolphin kicks as you want as long as you do not go further than the 15 meter mark. The hip and leg flex and the upper leg starts moving upward. The kick is accelerating The feet finish together, toes pointed, knees straight knees are under the surface The movement is symmetrical. The downbeat of the first kick occurs during the first upsweep of the arm. Tweet. You can use butterfly kick when you want to balance your arm action to be able to propel forward. Its technique is similar to the kick used in the front crawl stroke, the difference being that you are swimming on the back. Because of its similar, yet completely opposite movements from freestyle, backstroke produces the best countermovement, providing the best opportunities to create muscular balance. The kick will create drag and slow the swimmer down if it is too wide. 1. A good drill that lets you practice balance is balance on the back. The downbeat of the third kick occurs during the end of the arm recovery. There's more than one way to use your favorite piece of equipment. If the swimmer has flexible ankles, the foot is still facing a bit backward and pushing water backward. Beginner backstrokers tend to kick from their knees—your kick should originate from your hips, sending a smooth, whip-like ripple down through your toes. The hip and knee extend, and the upper leg starts to move downward. Start with this kick drill you can do with the help of your kickboard. In this stroke, you will alternate arms in a windmill motion, similar to a freestyle stroke. They differ only with regard to the degree of hip flexion (Fig. Downward sweep The reality is though you DO NOTwant a swimmer’s knees to break through the surface of the water in Backst… During specific leg practices the legs kick in a vertical plane up and down. Share. In the initial position, the swimmer performing backstroke lies flat on the back; arms stretched with extended fingertips, and legs extended backwards. Get all the tried and tested drills you need to make your backstroke complete. The feet are pointed. The flutter kick is simultaneously used with a windmill motion of the arms. The entry is the same as the straight arm pull, with the little finger entering first, the palm facing out and the arm close to the shoulder line. 4) employed, survival backstroke using slightly less. The lower leg is now facing upward rather than upward and backward and doesn’t provide propulsion anymore. The downbeat starts while the lower leg is still moving upward. However, most propulsion comes from the. 5. Practical exercises, professional tips and a whole load more! Swim Teach group where swimming teachers help beginners learn how to swim. The true backstroke kick is the same one used when swimming freestyle ⏤ only on your back. Whatever is going on, you need some simple, professional tips to get your leg kick back up to the surface and on track. the arm closest to the body in sidestroke. Keep your toes pointed and kick in a small-yet-fast manner. Keep Your Torso Flat. Use the TRX mountain climbers to develop endurance in your quads as you continue to emphasize stability with the alternating leg movements. A leg burning exercise is always an appropriate backstroke-specific dryland tool. When discussing the importance of dolphin kick, the swimming community tends to focus on a swimmer’s underwater kicks in backstroke, freestyle, and butterfly races. Dog Paddle is a human swimming like a dog. Backstroke kick is an alternating action, continuously up and down to help balance the action of the arms. Dolphin kick is used up to 15m from each wall, which is then switched to movement of that used in freestyle kick. The kick should be more exaggerated in your hips and get progressively smaller toward your feet. I am a member of the Amazon Associates Program and I will earn a. Although propulsion from the leg kick is not priority as the arms generate most of the propulsion for backstroke. ... A swimming kick used in crawl and backstroke in which the legs are extended straight back and alternately moved up and down with a slight bend in the knee on the upward movement. In longer distance swimming, a four-beat kick or a two-beat kick can be used to save energy. Or, click here for more details. To be more correct, the legs kick in vertical or oblique directions, depending on the body’s position, because in backstroke the body rolls from side to side. I am a member of the Amazon Associates Program and I will earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Panting is not required. The feet should stay in the shadow of the swimmer’s body and the knees should not break the water surface. Dictionary ! "Hello, I'm Mark Young, creator of Swim Teach. The swimmer must have good balance to use these slower kicking patterns. Toes should create a small splash slightly breaking the water surface. Legs should be stretched out with toes pointed (plantar flexed). The flutter kick used in freestyle and backstroke, the dolphin kick performed when swimming butterfly and the breaststroke kick, also know as frog kick, must be learned, practiced and interwoven with the rest of your swim stroke for you to become an accomplished swimmer. When can the butterfly kick be used in backstroke? Click BUY NOW and download a copy to your computer, tablet or mobile device. It contributes to the swimmer’s propulsion. hips. The knee should bend slightly and then straighten as the leg kicks upwards, with the upper surface area of the foot (where the shoe laces would be) providing the power part of the kick. I'm the owner of and main contributor to Enjoy-Swimming.com. Shortly thereafter the whole leg is moving downward. Back double trudgen: Similar to the backstroke, but with a scissors kick to alternating sides. Shortly after that, the lower leg is dragged along upward, and the pressure of the water pushes the foot in plantar flexion (foot pointed). Your knee should be bent slightly more on the up-kick than on the freestyle down-kick. The swimmer must have good balance to use these slower kicking patterns. All rights reserved. The backstroke kick is a flutter kick. Every stroke uses multiple large muscle groups in your upper and lower extremities while placing far less stress on your joints than land-based exercises. The kick used in backstroke is very similar to the flutter kick seen in freestyle. The flutter kick is the kick of choice for swimmers performing the backstroke, which is also called the back crawl, and the freestyle, which is also called the front crawl. The pressure of the water against the back of the leg will keep it extended until the next upbeat. If you find that your knees are still pumping too hard try out this easy drill to reduce excess knee bend . The technique for freestyle kick and backstroke kick is based on very similar mechanical principals for each of these strokes. 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You to swim Program and I will earn a did teaching freestyle, and your toes pointed ( plantar )! More on the back our Speedo Fit videos to get expert backstroke tips... Downsweep of the arm to alternating sides kick seen in freestyle kick and the author of the phase. Which is then switched to movement of the feet to kick in a backstroke, the difference being that are., dolphin, flutter or frog kick is simultaneously used with a scissors kick to alternating sides and.. And fast, apart from downwards as you gradually sink energy but will cause the legs in. And the upper leg starts to move downward used to save energy of backstroke action. And lower extremities while placing far less stress on your back and sides and using the flutter kick to sides. Water surface and your toes pointed and kick in a vertical plane and! Sweep the true backstroke kick is a former national level swimmer and the should... 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Backstroke swimming event smaller toward your feet resting stroke, while backstroke is very similar to sides.