On holiday, backstroke gives you the opportunity to enjoy blue skies or even stars overhead, and in a pool, the chance to vary your workout. But the stroke is not without its difficulties, not least because the majority of us are asymmetric, making even swimming in a straight line somewhat challenging!
The following technique tips for perfecting your backstroke will help you learn how to master the stroke and enjoy your swims, anywhere:
Position in the water
Your face should be above the water with your body close to the surface. To achieve this, keep your neck relaxed and your eyes looking toward the sky or ceiling. Push your tummy up toward the surface, engage your core and keep your body straight.
This helps to streamline your body shape so you can move smoothly through the water. If you need to practice holding your body in this position, try using a kickboard until you feel comfortable or Zoggs training Finz to strengthen your legs and your kick.
Once you’ve adopted the right posture and position in the water, it’s time to focus on controlling your arm and leg movements and the rhythm of your strokes and breathing.
Your arms are the driving force in this stroke so begin slowly to get a feel for the correct position.
Your arms should be straight and parallel with your body and be led by your thumb as they come up out of the water. Once the arm is level with your shoulder, rotate your hand outwards so that the little finger is the first to cut back into the water at shoulder-width above your head. This will cause both your upper body and your hips to rotate slightly from left to right as you swim.
Keep your fingers relaxed but held together with your palm flat and open. This makes your hands work like paddles that will catch the water and propel you forward. The most common mistake that is made in backstroke is that swimmers will pull their arm down in a wide sweeping arc, either und