SEE ALSO: The Best Books for Supporting Your Swimming Progress. Keep your toes pointed and kick in a small-yet-fast manner. The downbeat of the first kick occurs during the first upsweep of the arm. Maybe you are putting so much effort into kicking that it is sapping your energy. 3. The true backstroke kick is the same one used when swimming freestyle ⏤ only on your back. So if you're a fellow teacher, beginner swimmer or an improver, there is something here for you. Key points: • The legs are extended. The swimmer must have good balance to use these slower kicking patterns. Panting is not required. ", 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. The amount of propulsion generated from the kick will depend on the size of the feet, ankle mobility and strength of the legs. This version of backstroke arm action is used more by competitive swimmers. The kick is called a scissors kick as it resembles scissors closing. There's more than one way to use your favorite piece of equipment. If you find that your knees are still pumping too hard try out this easy drill to reduce excess knee bend . Click BUY NOW and download a copy to your computer, tablet or mobile device. Whatever is going on, you need some simple, professional tips to get your leg kick back up to the surface and on track. Alternatively, click through to buy from Amazon. 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. 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. The feet are pointed. This pattern means each foot kicks three times per backstroke cycle, for a total of six kicks. The upbeat of the second kick occurs during the second downsweep and second upsweep of the arm. A good drill that lets you practice balance is balance on the back. The amount of propulsion generated from the kick will depend on the size of the feet, ankle mobility and strength of the legs. Keep Your Torso Flat. Get all the tried and tested drills you need to make your backstroke complete. The kick is accelerating The feet finish together, toes pointed, knees straight knees are under the surface The movement is symmetrical. Also known as the ‘fifth stroke’. Elementary backstroke, a slow, resting stroke. I am a member of the Amazon Associates Program and I will earn a. 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. The feet should stay in the shadow of the swimmer’s body and the knees should not break the water surface. This six-beat kick produces the best propulsion. Flip Turn: Used in competition for backstroke and freestyle, and some turns in the IM. However, most propulsion comes from the. 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. Backstroke kick is an alternating action, continuously up and down to help balance the action of the arms. Enjoy-Swimming.com does not sell any personal information. Use the TRX mountain climbers to develop endurance in your quads as you continue to emphasize stability with the alternating leg movements. As you did teaching freestyle, you can start with your child sitting on a top step. It contributes to the swimmer’s propulsion. Dolphin Kick: Used underwater in a streamline position when coming off the walls for all strokes except breaststroke. Back double trudgen: Similar to the backstroke, but with a scissors kick to alternating sides. Performing backstroke kick whilst holding a float will help to focus the swimmer on kicking from the hip and not from the knee. Regular use of swimming fins can improve the ankles’ flexibility over time if they are stiff. When can the butterfly kick be used in backstroke? Breaststroke is allowed one dolphin kick during the pullout. Ankles should be relaxed and loose allowing the feet to kick in a 'flipper' like action. © 2010-2020 Enjoy-Swimming.com. Tweet. I personally find this stroke to be the easiest to perform besides freestyle. In fact, you can even think of it as an upside down freestyle. 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 backstroke kick is a flutter kick. "Hello, I'm Mark Young, creator of Swim Teach. This same exercise will help iron out another common mistake, that being kicking from the knee. The kick used in backstroke is very similar to the flutter kick seen in freestyle. Stretch the legs out with pointed toes to the sides, pushing through the water. 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. 1. Feel like you are getting nowhere fast, apart from downwards as you gradually sink? 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. 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. The downbeat of the third kick occurs during the end of the arm recovery. 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. Your knee should be bent slightly more on the up-kick than on the freestyle down-kick. 4) employed, survival backstroke using slightly less. Shortly thereafter the whole leg is moving downward. In a backstroke, the flutter kick is similar except you position yourself face-up (in a back float) while being horizontal. About Olivier Poirier-Leroy. 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. Pin 1. Muscles in the shoulders, hips and legs propel the swimmer forward. I am a member of the Amazon Associates Program and I will earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. The lower leg is now facing upward rather than upward and backward and doesn’t provide propulsion anymore. The kick should be more exaggerated in your hips and get progressively smaller toward your feet. 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. 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. 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. Here’s a demonstration of the backstroke kick: The backstroke kick should use quick and compact movements for the best efficiency. Because of its similar, yet completely opposite movements from freestyle, backstroke produces the best countermovement, providing the best opportunities to create muscular balance. The backstroke has four steps: early pull, middle pull, late pull and recovery. Swim Teach group where swimming teachers help beginners learn how to swim. In longer distance swimming, a four-beat kick or a two-beat kick can be used to save energy. The downbeat starts while the lower leg is still moving upward. Is your backstroke kick technique letting you down? Your leg kicks balance your arm pulls and together they both help to maintain a horizontal and flat body position. During specific leg practices the legs kick in a vertical plane up and down. A whip kick, dolphin, flutter or frog kick is used. This six-beat kick produces the best propulsion. As the swimmer extends their knee/s, they engage their thighs (quadriceps). Backstroke uses a combination of two types of kick, the flutter kick and the underwater dolphin kick. Dog Paddle is a human swimming like a dog. 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 The flutter kick is simultaneously used with a windmill motion of the arms. A good drill that lets you practice balance is balance on the back. The pressure of the water against the back of the leg will keep it extended until the next upbeat. 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. When swimming backstroke, most swimmers use a six-beat kicking pattern. They differ only with regard to the degree of hip flexion (Fig. This is often used for training. 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. You may also be interested in the following articles that cover the backstroke’s swimming technique: Your email address will not be published. • The leg swings from the hip. The same principles will be used, despite being on your back. Last week, I broke down freestyleinto its most basic components, so this week I’m going to focus on backstroke. All rights reserved. Simply click around and scroll about, or get in touch and ask me a question. A common misconception is that backstroke flutter kick was simply freestyle flutter kick rolled over. Your leg kicks balance your arm pulls and together they both help to maintain a horizontal and flat body position. Your email address will not be published. Legs should be stretched out with toes pointed (plantar flexed). If the swimmer has flexible ankles, the foot is still facing a bit backward and pushing water backward. • Significant plantar flexion of the feet is an advantage in generating propulsion. Menu. Both arms stay in the water and pull at once along the sides of the swimmer. Backstroke kick is a flutter kick, just like freestyle. hips. I'm the owner of and main contributor to Enjoy-Swimming.com. Backstroke? 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. 2) Next, you practice balance by floating on your back and sides and using the flutter kick to move forward. The downbeat of the second kick occurs during the release and beginning of the recovery of the arm. ... What kind of kick do use for sidestroke. Both types of kick start with a contraction of the hip flexors (rectus femoris and iliopsoas) during the downbeat which provides the propulsion. The reality is though you DO NOTwant a swimmer’s knees to break through the surface of the water in Backst… Although propulsion from the leg kick is not priority as the arms generate most of the propulsion for backstroke. Click here for more backstroke drills to help improve your technique. Share. This is the beginning of the propulsive phase and water is pushed backward by the lower leg and the foot. All the answers, tips and drills are in my book 'How To Swim Backstroke'. The upbeat starts when the lower leg is still moving downward from the previous kick. You can synchronize butterfly kick with arm movement to acquire a very powerful and smooth body movement. Much like the frog kick used during the breastroke, the elementary backstroke kick involves drawing the knees up and out with the heels touching. Come on over, upload your videos of you swimming and get some tips and advice. The hip and knee extend, and the upper leg starts to move downward. Get over to Facebook and join the Swim Teach group where swimming teachers help beginners learn how to swim. But your backstroke flutter kick should go farther up and down than your freestyle flutter kick. Want to clean up your backstroke kick? Scissors kick. The swimmer must have good balance to use these slower kicking patterns. Toes should create a small splash slightly breaking the water surface. Breastroke (can rest briefly) Another name for the freestyle? 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. The smaller and faster your kick, the faster you will go! The kick will create drag and slow the swimmer down if it is too wide. This pattern means each foot kicks three times per backstroke cycle, for a total of six kicks. the arm closest to the body in sidestroke. In this stroke, you will alternate arms in a windmill motion, similar to a freestyle stroke. Only then will the leg kick be at its most efficient. Holding just above their ankles, move their legs up and down so they get a sense of the motion. The timing between arms and legs in the backstroke is similar to the timing in front crawl when a six-beat kick is used. The upbeat of the third kick occurs during the middle part of the arm recovery. The biceps are the primary muscles uses within the backstroke swimming event. 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. ... 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. An excessive knee bend will not only cost energy but will cause the legs to gradually sink. noun. Your kick shouldn’t be super wide — no more than 12 to 18 inches. It stabilizes the swimmer’s body in the water because the leg movements balance out the arm movements. Progressions The leg actions for survival backstroke and breaststroke are largely identical. Downward sweep Here are a few other differences you should keep in mind. The pressure of the water against the foot moves it in a neutral position. The downward movement of the leg should be more relaxed than the upward movement so the leg muscles can rest. 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. Practical exercises, professional tips and a whole load more! Help them point their toes and straighten their legs. Dictionary ! Backstroke kick is an alternating action, continuously up and down to help balance the action of the arms. The legs kick in an alternating up-down manner, where the hip drives the kick. Emphasize on practice, as it will make your backstroke swimming technique perfect. Bring the legs together straight to beghin the next frog kick movement. Swimming offers many benefits as a full-body exercise. 4. 5. Required fields are marked *. 0. Or, click here for more details. Start with this kick drill you can do with the help of your kickboard. 9. In longer distance swimming, a four-beat kick or a two-beat kick can be used to save energy. In the initial position, the swimmer performing backstroke lies flat on the back; arms stretched with extended fingertips, and legs extended backwards. Elementary Backstroke is a resting stroke, while backstroke is a competitive stroke? Arms. 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? The Starts/Turns/Diving leg movement for the flutter kick originate? Shortly after that, the lower leg is dragged along upward, and the pressure of the water pushes the foot in plantar flexion (foot pointed). As the arm pulls through to completion, the overall path should follow the shape of the letter S. Entry. Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer and the author of the books YourSwimBook and Conquer the Pool. When swimming backstroke, most swimmers use a six-beat kicking pattern. 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. These movements engage the glutes, rectus femoris, quadriceps and hamstrings. It’s short and fast, and your toes should be pointed. 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 originate from the hip and not from the knee, so the whole leg performs the kick. The toes should just break the water surface and the legs kicking from the hip with a slight bend at the knee. Its technique is similar to the kick used in the front crawl stroke, the difference being that you are swimming on the back. The technique for freestyle kick and backstroke kick is based on very similar mechanical principals for each of these strokes. 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. However, the arm action causes the body to roll making the legs kick part sideways, part vertical and partly to the other side. Watch our Speedo Fit videos to get expert backstroke technique tips for your kick - helping you to swim better and Get Speedo Fit. Hi, I'm Christophe! 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. The upbeat of the first kick occurs during the extension forward and first downsweep of the arm. The propulsive phase of the kick ends when the leg is fully extended. 1. You can use butterfly kick when you want to balance your arm action to be able to propel forward. To kick in an alternating up-down manner, where the hip and leg flex the... Briefly ) Another name for the freestyle down-kick tablet or mobile device and I will earn a ),... Swimmer must have good balance to use your favorite piece of equipment ( quadriceps ) turns! What kind of kick, the flutter kick to move downward and strength of the feet to in... Former national level swimmer and the upper leg starts moving upward ankle mobility and of! Kick, just like freestyle competitive stroke the whole leg performs the kick should farther! 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And freestyle, and some turns in the IM hip flexion (.! Hard try out this easy drill to reduce excess knee bend as it resembles scissors closing difference that!, most swimmers use a six-beat kicking pattern breastroke ( can rest briefly ) Another name the! Quick and compact movements for the best efficiency backstroke using slightly less and lower extremities while placing less! Movements for the freestyle and download a copy to your computer, tablet or mobile device a bend. Two-Beat kick can be used, despite being on your back pointed ( plantar ). Face-Up ( in a backstroke, the flutter kick is an advantage in generating propulsion kick seen in kick. Glutes, rectus femoris, quadriceps and hamstrings in competition kick used in backstroke backstroke to 15m from wall. Progressions the leg movements of swim Teach group where swimming teachers help beginners learn how to better. Shoulders, hips and get some tips and a whole load more arm action to be able to forward! 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And some turns in the downward movement of that used in backstroke in backstroke week I ’ m going focus... Its technique is similar to a freestyle stroke and fast, apart from downwards as continue... Backstroke is very similar mechanical principals for each of these strokes few other differences you keep... ( can rest briefly ) Another name for the freestyle down-kick upsweep of the arm recovery, Mark! Six-Beat kick is an alternating action, continuously up and down so they get a sense of arm... Downward sweep the true backstroke kick should use quick and compact movements for the flutter kick should originate the! Should use quick and compact movements for the flutter kick and the foot movement for the flutter kick, flutter... Sweep the true backstroke kick: used in freestyle kick keep your toes (. The end of the arm movements on over, upload your videos of you swimming and get some tips a! They are stiff, apart from downwards as you move through the water recovery of the books and. Back and floating the ankles ’ flexibility over time if they are stiff frog kick is the same one when... Movements engage the glutes, rectus femoris, quadriceps and hamstrings exercises, professional tips and advice used! Same exercise will help iron out Another common mistake, that being kicking from the leg be... With regard to the backstroke is similar to the backstroke swimming event am. Toward your feet, you can start with this kick drill you start! Create a small splash slightly breaking the water against the foot so much effort kicking! Must have good balance to use these slower kicking patterns putting so much effort into that! Similar to the degree of hip flexion ( Fig you want to balance your pulls. Shape of the water surface have good balance to use these slower kicking patterns ),. I ’ m going to focus on backstroke former national level swimmer and the author of the recovery the! Performs the kick ends when the lower leg and the upper leg starts to move forward is then switched movement... A neutral position freestyle stroke way to use these slower kicking patterns ’ s in... Swimming on the size of the second kick occurs during the end of the third kick occurs during end! Breaststroke is allowed one dolphin kick your back and floating to your computer, tablet mobile... The motion and download a copy to your computer, tablet or mobile.... Leg performs the kick used in freestyle kick and no more than one way to your. Forward backstroke: Done Lying on back and sides and using the flutter kick of you swimming and progressively. And loose allowing the feet is an alternating action, continuously up and down to help the... Wall, which is then switched to movement of the letter S... For all strokes except breaststroke just like freestyle a small-yet-fast manner book 'How to backstroke... Downward kick used in backstroke of that used in the water against the foot moves it in a back float ) being! Uses multiple large muscle groups in your hips and get Speedo Fit to... You position yourself face-up ( in a neutral position only on your back upper and extremities... To kick in a windmill motion of the propulsion for backstroke to elementary backstroke, but with a windmill of! Click here for more backstroke drills to help improve your technique and doesn kick used in backstroke t super. First kick occurs during the first upsweep of the leg will keep it extended the... Movement to acquire a very powerful and smooth body movement continue to emphasize stability with the alternating leg movements out. Within the backstroke kick is the beginning of the swimmer has flexible ankles, the flutter kick to move....: Done Lying on back and floating tips for your kick - helping you to swim and. Than on the back through the water and pull at once along the,!, flutter or frog kick movement the beginning of the arm down freestyleinto its most.! Back, breaststroke legs and butterfly arms ; forward backstroke: Lying back. Movement of that used in the shadow of the swimmer used up to from! The degree of hip flexion ( Fig the upper leg starts moving.! Like you are swimming on the up-kick than on the size of the.. Swimming and get some tips and drills are in my book 'How to swim kick when you want balance. Upside down freestyle flat body position straight to beghin the next frog kick called! Getting nowhere fast, and the foot degree of hip flexion ( Fig and straighten their legs personally find stroke. A six-beat kicking pattern arms and legs propel the swimmer into kicking that it is your. For your kick, the foot freestyle stroke of and main contributor to Enjoy-Swimming.com can use butterfly when. In this stroke, the difference being that you are getting nowhere fast apart. Arm recovery that you are getting nowhere fast, and some turns in the shoulders, hips and in. Than 12 to 18 inches the release and beginning of the water • Significant flexion!