Improvement and Accountability Projects
This has been an example of both an Improvement and Accountability Project. See the elements that should lead to maximizing engagement, enjoyment and outcomes in any project you choose to initiate in this post Andy's Accountability Project.
Even better read posts 10 to 16 in the thread Stroke Rate Ramp Test of which the above is #16.
How Important is a Strong Kick in Backstroke
I just added a post clarifying seldom-understood details about this aspect of backstroke to a thread about how to improve SPL from 20 to the lower teens. You can read my post here.
To improve SPL AND tune up the kick I would recommend trying an Asymmetric Tempo Pyramid such as the following
10 x 50 changing tempo each 50. Count strokes.
#1 @ 1.30
#2 @ 1.36 (slow Tempo by .06--six presses on right button)
#3 @ 1.42
#4 @ 1.48
#5 @ 1.45 (increase Tempo by .03--three presses on left button)
#6 @ 1.42
#7 @ 1.39
#8 @ 1.36
#9 @ 1.33
#10 @ 1.30
I recommend a smaller Tempo 'delta' for Backstroke than for Freestyle (you could also experiment with slowing by .04 and increasing by .02 or even half that -- .02/.01) because Backstroke won't support as wide a range of Tempo as freestyle.
As you slow Tempo, you should find stroke lengthening and the kick becoming more essential to the overall stroke--i.e. more integrated, rather than harder. As Tempo increases, strive to keep the sense of integration and Stroke Length.
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