I dont see magical pills that suddenly will make you faster.
I believe in Gerry Rodrigues more and more. Its a simple message, but very true in my experience.
The same in backstroke applies.
nr one priority to get level and straight.
You can do backstroke with litle kicking too, and you can spoil your taut balance with the arm movement too, just like in freestyle.
On top of this taut body (which is pretty hard to hold) you need a big shoulder roll, well connected with the rest of the body.
Dont mind what other say is best. For me, it feels like a big shoulder roll.
Maybe it isnt so big, but it feels like rotating a lot to get the arm in a good position to hold the water and not wrecking the shoulder.
Accelerating through and relative armtiming is also important.
And then its fiddling with arm movement to disturb the vessels forward movement the least, and getting the most traction.
The very basic movement feels very much like the finding freestyle action, only with less body bending and more rotation along the spine.
Sprinting in backstroke without hopping all over the place is still difficult.
Still worthwhile to figure out what is holding you back in backstroke.
I guess it also takes specific strength that has to be developed.
Woman often like backstroke more than man, but armstrokes are mostly very weak and messy causing them to be slow despite good balance.(not talking about fishes here)
They often do get a lot more propulsion from their kick though.
Anyway, it can teach you a lot and is a great shoulder stretch.
I cant do fly.
Dont know if I want to learn it. Afraid of becoming a loper ;-)
No shortcuts, no secrets, period. I'm a firm believer of this. Actually I wasn't meant to find the backstroke magic pill. I just guess that, in my case, what holds me back at bk has to be a matter of technique more than anything else (at 30s/100m slower than fs I must be applying the brakes somewhere). Anyway, whatever it is, if I still haven't found it, chances are that with practice it'll eventually disappear.
So today I just decided to set a baseline: I set my TT at a slow stroke rate (50SPM, which for me is very slow for fs but right for bk) and swam 100m with my best possible technique and aerobic effort level. Counted steady 22SPL, came in 2:05 with open turns and short pushoffs (I'm not interested in uw dolphin, with flip turns I would be faster but I'm interested in the stroke). That's a rough baseline: in the next sessions I'll just try to swim well (not rushed) and gradually improve SL or SR. No shortcuts, no secrets.
Without her mega kick I get a good burn in the upper lats at least.
its like a dynamic alternating one arm iron cross.
Thats why you need rotation. The upperarm adduction works best in line with the shoulderplane.
And to grab water you need a certain depth too, so its swinging from one side to the other while staying aligned.
So , it takes already 4 years to build some strength according the video.
Natalie Coughlin has spent a lot more time, with the result that she has lats like a light body builder.
Some rotate the upperarm behind the backplane though.
On top of this big movement is the elbow bend, but overdoing it results in a sort dropped elbow for backstroke
Tapping into that big body movement, I understand a bit better where Janet Evans got her speed from.(hopefully)
I believe roughly the same things are going on there.
Look at her stroke from the 35 to 40 sec mark and compare with the finding freestyle T armstroke paddle drill.
These folks have a good point there...
From 45 to 50 sec you can see how her kick helps in the stroke to get a complete body driven action from top of feet to opposite shoulder.
She is squeezing all the energy out of this whole body to move her forward. Actually this is looking very fishlike from a propulsion point of view. Fish also use all the muscles to get that undulation.
In my view Janet Evans is swimming very fishlike, although half of that fish is above water
The more I watch it, the more I see the beauty in it..
Her lifting of the head doesnt cost her thats much extra because its already in the basic core action thats happening in that stroke. She only has to push it a bit further on the breathing strokes and stay in the rhythm.
or the young Phelps halfway his development again:
If you try to swim like this you notice more pulling with the core, A sort of side crunches going from stroke to stroke.
His current shape has evolved to a more refined streamlined action, but its crucial to learn how to tap into that big movement powersource.
Going here direct or along the route of a more choppy stroke where some stay the rest of their lives?
I dont know whats best.
It doesnt have to be super high rev.
Combined with the relaxed TI recovery you can also get a taste of what that megastrokes 15 stroke/25 min 1 min/100m guys are doing, but there it gets very important to keep the momentum going I think.
At least my normal freestyle strokes tend to get bigger if I try to translate some of that big through the core movement into the freestyle.
Are you still there Salvo?
Are you ready for a shock?
Go stand in front of a mirror and try to mimic Lochtes image on extension.
http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16...120730,00.html (if its working)
The line of his extended arm lies on the symmetry plane through legs and hips.
His head in line wih the leg.
Serious body bending!
Doesnt really resemble what we are doing in the pool doesnt it?
Stumbled on this body bending thing in the pool and I am 100% sure this is important (very important) to achieve real power in your stroke.
Imagine doing this every stroke.
Big core workout to pull everything in line again during the armstroke and then bend to the to the other side etc.
Aaron Piersol looks just the same in underwaterview. Combination of bending and rotation to reach around the corner.
I am pretty excited about this bending thing. Never allowed myself to bend much because of streamlining, turning around the axis etc,(stupid overthinker) but it simply gives more power and doesnt seem to influence drag that much.
Now find a way to get some of that power into the freestyle.
did you already try it at the pool? What's the feedback? Not sure I got it right, but the body bending I see in Lochte and Peirsol seems a long axis break, so basically a flaw or just something that work for them.
Perhaps it doesn't add much drag, but I guess the risk for an avg swimmer could be to press the water in wrong directions and slow down the stroke rate...
Just another piece of the puzzle. The bending wasn as extreme as i thought.
With only rotation you can look almost the same as on the images, but they do bend a bit on top of rotattion.
Its not major and advantage or disadvantage could vary for different people, but its certainly a different movement.
Gives some extra power and reach by using more core action.
Piersols bending body shape doesnt look ideal from underwater, but the optimal drag-propulsion compromise seems to look like this for a certain distance and speed.
Sometimes people also do this in freestyle (bending and overreaching) which is not advised.
Probably its less needed in freestyle compered to backstroke, but I will experiment by adding a little in freestyle too.\
Pulling or holding water with the whole upperbody is easier than only with the arm, thats the basic idea.
Yep, we have diverged from kicking to pulling again. Wrong ,wrong, wrong.;-)
No doubt a little bending is helping me. 1.30 min/100m is not an exeption anymore, but a choice how tired I want to get.
Loads of bending examples:
Woman often stay more aligned. Can get less power out their pull probably.Or because man have less trouble making their own rules?
Nice footage of kick timing.
I'm currently at a steady and aerobic (and patient) 2:00/100m at 48-50SPM with flip turns (I know, didn't want to rely on turns but I changed my mind...!) and short pushoffs (no UW). Still have to check if I can hold it for 200s or 400s.
Today, in the cool down, after having patiently applied to some 100s bk I just wanted to put some dust off my butterfly and tried an easy 50 and then an easy 100. Came respectively at 00:50 and 1:52... damn, if only bk was as easy!
best pushoffs possible, open turns, turning to freestyle when nearly at the wall.
Dont know where I started. It takes some time to let the core and the shoulders adapt to this different action.
Espectilly the first part after entry is hard on the shoulders and core and they feel stretched and loaded quite a bit.
Just like tendons it all needs some time to strenghten and adapt. Balance is also different from freestyle. More pushing the upperback down a bit instead of the chest.This is more comfortable than pushing the T.
Its alien to normal land based actions again, just like freestyle, but the rest of the arm action behind the shoulder uses partly the same muscles as used in freestyle.
Its not fast compared to real swimmers offcourse, but its nice to have built a basic movement pattern and dont feel lost and uncomfortable when doing backstroke.
If you spend 10-20% of your time on it everytime you could see some easy early improvements probably.
Benefits for freestyle?
Depends how your freestyle is.
for me the good things I learn from it:
- straightness and core control
- fluid propulsion
- good for the shoulders to stretch out in a different direction.
Once you realise that in your freestyle and have little trainingstime, its not the best time investment to improve freestyle I think.
some recent progress with the help of TT and stroke count (ie swimming in a "controlled" way):
- 400m in 8:00 at 48SPM/20SPL (4 beeps for flip turn and shallow pushoff). I did 16 identical lengths: same stroke count, same turns. So this sr/sl combo seems quite steady and, in this fashion, backstroke starts to make some sense to me as a recovery/endurance stroke (for instance I don't think I'd be able to swim 400m in 8:00 at fly today)
- 100m in 1:54 at 50SPM/20SPL (4 beeps for flip turn and shallow pushoff). This took a bit more effort to keep a steady 20SPL, but still a controlled effort
Comparing to when I take it easy (no TT, no stroke count) and my pace drops to 2:15/100m, the difference is basically that the stroke has a too low rate and perhaps becomes quite sloppy. Conversely, by committing to a given stroke rate and stroke count I seem to hold a better posture and a cleaner stroke.
I also need some strokerate to find a nice rhythm, flip flopping from left to right.
Adding some paddle and float type core bending technique to move the arms with the core on top of the relative shoulder motion and some extra extension on arm entry made the stroke count drop from 20 to 18 strokes/25 m.
its a strange compromise between core action that rotates and bends and seeking optimal streamline at the same time.
It seems the easy speed gains are gone now, and its more a matter of conditioning to get faster.
Seems you are moving forward Salvo. Stick with it for a while.
This backstroke is indeed an itensive core workout for me.
Did my dryland straight left rightarm 50 windmilling rotations with 11 lb weight in the hand and it was almost a breeze.
Core has become stronger in the last weeks.
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