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millertime 08-19-2010 10:08 PM

arm lead balance drill
I've been working on the drill progression from "Back Stroke for Every Body" . I'm good at the head-lead balance drill (ie. kicking on back with arms at the sides). I'm also good at rotating from side to side from this position. But as soon as I extend an arm, I lose my balance ... my head submerges and it feels like I have to kick hard to keep balanced.

Moreover, the position with arm extended just doesn't feel comfortable to me. The analogue of this position in freestyle is "skating", with feels quite comfortable. Anyone else experienced similar problems?

daveblt 08-20-2010 01:34 AM

When you extend the arm make sure you are rotated just enough . Stacked shoulders may cause you to sink .Try to look up at the ceiling and lean back in to the water so it will help carry you but keep the head and neck relaxed.


westyswoods 08-20-2010 10:59 AM

Back Stroke Question,

Been thinking of starting to incorporate BS into routine. I have read that it is a great adjunct to freestyle. The above post raise a point which I have concern over. Is more shoulder flexibility needed when doing BS and does BS put more pressure on the shoulders. I am starting to have some minor shoulder issues which I need to have looked at.

Any suggestions on transition to BS will be greatly appreciated.

Be Well and Swim Silent.

Richardsk 08-20-2010 03:44 PM

I love doing backstroke. For years I thought I could never do a decent backstroke because of poor shoulder flexibility, but then I discovered rotation, after discovering TI. I don't think it puts any more load on the shoulders than front crawl, in fact I feel that it's less strenuous on the shoulders - not that I experience any problems with front crawl, apart from age-related lack of mobility.

I believe backstroke is the ideal warm down stroke after a freestyle or breaststroke session. It also fits in well at the end of a lap swimming session at the pool I swim in, because most of the swimmers have finished their workouts and have left the pool.

My backstroke is slow but improving. It's nice to improve at something in your seventies.

madvet 08-20-2010 05:40 PM


Originally Posted by westyswoods (Post 12582)
Back Stroke Question,

Is more shoulder flexibility needed when doing BS and does BS put more pressure on the shoulders. Westy

To some extent. It is easier to put your shoulder in an overextended position, or to strain the front of your shoulder.

Now that I am swimming more again we should get together again and I can show you what I have done to deal with this. Easier to show than to describe.

millertime 08-25-2010 09:27 PM

I solved my problem! I was practicing full stroke freestyle with sweet-spot breathing, and I realized that on breaths I was in the arm-lead balance position on my back. Just the right amount of rotation, extended arm in a comfortable position, face out of the water, and feeling balanced. I even started experimenting with lifting the lower arm a small amount (20 degrees or so), something I haven't been able to do up till now.

It's wonderful how these two strokes work together!

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