[ . Once the initial motion of the recovery arm starts, the weightless arm will enter the "wrap" phase (as described on page 75 of Extraordinary Swimming for Everyone). The purpose of the "wrap" phase is to hold water. This phase is unnecessary in freestyle, because the relaxed weightless arm is capable of holding water already. ]
Just because the arm may feel weightless does not mean it is capable of holding water unless you set up your catch correctly . The palm and forearm should face back as it's ready to pull and at the same time the opposite arm is ready to enter so this is the same thing as in backstroke the catch or wrapping phase combined with the recovering opposite arm.
[ With the recovery arm up, and the weightless arm in the "wrap" phase to hold the water, you should have both a store of potential energy and leverage. You unleash the potential energy though core drive (I am not convinced yet that it is primarily your hips, so lets say "core" to be neutral). This is done by turning your core away from the weightless arm.
I feel like this motion is opposite of freestyle. In freestyle hip drive feels more like the body turns towards the recovery arm as it spears forward, while backstroke feels more like my body is turning away from the weighless arm. ]
In freestyle you should feel as if you are spearing forward towards your entry hand .In backstroke you also roll toward your entry hand as it goes in to the water so why does it feel different ?
[ In freestyle, you swim with your body around 30-45 degrees off axis, while in backstroke, you swim with body closer to 80 degrees off axis with both your hip and shoulder out of the water. ]
You do not have to swim backstroke at 80 degrees .If you roll 45 degrees or so this should be enough to clear each shoulder from the water.
[ Because you must rotate further, in backstroke there is another phase that is not in freestyle. That is the throw phase. For me, it seems that the throw phase gives me that last push from about 60 degrees to 80 degrees. I think of it as putting me into streamline. ]
The throw phase comparing to freestyle would be the recovery arm spearing in to the water and the opposite pulling arm working at the same time to roll you to the opposite side .
[ I am admittedly somewhat new to backstroke, but here is how I kick. Advice is highly welcomed. I do not continuously kick in backstroke. Instead, I do two kicks (which effectively resets my legs) followed by a hard kick during the wrestle phase to help get me to that 60 degree position and I glide while I finish the "throw".
Unlike freestyle, I do not feel that my legs are tightly connected to the stroke because too much of their use is holding me high and there is too much distance for them to turn me for me to completely get their with just my legs (that is some of my hip rotation comes from shoulder rotation). [color="blue"](Edit) The legs in backstroke also seem to have much less leverage that in freestyle which is a major part of why I feel them less connected. ]
I am also less aware about my legs in backstroke ,sometimes they have a tendency to bend a little too much so I just try to keep them straight and let them kick naturally as my body rolls and am not concerned about doing a perfect 6 beat kick.
Last edited by daveblt : 03-18-2009 at 12:46 AM.