Originally Posted by madvet
One of my Master's group people holds state records in backstroke. He says to kick UP (the same emphasis as in freestyle where you kick down) and to point the toes slightly towards the midline.
If you kick DOWN you will strain your hamstrings.
While we're talking about kicking in backstroke, I'd just like to leave this thought for consideration. Before focusing too much on the propulsive characteristics of the backstroke (or any) kick, focus on how you can make the kick more streamlined.
This is consistent with the TI core principles of reducing drag before increasing propulsion and of saving energy over increasing your capacity for hard work, force production or power.
Don't be surprised if I post reminders in this vein on the majority of my Forum posts, until it's permanently embedded in the "group think" here.
How to think about streamlining in BK kick?
1) Do your feet and lower legs stay within the space your torso passed through?
2) Do your feet remain consistently streamlined within the line of your lower leg -- or at least the upper leg if your flexibility doesn't permit that?
3) Are the toes of both feet nearly touching most of the time - aiming for a "pigeon-toe" can help.
A steady, unbroken (i.e. 6-beat) kick is much more the norm in BK kicking than in freestyle. When you streamline well, you may be more conscious of feeling your feet slip through the water
with relatively little effort -- and consequently little fatigue.
Many of the suggestions posted here for improving the kick are sound. The drill sequence on the Backstroke for Every Body DVD
can be easily adapted for the focal points I listed.