For what it's worth Johnny Weissmuller in Swimming the American Crawl mentions the toe-in in the flutter kick for front crawl, or "thrash" as he called it. Also for what it's worth, he was a pretty good backstroker as well and held some records. I don't think he ever swam backstroke in the Olympics though. As far as I know he just did freestyle and water polo.
If you look at photos or video of top backstrokers the 'down' leg has a distinct bend at the knee, presumably to get the whip that's so important on the up kick. Also in footage of Ryan Lochte and no doubt others it is very evident how much the 'up' kick goes to the side as the body rolls.
I'm still working on the backstroke and producing faster times in training, although still extremely slow. I have a meet next weekend and intend to swim the 50m and 100m back with crawl rather than double-arm as part of my campaign to get the back crawl up on level terms. It still lags but has caught up considerably. Single arm drills seem a good idea, including with fists (or fistgloves).
Last edited by Richardsk : 05-02-2009 at 09:46 PM.