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  #1  
Old 11-21-2008
vol vol is offline
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vol
Default Arch your back?

I read from several sources that in backstroke you should "arch" your back. I wonder what is meant: is it an up arch (middle point highest) or down arch (middle point lowest)? Both seem to make sense: the former is consistent with keeping your hip high, while the latter is consistent with creating an angle between your head and horizon to maximize speed. So which one is meant?
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2008
daveblt daveblt is offline
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I think it is better known or more proper to think of trying to tuck your tummy up a little toward the ceiling to improve balance by helping to keep the legs up rather than trying to think of arching your back.Of course it also helps to lean back in to the water for support.

Dave

Last edited by daveblt : 11-21-2008 at 03:16 AM.
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2008
Adam Adam is offline
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I find it hard to believe either one is good. Anything beyond the natural arch of the back will be painful. It also seems to me it would create more drag. I can't really remember ever seeing an elite backstroke swimmer arching the back.
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2008
vol vol is offline
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Here http://www.ehow.com/tips_5055.html
several posts mentioned similar points on this (notice the one about Richard Quick).
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2008
Adam Adam is offline
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As I understand it what Quick says to do (assuming whoever quoted him understood him correctly, which is not certain) is not to arch your back, but slightly tilt your head forward and then fix the resulting balance problem, by pushing your upper back into the water. This shouldn't increase the arch of the back.

Still, this is different then what I try to do in the pool. I try to keep my hips and belly at the surface, but I never try to tilt my head. I always aim to look straight up with only my face above water.
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2008
Adam Adam is offline
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A couple of videos I found useful a while ago:

Backstroke - Hagiwara Tocomo

Ryan Lochte - Backstroke Technique

I don't think the swimmers above arch their back.
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2008
vol vol is offline
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Doesn't Lochte look like his back curved down shortly after start (like slightly bending over, head higher)?
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