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  #11  
Old 07-20-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Richardsk
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Hello all

Real backstrokers have very good kicks that provide propulsion - up to 30% according to some sources - but speaking for myself, the fact that I can swim backstroke faster with a pull buoy and no kick at all indicates, I think, that my kick provides drag rather than propulsion, but it is still better than no kick. I try to keep my kick as small as possible for this reason and to make my ankles as flexible as possible.

Perhaps with a really strong core it would be possible to swim with no kick, but I think inevitably the feet would tend to sink too low.

Progress is being made.
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  #12  
Old 06-28-2013
vol vol is offline
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I'm glad to find people here who also swim backstroke with little kicking. Most of what I've heard is that kicking is crucial for backstroke. I am curious, though, if there has been any world-class backstroke swimmer that dd little kicking? I suspect no. I guess all professional swimmers have a great deal of kick drills so they are all good in kicking. Would like to know the record time for backstroke with little kicking. ;) (I don't count Irie as one because kicking is still an important part of his strokes, though it's not 6 beat. What I'm talking about is what the above posters mentioned, letting the legs follow the body, little or no kick)

Last edited by vol : 06-28-2013 at 08:50 PM.
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  #13  
Old 08-02-2013
terry terry is offline
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Default Use a 6-Beat Kick. Keep it streamlined and relaxed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vol View Post
I'm glad to find people here who also swim backstroke with little kicking. Most of what I've heard is that kicking is crucial for backstroke. I am curious, though, if there has been any world-class backstroke swimmer that dd little kicking? I suspect no.
I hope I can bring some clarity to this question. World Class Backstrokers tend to be that way because of a constellation of factors that help them swim faster than others.
1) Body Type - Elites tend to have long, lean, very supple bodies--many with hyper-extendable elbow joints (i.e. as they make the catch, elbows seem to bend backward unusually). Missy Franklin, the world and Olympic champion would be a good example.
2) Naturally strong kicks - It's true that elites seems to have remarkably fast and strong kicks. This is just as much natural selection as the height factor and usually also involves joint flexibility and unusually long and supple feet.

It is indeed true that most of them do long and demanding kicking sets -- most often slightly rotated with one arm extended. And many people will tell you those sets are the reason they kick so well while swimming.

I disagree.

The fact is that ALL competitive swimmers--backstrokers included--do such sets. So why do most competitive swimmers have much more ordinary kicks? Because they lack the natural advantages I cite above.

Most people on this Forum--and the vast majority of swimmers I've met in 40+ years of coaching--do not have those natural advantages, so we should make the most of the capabilities we do have.

All reputable studies on flutter kicking have demonstrated that it adds almost nothing to propulsion and what it does add to speed comes mainly from keeping the legs well-streamlined and integrating it seamlessly with body rotation and whole-body action.

Backstroke is not a magical exception.

The main differentiator of the backstroke flutter kick from the freestyle flutter is that as you move beyond sprint distances--and for the health goals we all value most--the 2BK is optimal in freestyle. In backstroke, a 6BK is the default option at all speeds and distances.

Focus on making it streamlined and relaxed, so most of your energy goes into the more propulsive part of the stroke--rhythmic weight shifts and holding water.

See this post for a suggested set that can both tune your kick and increase your Stroke Length/Efficiency. If you try it pls post your results and any insights gained here.
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Last edited by terry : 08-02-2013 at 10:05 AM.
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