Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Backstroke
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-01-2010
jeverett jeverett is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7
jeverett
Default backstroke kicking

i bought the backstroke dvd and have been practicing for a few months now. i figured it would give me something else to work on when i got frustrated with my freestyle!....the backstroke drills have really strengthened my core and i feel have made my balance better for both back and freestyle. i also realized that i love backstroke. sometimes i really get the sensation of gliding along. now my question....
i am having a hard time doing a constant flutter kick while swimming backstroke wholestroke. (drilling not a problem) i feel that my kick wants to be more of a pulsed thing and i can't figure it out. when i try to do a nice easy flutter i feel it messes up my rotation somehow and i don't feel as smooth. i have even tried swimming some laps with virtually no kick at all and don't seem to have a problem with balance. so, what is the ideal way to kick in backstroke? and any thoughts as to why it feels smoother to me to do more of a pulsed kick (not quite a 2 beat kick, but not a constant flutter)?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-03-2010
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 647
CoachBobM
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeverett View Post
i am having a hard time doing a constant flutter kick while swimming backstroke wholestroke. (drilling not a problem) i feel that my kick wants to be more of a pulsed thing and i can't figure it out. when i try to do a nice easy flutter i feel it messes up my rotation somehow and i don't feel as smooth. i have even tried swimming some laps with virtually no kick at all and don't seem to have a problem with balance. so, what is the ideal way to kick in backstroke? and any thoughts as to why it feels smoother to me to do more of a pulsed kick (not quite a 2 beat kick, but not a constant flutter)?
I'll answer your second question first:
The primary function of kicking in the long axis strokes (freestyle and backstroke) is to counterbalance core body rotation. So it's only natural that the main time you should feel a need to kick is when your body is rotating.

A narrow, rapid kick in backstroke can add propulsion, though at the expense of a lot of energy. So when you're sprinting, you can improve your speed by employing this kind of a kick, but when you're swimming backstroke over longer distances, you may want to use a more leisurely kick until you are nearing the end. Of course, what constitutes a "longer distance" depends on your level of conditioning. An Olympic athlete may be able to use a rapid, sprint-type kick for an entire 200m backstroke event (which is the longest competition distance). But the rest of us need to feel out how long we can maintain such a kick and use it only when we are near the end of a race.

One of the best ways to practice a rapid sprint kick is to do vertical kicking while holding your forearms out of the water. You can transition from this to horizontal kicking by starting vertical kicking and then allowing yourself to "fall back" onto your back.


Bob
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-02-2010
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default

Hi all

I was considering posting this as a new thread, but on reflection it seems to fit in quite well here.

I have been working on my backstroke quite a lot recently and have definitely improved, although still very slow, even taking my age group into account (75-80).

I find that I am quite a bit faster swimming with a pull buoy (three to four seconds per 25m length), which seems to me to tell me that my kick is not merely ineffective but actually injurious to my stroke.

If I keep practicing with the pull buoy, is it possible that I will manage to transfer the more efficient body position and hence, I assume, better catch or purchase on the water, to my whole stroke swimming, or should I just concentrate on improving ankle flexibility and practice kicking, either vertically or horizontally or both?

Another avenue of course is to improve my underwater dolphin kicking, which is also in need of work, but that is really another problem.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-02-2010
millertime millertime is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 40
millertime
Default

Are you well-balanced on your back? If not, you're probably using your kick to keep you balanced, which could slow you down.

A simple test of backstroke balance is to do full stroke backstroke and then glide in the back "skate" position without moving your arms or legs. If you stay horizontal and glide for some distance, you're balanced.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-03-2010
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default

Interesting question, Millertime

When I go to the pool tomorrow I'll try out your suggestion. I don't feel that I have any particular balance problems on the back, except of course that the legs tend to sink, which I think is inevitable. It is worth experimenting, though. Perhaps the head could go a little deeper. I might need an observer for this, as what one feels one is doing and what one actually is doing are often quite different.

A friendly lifeguard might be prepared to help.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-03-2010
downhillswimmer downhillswimmer is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 13
downhillswimmer
Default

I found the following helped me:

Keep the back of the neck lengthened, feel the head is completely supported by the water at all times. Remember to resist the urge to tuck the chin in.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-04-2010
daveblt daveblt is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 820
daveblt
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
Interesting question, Millertime

When I go to the pool tomorrow I'll try out your suggestion. I don't feel that I have any particular balance problems on the back, except of course that the legs tend to sink, which I think is inevitable. It is worth experimenting, though. Perhaps the head could go a little deeper. I might need an observer for this, as what one feels one is doing and what one actually is doing are often quite different.

A friendly lifeguard might be prepared to help.



If the legs are sinking then your not balanced. Some suggestions would be to lean back into the water and look towards the ceiling .The water should wrap around your goggles . Rotate from sweet spot to sweet spot .


Dave
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-04-2010
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default

Hi Dave

I'm already looking up at the ceiling but today I tried to lean my head back a little more. I'm not sure if it made much difference but I certainly had plenty of water washing over my face.

I also did some vertical dolphin kicking and vertical flutter kicking and an exercise I got from goswim, namely kicking with hands on the wall and then shoving off backwards and trying to kick back to the wall. Not easy!

I've still got the warm feeling two hours or so later!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-08-2010
daveblt daveblt is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 820
daveblt
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
Hi Dave

I'm already looking up at the ceiling but today I tried to lean my head back a little more. I'm not sure if it made much difference but I certainly had plenty of water washing over my face.

I also did some vertical dolphin kicking and vertical flutter kicking and an exercise I got from goswim, namely kicking with hands on the wall and then shoving off backwards and trying to kick back to the wall. Not easy!

I've still got the warm feeling two hours or so later!


Make sure your not leaning your head back past the point of where it's tilted out of line with the spine where your looking too far back to try an compensate for dropped legs .Lean back on the shoulder blades and look directly up at the ceiling .

Dave
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-08-2010
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default

Dave

Thanks for your suggestions. I forgot my pull buoy yesterday so only had my regular backstroke to practice on. I think it is more likely that my head is not far enough back than too far back but the difference seems to me to be a very small amount. When I walk, stand or sit my head tends to be too far forward, so obviously there is an in-built bias in how it feels to me. At my age it is difficult to change posture but I am working on it, with exercises to move the shoulder blades together and tilt the head back a bit. Must get my yoga book out and see what it has to offer.

Today I may try a time trial with and without pull buoy to see if I can come closer to pull buoy speed without it. When I say speed, I'm talking of a very slow pace indeed.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.