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  #21  
Old 04-30-2009
madvet madvet is offline
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You should kick up (to the sky) not down.
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  #22  
Old 05-02-2009
elskbrev elskbrev is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madvet View Post
You should kick up (to the sky) not down.
But mr. madvet, I have two legs! LOL

See 3/18/09 thread, "Backstroke:"
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Originally Posted by madvet View Post
My biggest problems now:
Keeping my hips from dropping as I pull. It seems like as I pull down I want to kink in the middle.

Kicking: I find it hard to maintain a steady 6 beat kick. I just let the legs do what they want to do, which is a little more active than a 2-beat kick. I think it is necessary to do a more active kick than freestyle in order to get a little higher in the water. But I have trouble maintaining it consistently.
Maybe paying attention to what your down kick is doing may help.

But, what do I know. First "red cross" freestyle teach said I was a natural for backstroke (unconscious competence), but I haven't done the freestyle yet. I'm glad my legs know what to do, because I really hate fins.

Cheers
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  #23  
Old 05-02-2009
madvet madvet is offline
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Ah yes, but a much more skilled backstroker than I told me that (kick up, not down), a state champion.

You of course have to let your legs drop down to get the next kick, but you don't want to make it a strong "propulsive" move. It is the same kick as freestyle, ignore the temptation to make it different.

The pigeon-toed aspect might be different than freestyle, though, but that is a different component.
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  #24  
Old 05-02-2009
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi

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 10:46 PM.
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  #25  
Old 05-02-2009
elskbrev elskbrev is offline
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Default kick up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
If you look at photos or video of top backstrokers the 'down' leg has a distinct bend at the knee, peusmably 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 don't see it. Here's Ryan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CmM_Z3Zt5U . The 'down' leg doesn't start to bend until he starts whipping it 'up.' On the way down, it's virtually straight. He's kicking just like Terry does it.

Compare and contrast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3EY1...eature=related. For madvet, there's a good clip in this of a man sinking in the middle when he bends his knee on the down kick. Excellent instructional video overall. *Straight* leg on the down kick.

Cindy

Last edited by elskbrev : 05-02-2009 at 10:09 PM.
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  #26  
Old 05-02-2009
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi Elskbrev

I didn't say it was bent on the down kick, just that it is bent when it is down. Presumably the upward motion begins earlier in the leg above the knee and then the lower leg follows, giving the whipping action. There is definitely a point at which the foot is much lower than the knee. It's most evident in underwater shots taken from in front of the swimmer but it can also be seen in side view underwater shots.

Slow motion or stop motion would be useful.

This passage from Swimming Fastest by Ernest Maglischo is interesting:

"...the beginning of the upbeat actually appears to be part of the preceding downbeat. Swimmers gently flex the leg at the knee as the foot passes below the body and then presses the thigh slightly upward to initiate the upbeat. At that time, the pressure of the water above the leg pushes the lower leg downward further into a flexed position while the thigh is actually moving upward. This gives the impression that the downbeat is still underway, but in actuality, it has ended and the upbeat has begun."

Possibly this is one of those things that happen naturally and don't require conscious thought.
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  #27  
Old 05-04-2009
madvet madvet is offline
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Originally Posted by elskbrev View Post
*Straight* leg on the down kick.

Cindy
I never said to bend the knee on the down kick. I said to put the propulsive effort on the up kick. Nothing about bending.
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  #28  
Old 05-04-2009
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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John

I was the one who introduced the bend and certainly didn't intend to suggest that the knee should bend on the way down. It does bend at the bottom, though, to judge from photographs and video. Evidently this counts as part of the up kick, and as I said above it's probably something that happens of its own accord and doesn't need conscious thought. Unless someone knows different?
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