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  #1  
Old 03-05-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Zenturtle
Default No patient arm? Do backstroke.

In my experience backstroke gives a fresh perspective on important things in the long axis stroke.
Staying straight and balanced, getting a feel where to apply pressure during the pull and the advantages of a continuous roll from one stroke to the other.

Especially the concept of the patient arm is very obvious in backstroke.
With the arm outstretched on the back there is no way you can get any good hold and leverage on the water, so you just have to wait till the arm is coming at shoulder level to be able to give more oommpph to the stroke and gently increase the pressure toward that point.
If you pull with a 90 degree elbow bend it actually feels a lot like the freestyle pull.
Next to this, your core has to learn to keep the body straight and level during propulsive actions.
This hightened awareness is beneficial to the freestyle too.

Any more backstroke fans?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CmM_Z3Zt5U

Last edited by Zenturtle : 03-05-2015 at 10:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2015
daveblt daveblt is offline
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You have a fan right here . I like backstroke and also like doing long axis combo freestyle and backstroke.

Dave
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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s.sciame
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
In my experience backstroke gives a fresh perspective on important things in the long axis stroke.
Staying straight and balanced, getting a feel where to apply pressure during the pull and the advantages of a continuous roll from one stroke to the other.

Especially the concept of the patient arm is very obvious in backstroke.
With the arm outstretched on the back there is no way you can get any good hold and leverage on the water, so you just have to wait till the arm is coming at shoulder level to be able to give more oommpph to the stroke and gently increase the pressure toward that point.
If you pull with a 90 degree elbow bend it actually feels a lot like the freestyle pull.
Next to this, your core has to learn to keep the body straight and level during propulsive actions.
This hightened awareness is beneficial to the freestyle too.

Any more backstroke fans?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CmM_Z3Zt5U
Hi Zenturtle,
I'm a backstroke fan too and I'm glad you started this thread.

It's well known that backstroke can be beneficial to freestyle (I also find it useful when cooling down to stretch freestyle muscles) and I assume that, with some decent bk technique, one should have a similar stroke count (compared to fs) and be slightly slower because stroke rate in bk is generally slower than in fs.

Now my question, just out of curiosity and open to anybody in this forum: how slower is your bk compared to your fs? Not talking about best times here, just leisure pace, even warmup pace.
I ask because what's puzzling me is that my bk is as much as 25 to 30s per 100m slower than my fs, though I have quite the same DPS I have in freestyle
and no balance issues (can float barely kicking). For sure I find it difficult to raise SR - 50SPM is already a very high SR for me in bk, while in fs I'm comfortable at 57-60SPM, it seems my arms are not used to turning in reverse.

Another thing I noticed when watching at good backstrokers, is that they easily hit the water with some oomph (you can hear the sound of the arm entering the water without watching). I can do this in fs but not in bk and I don't think that a silent entry is a good sign here, I interpret this as not being able to transfer energy forward during the recovery phase.

Any ideas on this?

Best regards,
Salvo
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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My rough indication for speed at the same effort level

Breaststroke 1.50 min/100m
Backstroke 1.40 min/100m
Freestyle 1.30 min/100m

Secret to backstroke (for what I experience): big, big bodyroll, straight body and feeling the water all along the inside of the arm from hand to armpit at the catch.
No straight arm, but Lochtes technique. If the hand comes above the waterlevel during the back and downslap at the end of the stroke you should rotate more.
Its pretty hard on the core muscles to keep the body straight if you try to swim fast.
Keeping the roll momentum going makes getting a good armfull of water much easier and is more relaxing.
Lochte is a great example of beautifull backstroke.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 03-06-2015 at 08:31 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2015
daveblt daveblt is offline
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[quote=Zenturtle;51676]
Secret to backstroke (for what I experience): big, big bodyroll,




Hmm... maybe for Lochtes but not for me .I am only trying to roll just enough to clear my shoulder because my stroke feels better that way and I feel more balanced.

Dave
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  #6  
Old 03-07-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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s.sciame
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
My rough indication for speed at the same effort level

Breaststroke 1.50 min/100m
Backstroke 1.40 min/100m
Freestyle 1.30 min/100m

Secret to backstroke (for what I experience): big, big bodyroll, straight body and feeling the water all along the inside of the arm from hand to armpit at the catch.
No straight arm, but Lochtes technique. If the hand comes above the waterlevel during the back and downslap at the end of the stroke you should rotate more.
Its pretty hard on the core muscles to keep the body straight if you try to swim fast.
Keeping the roll momentum going makes getting a good armfull of water much easier and is more relaxing.
Lochte is a great example of beautifull backstroke.
Thx for the benchmark - 10s/100m btw fs and bk sounds reasonable to me, I should fill my gap - and for the tips. I'll try rotating more and see what happens, though this should slow SR even more. Maybe the final snap at the end of the pull can aid rotation if pressing a little down and outward. Something similar to what you notice Shinji does in his first uw pull in fs...

BR,
Salvo
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2015
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
Thx for the benchmark - 10s/100m btw fs and bk sounds reasonable to me, I should fill my gap - and for the tips. I'll try rotating more and see what happens, though this should slow SR even more. Maybe the final snap at the end of the pull can aid rotation if pressing a little down and outward. Something similar to what you notice Shinji does in his first uw pull in fs...

BR,
Salvo
Just like in freestyle the weight of the recovery arm can be used to assist rotation. Try doing 1 armed backstroke with the other arm at the side. Clear the shoulder dry on each side.
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  #8  
Old 03-08-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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s.sciame
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Just like in freestyle the weight of the recovery arm can be used to assist rotation. Try doing 1 armed backstroke with the other arm at the side. Clear the shoulder dry on each side.
Thanks very much Suzanne, I tried it today and I realized there's way of improvement in this direction, especially on my weak side. I also found this drill improves SR, helps find the right amount of body rotation, provides good training for core muscles (a benefit for freestyle too) and connected kicking. It's good for everything :)

Another interesting drill to try could be Charles' NAD to full stroke progression but in bk: 100 as 25 NAD (no arm drill) + 25 one arm L + 25 one arm R + 25 full stroke

BR,
Salvo
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  #9  
Old 05-08-2015
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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I second the idea of doing more one-arm backstroke. For me it is also a way of practising the kick, because my kick is very non-propulsive and it takes a long time to kick a single length of the pool. It also takes a long time with single arm, but not quite as long, so I can fit more repeats in.
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  #10  
Old 05-26-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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After more backstroke laps, I come to another conclusion.
When you enter the arm at 12 oclock then its maybe better to wait a bit, keeping a patient lead arm, but now I enter more on 11 and 1 or even 10 and 2.
Now its much better to continue the movement right after entry and concentrate on windmilling arms with comstant force and traction.
So, no patient lead arm, but a continuous moving arm,
At the front, and at the back. Shoulders rotate more than hips.
Its a strange action keeping the body in straightline twisting with an almost windmilling arm action.
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