While swimming backstroke, it is important that the technique of your arm movements is correct. This avoids strain on your shoulders and allows you to swim more efficiently. This article explains the correct movements during the different phases of the arm stroke: catch, pull, push and recovery.
For demonstration purposes, let's have a look again at Ryan Lochte swimming backstroke:
To start the discussion, we imagine that the swimmer is lying on his back in the water, with one arm straight and extended forward. The palm is rotated outwards. The other arm is extended at the side of the swimmer, with the palm turned inwards. The flutter kick is used for propulsion.
The arm extended forward starts the under water phase with the catch:
This phase serves to correctly set up the arm for the propulsive pull phase.
The underwater pull and push phase of the stroke starts once the elbow is bent about 90° and the palm is turned in the direction of the swimmer's feet. It's in this phase that the swimmer applies propulsive force to the arm:
While one arm moves backwards under water, the other one simultaneously recovers above the water:
At this point, the arms exchange their roles: the recovering arm becomes the stroking arm and the stroking arm becomes the recovering arm.
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By Christophe Keller, © 2010-2014 Enjoy-Swimming.Com. All rights reserved.