This article proposes a series of exercises for learning backstroke. The backstroke is a swimming style that is swum on the back.
The arms perform similar but alternating movements. The arms recover from the hips forward above water and pull back to the hips from the front under water.
The legs perform a flutter kick. They kick alternately up and down.
You can find out more about the swimming technique of the backstroke here.
Swimming Drills and Exercises
Learn The Flutter Kick
Learn The Flutter Kick In Backstroke: Knowing how to maintain balance in the supine position (on the back) and how to perform the flutter kick are important prerequisites for learning the backstroke.
This article teaches you this basic swimming technique.
Head-Lead Supine Balance Drill
Learn To Swim Backstroke – Head-Lead Supine Balance Drill: This is an important drill to learn the backstroke, as it teaches how to be balanced and supported on the back using the lungs’ buoyancy.
Being balanced means that the body is horizontal in the water while swimming the backstroke.
Head-Lead Side Balance Drills
Learn To Swim Backstroke – Head-Lead Side Balance Drills: These swimming drills are the next in the sequence to learn how to swim backstroke.
Here you’ll learn how to float more on the sides rather than flat on the back and using a supple flutter kick.
Learn The Arm Stroke On Dry Land
Backstroke Technique Drills – Learn The Arm Stroke On Dry Land: This article demonstrates how to do the arm movements in backstroke.
Learning the arm movements is easier when you first rehearse them on dry land.
Hand-Lead Side Balance Drill
Learn To Swim Backstroke – Hand-Lead Side Balance Drill: The next drill to learn to swim backstroke is a simple variation of the head-lead side balance drill.
But instead of keeping both arms at your sides, you’ll extend one arm in front of you while keeping the other at your side.
This teaches you how to keep balance while swimming on the side with an extended arm.
Under Water Arm Sweeps
Learning to Swim Backstroke – Under Water Arm Sweeps: The next swimming drill to learn to swim backstroke lets you practice your balance in combination with underwater arm sweeps for propulsion.
Single-Arm Backstroke Drill
Learning to Swim Backstroke – Single-Arm Backstroke: The next swimming drills let you practice the arm recovery above the water.
However, to learn the arm movements correctly and to keep things simple, you’ll only practice one arm at a time.
This lets you focus better on the arm movements and avoids synchronization issues between both arms.
Slide and Glide Drills
Learning to Swim Backstroke – Slide and Glide Drills: The Slide and Glide swimming drills are the last ones of our series to learn to swim backstroke.
You will now practice simultaneous arm movements.
Learning Path for the Backstroke
Below is an overview of our series of articles on learning the backstroke. Each article in this series contains one or more drills that have to be mastered. The current article is highlighted:
Once you have gone through all the steps of this learning path, you should be able to swim backstroke without any problems.
Sunday 26th of June 2016
Hello, I'm Hülya.
I have been learning swimming for a week. But I can't swim with backstroke technique even if it seems easier than freestyle.
The biggest reason is I don't know how to stand up again properly. I tried it in the very shallow pool.
I could float but I couldn't stand up easily, in other words, I sank while trying to come to the vertical position.
Could you please suggest me the easiest and practical way for this?
Monday 27th of June 2016
To stand up from the backstroke position what I do is this:
* I bring my arms to my sides underwater.
* At the same time I curl up my body, which means I round my back, I bend my knees and bring them toward my chest. It's as if I assume a crouching position in the water.
This automatically moves me in a vertical position, then I just need to stretch my legs to stand up.