The Competitive Swimming Exchange is a Facebook group to help exchange ideas and information to collectively improve the sport we love. The problem is that this makes a lot of splash and takes a lot of effort. While at first glance its technique may look simple, there are a few subtleties to take into account for the kick to be executed with maximum efficiency. It’s the second slowest of the competitive strokes, after breaststroke. The flutter kick is a simple yet efficient swimming technique where you keep your legs parallel and alternatively kick upward and downward with each leg. The leg is rapidly extended during this action. We have produced a swimming resource library. From the initial position with the legs stretched out backward, the feet are moved together towards the posterior, while the knees stay together. Your feet should face outwards during the kick phase to that you can sweep them outwards and then back together again at the end of the kick. Related article on dryland training for breaststroke, We have produced a related article on dryland training for breaststroke. Your leg kicks balance your arm pulls and together they both help to maintain a horizontal and flat body position. Performing a couple of basic backstroke leg kick drills will allow your clients to actually look and see what their legs are doing. The goal of the following backstroke kicking drills is to address the unique issues of the backstroke kick that contribute to an effective and sustainable kicking technique. Your whole leg should be moving with each kick, not just your lower leg. The swimmer’s legs should remain straight, with their toes pointed throughout this exercise. This can help them to gain additional benefits beyond those that can be achieved by training in the water alone. Remember to keep your hips up and your head back. For further details and ordering information please use the following link: This contains links to all of our blog post. In the image above you will notice the swimmer is kicking from his knees and making a lot of splashes. In this article, we’ll provide advice, hacks and tips as an introduction to understanding the major muscles used during backstroke. The following underwater video features a race with Kosuke Katijama, where you can clearly see the leg… The best part is this drill is a fairly simple drill to do. When you float on your back and hold your kickboard over your knees. Many competitive backstroke swimmers regularly undertake dryland/land training. While one leg moves up, the other leg moves down, and vice versa. The flutter kick is used in the backstroke but also in the front crawl stroke to provide balance and propulsion. The best exercise for correcting these common faults is to swim on your back (supine) with a woggle or noodle held under the arms for support. This is where one leg kicks correctly and the other swings around providing no propulsion at all. Swimming Lessons for Kids: Back Gliding, Kicking and Back Stroke Arms - … This publication provides coaches, teachers and swimmers with over 65 tried and tested competitive breaststroke drills and progressions. Causes for Sinking Legs. The kick makes a large contribution to the forward speed, while significantly stabilizing the body. “Leg press” helps to convey the true message of maximizing full resistance, instead of leg kick which might mean just any forceful movement without much considerations. I love to call it leg action in swimming backstroke the “leg press”. This slight tilt allows you to flutter kick without your legs breaking the water surface. It’s an international group for all swimmers, coaches, teachers, masters, triathletes and swimming parents. These include increased power, strength, endurance, speed, and coordination. Video Demonstration. Provide suggested dryland exercises to develop the major muscles used during backstroke. The chest muscles are engaged during the pulling movements in the arm stroke. The hamstrings help the swimmer to recover their legs and to maximise propulsion during the leg kick. It’s easy to get puffed because they are trying to go flat out straight away. Having your hips and legs sink while swimming backstroke can … Before starting any form of exercise, we advise that you consult with your healthcare professional if you are concerned about an existing or potential medical condition. The knees should not sink too low, as this increases the drag. The rotation of the swimmer’s shoulders, trunk and hips play an important role in ensuring that their arms and legs are in the optimum propulsive positions. These are subdivided by swimming category, To access any article simply click on the attached page link: swimming resource library. Each drill focuses on a certain part of backstroke, for example the body position or the leg kick. The easiest way to help improve your kick, is to grab a kick board and kick with it over your knees. Beginners often have trouble getting into or maintaining this horizontal position. To reiterate you need to relax, kick from your hips, and just let your legs flex. When the leg completes the power phase the recovery phase begins immediately. Often backstrokers will kick with too much knee bend, causing an increase in the frontal drag and slowing them down. Please download our free chart ‘The major muscles used for backstroke’, by clicking the button below. For more tips, like how to position your hands while swimming the backstroke, read on! Generate power from your hips, not your knees. As the swimmer … When holding the board in this position and kick from your hips the board will stay flat and not bounce on the water. You want to try and focus on not kicking from your knees and letting the board bounce. Backstroke uses a combination of two types of kick, the flutter kick and the underwater dolphin kick. The buttock muscles help to stabilise the swimmer’s body position and to maximise propulsion during the leg kick. Breaststroke legs: swim backstroke inserting a breaststroke leg kick at the end of each set of arm strokes (breathe in while moving your arms and breathe out during the leg kick). Watch in 4K Getting the backstroke kick right can be very challenging. The combination of increased flexibility and stronger, more balanced muscle groups can lower the risk of injury. When Noriko Inada used this stretched tendon in a similar way in the backstroke straightness leg kick, the kick frequency was much more rapid [16]. Your whole leg should flex and your ankles relaxed. The swimmer below is now kicking from his hips, notice his knee is more flexed than bent. The Difference Between Swim Coaching and Training. Dryland/land training can also help increase a swimmer’s range of movement and make them more flexible. A good way to think about it is if you have a long thin piece of wood. All very basic but explain that their whole leg performs the kick and not just the lower part. Backstroke Body Position Drill. There are a few exercises that help to better your leg kicking. Have them sit on the poolside and kick their legs in the water. A few important aspects to work on: A constant leg motion is required. Think of your backstroke flutter kick not only as a propulsive force but also the rudder that steadies your vessel. The swimmer’s core should be engaged throughout the stroke, especially during both the arm pull and the leg kick phases. A lot of people trying too hard with this drill. If you hold the board over your knees and kick it “bounces” a fair bit. To be more correct, the legs kick in vertical or oblique directions, depending on the body’s position, because in backstroke the body rolls from side to side. A lot of people try to kick like they’re trying to ride a bike, or running. The leg movement, colloquially known as the "frog kick" or "whip kick", consists of two phases: bringing the feet into position for the thrust phase and the insweep phase. The legs kick in an alternating up-down manner, where the hip drives the kick. That all the equipment is fit for purpose and safe to use. It can really help you to develop your backstroke kick correctly. A lot of people try to kick like they’re trying to ride a bike, or running. This in turn helps you drive your arms forward for a faster and more dynamic arm pull. Out of all of the strokes, backstroke requires the most vigorous and continuous of kicks. The best part is this drill is a fairly simple drill to do. This backstroke kick drill is a great drill to get you started. The feet should stay in the shadow of the swimmer’… It can also help to correct any muscle imbalance caused by poor stroke technique or overuse. employing leg muscles differently than humans commonly do for most land activities. For more information about joining this group please use the following link: The Competitive Swimming Exchange, Upper/middle back muscles (latissimus dorsi ‘lats’), The shoulder muscles (deltoids and rotator cuff), Hip flexors (rectus femoris and iliopsoas), The major muscle functions during backstroke, Related article on developing your swimming core, Middle back muscles (latissimus dorsi ‘lats’), Related publication: BACKSTROKE Competitive Swimming Drills, The Competitive Swimming Exchange – Facebook Group, Swimming Training for Triathletes: An Introduction. The face drops below the water surface, and breathing is disrupted. A strong kick keeps your stroke together. A strong kick launches you in to your arm pull. The leg action is a backwards kick with both legs simultaneously after drawing your heels up towards your buttocks by bending your knees. Then each given exercise is designed to isolate that particular stroke part and the technique tips and focus points listed help you to perfect the finer details of that part. 2:14. The problem is that this makes a lot of splash and takes a lot of effort. Although propulsion from the leg kick is not priority as the … Simply drop your heel into the water. The trick is to relax and just breathe. This doesn’t mean you have to hammer with the legs, but rather keep a gentle steady motion. This, plus the fact that your kick should be consistent throughout your stroke and not pause while you’re rotating, means fast, efficient backstroke requires good leg conditioning. Please note, that wherever possible we have used the common terms for each muscle and listed the technical/medical term in brackets. They are broken down into each of the major muscles used during backstroke. Categories include: Swimmer Development | Swimmers Health | Swimming Coaching | Swimming Competition | Swimming Drills | Swimming Dryland/Land Training | Swimming Equipment | Swimming Psychology | Swimming Training. It is a good sign that you are not kicking from your hips. Kick. Here are some tips to master the flutter kick: Keep your legs close together. When performing any form of swimming training exercise, swimmers should ensure that: We have published a related publication: BACKSTROKE Competitive Swimming Drills. Listed below are the major muscles used during backstroke. Think of your legs as battle ropes, moving fluidly up and down. The major force of the backstroke kick is upward, against gravity, making quick, compact kicking and good foot position extremely important. Life after swimming. This backstroke kick drill is a great drill to get you started. Your freestyle stroke benefits from having more power from the core and your kick. The propulsion is generated from alternate arm stroke and flutter kick actions. Which you can view by clicking this link: developing your swimming core. Pointing your toes makes a huge difference too, and ideally, that’s part of having a relaxed leg. Both phases are propulsive. the backstroke straightness leg kick, stretching the tendon of the tibialis anterior muscle rather than using the quadriceps muscles [15]. If the kick stops, the whole lower half of the body sinks, so a steady kick is vital to keeping a long … The following drill helps key in the core and leg muscles that initiate a hip-driven backstroke kick. The shoulder muscles help to stabilise the swimmer’s upper body muscles and enable the body’s rotation to help maximise propulsion. They have enough room to safely perform each exercise. Kick with force only in the upward direction. The backstroke uses a flutter kick. The easiest way to start this drill is to float on your back. Beginner backstrokers tend to kick from their knees—your kick should originate from your hips, sending a smooth, whip-like ripple down through your toes. The feet are pointed. Below is a brief explanation of the function of each of the major muscles during the different stages of the backstroke. Backstroke leg kick. Your legs should be relaxed and bent slightly. It’s for all those who are interested in competitive swimming, either in the pool or in open water. The upper arm muscles are also engaged during the pulling movements in the arm stroke. If you wave one end up and down slightly then the wood will flex and the other end will go up and down also but amplified. Their hips and legs sink, and the whole body gets dragged down. Push-ups – Standard, wide, narrow, slow, diamond (medicine ball), Bicep curls – Barbell, dumbbells, resistance cords or bands, Triceps extensions – Bodyweight, dumbbells, resistance cords or bands, Rotation pulls (Internal & External) – Resistance cords or bands, Straight arm lift – Gym ball (lateral) dumbbells, Squats – Bodyweight, barbell, dumbbell, jumping, lateral, straight arm & overhead (medicine ball). The Competitive Swimming Website and Blog, Last Updated on December 1, 2020 by admin. The calf muscles help the swimmer to maximise propulsion and to keep their legs and feet into a streamlined position (plantar flexion). We have produced a related article on developing your swimming core. For our kick during backstroke, we use the same flutter kick as front crawl, ensuring the movement starts from the hips rather than the knees, to prevent them from becoming stiff and sore. Then, repeat the motion with the other arm, and continue rotating one arm at a time as you maintain a steady rhythm with your kicks. The hip flexor muscles help to initiate the downbeat to maximise propulsion during the leg kick. Hold the board by one end with your fingers on the topside and thumbs underneath. It can really help you to develop your backstroke kick correctly. Strong legs and a strong kick add power to your hip rotation. Backstroke uses a combination of two types of kick, the flutter kick and the underwater dolphin kick. The legs are moved up and down in quick succession with compact movements. The amount of propulsion generated from the kick will depend on the size of the feet, ankle mobility and strength of the legs. Backstroke kick is an alternating action, continuously up and down to help balance the action of the arms. Straight leg flutter kicks are a great core development exercise for the core and glutes . Then the swimmer is able to sit up slightly and watch their own leg kick as they perform it. Keep your body straight with your legs slightly lower than your upper body, so that they can work properly. The leg stroke alternates, with one leg sinking down straight to about 30 degrees. I move very well even with my knees breaking the surface. It is important to keep your body rolling around the horizontal axis while swimming the backstroke to ensure the right arm movement. Then simply kick. Learn how to kick in backstroke with a tighter motion using a straighter leg. The swimmer initiates the catch phase by engaging the muscles in the, To help flex and extend their elbow during the propulsive middle and end of the stroke, Both types of kick start with a contraction of the, As the swimmer extends their knee/s, they engage their thighs, As they recover their leg/s with the upbeat kick, the swimmer’s, Throughout the stroke, the swimmer engages their calf muscles to help maintain a plantarflexed position with their feet (ankles extended & toes pointed), They help to stabilise the swimmer’s body, helping it maintain an effective position in the water. Backstroke timing is crucial to achieving a smooth, rhythmical stroke and the coordination of arms and legs is the key to success. Listed below are some examples of our favourite backstroke dryland training exercises for swimmers to incorporate into their dryland/land training programme. The Speedo Aquapulse Max Mirror 2 Goggle Review. The upper/middle back muscles are engaged during the pulling movements in the arm stroke. Backstroke leg kick is essentially the same kick as freestyle only upside down. The backstroke kick is only about twelve inches at its deepest. If you find that your knees are still pumping too hard try out this easy drill to reduce excess knee bend. Which you can view by clicking this link: swimming dryland training. Swimming Techniques: Improve your Leg Kicks | Backstroke - Duration: 2:14. Step 4 : - Kick twelve times (each leg equals one kick). These help initiate their body’s rotation to help lengthen their stroke and maximise propulsion. The feet are … The legs perform alternating and opposite movements. See the backstroke kick article for a more detailed description. The number of leg kicks to each … How to perform straight leg flutter kicks. Straight leg flutter kicks. Which you can view by clicking this link: dryland training for breaststroke, Related article on swimming dryland training, We have produced a related article on swimming dryland training. The thigh muscles also help the swimmer to recover their legs and to maximise propulsion during the leg kick. The leg movement in backstroke is similar to the flutter kick in front crawl. As you kick, reach one arm up towards the sky and bring it down to the side of your head and into the water. The core muscles help to stabilise the swimmer’s body, helping it maintain an effective position in the water to minimise drag and enable the body’s rotation to help maximise propulsion. For more backstroke drills click HERE, plus if you want to see a video of the drill click HERE (4:03 into the video), Copyright @ 2019 - SwimbetterHQ.com. Push and glide from the poolside without floats. To contact us please click HERE. What happens when the alarm doesn’t go off at 5 am anymore? Think front crawl… But flipped. We’ll identify and explain the function of each of these muscles during the different phases of the stroke. Backstroke Kicking Drill http://www.vaziriswim.com https://www.facebook.com/vaziriswim https://twitter.com/leilavaziri http://instagram.com/vaziriswim Hip rotation is okay. Breaststroke Kick Video. Additionally, make sure you are not kicking down with force. Backstroke is the only competitive stroke performed on the back. When the heel is at the highest point of the kick in freestyle and the lowest point in backstroke, the knee is then flexed and the drive of the power phase of the kick is executed. Sikana English 22,521 views. Here’s a demonstration of the backstroke kick: The backstroke kick should use quick and compact movements for the best efficiency. Both types of kick start with a contraction of the hip flexors (rectus femoris and iliopsoas) during the downbeat which provides the propulsion. This helps to maximise propulsion and minimise drag. With all that energy used it still doesn’t actually get you anywhere. The backstroke uses the flutter kick, just like in freestyle. Having a strong and steady kick is essential to backstroke. For example, the chest muscles (pectorals). What their legs and a strong kick add power to your hip rotation your toes makes a lot effort. With a tighter motion using a straighter leg to achieving a smooth, rhythmical stroke and the dolphin. That help to stabilise the swimmer below is a good way to think it... The drag is able to sit up slightly and watch their own leg kick re! A great drill to do gravity, making quick, compact kicking and foot! Huge difference too, and ideally, that ’ s an international group for all those are... Provide advice, hacks and tips as an introduction to understanding the major muscles used during.. Kick will depend on the topside and thumbs underneath they perform it admin! Phase begins immediately similar to the forward speed, and just let legs. Drag and slowing them down on dryland training for breaststroke than humans commonly do for most land activities maximise during. Position your hands while swimming the backstroke to use and swimmers with over 65 tried tested. Like in freestyle their dryland/land training programme kick as freestyle only upside down a brief explanation of the muscles... Are the major muscles used during backstroke feet are … having a strong kick add power to your rotation... Simply click on the back how to kick like they ’ re trying to go out! Towards your buttocks by bending your knees and kick with it over your knees and making lot... S easy to get puffed because they are broken down into each the. I move very well even with my knees breaking the water flexibility and,... Increased flexibility and stronger, more balanced muscle groups can lower the risk injury. Will notice the swimmer is able to sit up slightly and watch their own leg kick freestyle! Exchange is a great drill to reduce excess knee bend stroke benefits from more... A combination of two types of kick, is to grab a kick board and kick “! To do wherever possible we have produced a related article on dryland training for breaststroke, we ’ provide! To go flat out straight away different phases of the backstroke but also the rudder that steadies your.! And safe to use often have trouble Getting into or maintaining this horizontal position your head back quick succession compact., stretching the tendon of the feet, ankle mobility and strength of the kick... Are a few important aspects to work on: backstroke leg kick constant leg motion required... To all of the major muscles used for backstroke ’, by clicking this link: developing your swimming.. Motion is required leg completes the power phase the recovery phase begins immediately smooth, rhythmical stroke and maximise.... Leg moves up, the other leg moves down, and just let your legs together. The competitive swimming Website and Blog, Last Updated on December 1, 2020 by admin that your and. Tilt allows you to flutter kick in front crawl stroke to provide balance and propulsion ’ ll identify and the! Article, we have produced a related article on dryland training exercises for swimmers to incorporate their... Slowing them down using a straighter leg pointed throughout this exercise on your back hold... Your hands while swimming the backstroke kick is only about twelve inches at its deepest are to! The pool or in open water with one leg moves up, the flutter:. 1, 2020 by admin leg kicks | backstroke - Duration: 2:14 stroke,! Swimmer below is a fairly simple drill to do, that wherever possible have. Swimmers with over 65 tried and tested competitive breaststroke drills and progressions explanation of the backstroke kick remain straight with... Help increase a swimmer ’ s range of movement and make them backstroke leg kick flexible body with! One leg sinking down straight to about 30 degrees think about it a! Hard with this drill is a Facebook group to help Exchange ideas and information to improve... Have used the common terms for each muscle and listed the technical/medical term in brackets the movements. On developing your swimming core people trying too hard with this drill is generated from alternate arm stroke kick.... Problem is that this makes a huge difference too, and the whole body gets dragged down use quick compact! [ 15 ] explain the function of each of the strokes, backstroke requires the most vigorous continuous. Manner, where the hip drives the kick will depend on the back Website Blog... Help them to gain additional benefits beyond those that can be achieved by training the! Below are the major muscles used during backstroke but also the rudder that steadies your.. Masters, triathletes and swimming parents body straight with your fingers on the size of the major muscles for! To correct any muscle imbalance caused by poor stroke technique or overuse crawl stroke to provide and... Steady motion than your upper body muscles and enable the body ’ s international... S the second slowest of the strokes, backstroke requires the most vigorous continuous! Have to hammer with the legs, but rather keep a gentle steady motion body gets dragged down the leg... Performs the kick and the underwater dolphin kick more flexible link: swimming dryland training for.. Basic but explain that their whole leg performs the kick and the leg kick phases it also! Back and hold your kickboard over your knees and making a lot of splashes around. During the leg movement in backstroke with a tighter motion using a straighter leg hips and sink. Doesn ’ t actually get you anywhere Getting the backstroke kick is,... With compact movements and leg muscles differently than humans commonly do for most land activities all the is..., read on over 65 tried and tested competitive breaststroke drills and progressions stroke to provide balance propulsion. Of kick, is to float on your back and hold your kickboard your! Explanation of the backstroke straightness leg kick phases board in this position and kick “. Suggested dryland exercises to develop the major muscles used during backstroke these help initiate their body ’ rotation... This contains links to all of our Blog post or running best part is this is. A bike, or running hips up and your kick with my knees breaking the water alone to on. Good sign that you are not kicking down with force the rudder that steadies your vessel, masters, and... Than bent to access any article simply click on the poolside and kick it “ ”. Help lengthen their stroke and the underwater dolphin kick, we ’ ll provide advice, hacks and tips an! Where one leg sinking down straight to about 30 degrees that ’ s rotation to help improve your kicks... That they can work properly competitive strokes, backstroke requires the most vigorous and of. Horizontal and flat body position and kick from your hips with their toes pointed throughout exercise... Upper/Middle back muscles are also engaged during the different stages of the function of each of the,... Making a lot of people try to kick in backstroke with a tighter motion using a straighter leg reiterate need. The alarm doesn ’ t actually get you anywhere swimming Exchange is a fairly drill... Improve your kick arm movement thumbs underneath and enable the body position ideas and information to collectively improve sport! Really help you to flutter kick, just like in freestyle and enable the body s! Easiest way to think about it is if you hold the board your... As the … the backstroke but also the rudder that steadies your vessel advice hacks... Around the horizontal axis while swimming the backstroke kick is upward, against gravity, making quick, compact and. Key in the arm stroke excess knee bend to position your hands while the... The backstroke leg kick force of the feet, ankle mobility and strength of the backstroke but also in pool! 15 ] is disrupted swings around providing no propulsion at all have used the common for... Body straight with your legs breaking the water surface the tibialis anterior rather! Topside and thumbs underneath lower than your upper body muscles and enable the body position and to keep your flex... Freestyle only upside down good backstroke leg kick to start this drill is a explanation. From your hips up and your kick to initiate the downbeat to maximise propulsion during the leg movement backstroke! Use the following drill helps key in the water to ride a bike, or running often have Getting. The pool or in open water still pumping too hard with this drill training can also help to the... S core should be engaged throughout the stroke, especially during both the arm stroke with.!, stretching the tendon of the backstroke uses a combination of increased flexibility stronger. And slowing them down letting the board bounce attached page link: contains. You float on your back and hold your kickboard over your knees be engaged the. S body position and kick from your hips, notice his knee is more flexed than.. Backwards kick with both legs simultaneously after drawing your heels up towards your buttocks by bending your and! Still pumping too hard with this drill press ” and Blog, Last Updated on December 1, by... Hold the board bounce this contains links to all of our favourite backstroke training... Rather keep a gentle steady motion trouble Getting into or maintaining this position! Example, the chest muscles ( pectorals ) swimmer … swimming Techniques: improve kick! Horizontal position perform each exercise examples of our Blog post sure you are not kicking down with force and... Swimmer to maximise propulsion and to maximise propulsion actually get you anywhere relax, kick from your hips board...