Backstroke Spin Drill

The backstroke spin drill is one of the most effective ways of teaching swimmers to accelerate the straight arms quickly through the recovery phase of the stroke cycle. One of the greatest challenges we see with our swimmers at The Race Club is getting them to turn their arms over fast enough in backstroke. In this Race Club Swimisode, World champion backstroker Junya Koga demonstrates how fast one can move the arms with the backstroke spin drill, preparing for a strong backstroke race. While a fast stroke rate in backstroke is not the only important technique to swim faster, it is critical, since most backstrokers turn their arms over way too slowly.

Many backstrokers are taught to deliberately slow their arms down before the hand enters the water, yet that is not what you should do. The faster the arm accelerates through the recovery, the more energy is coupled with the arm pulling underwater and the faster you will go. Don’t worry about being delicate or getting air bubbles trapped behind your hand. It is far more important to throw the arm backward aggressively and forcefully,with the little finger entering the water first, increasing the power and the speed of the stroke.

At the Race Club we are proud of the many backstrokers we have helped by using the backstroke spin drill. Try the spin drill with hands open or closed to increase your backstroke speed.

2 Responses to Backstroke Spin Drill

  1. robion luc

    dear sir,

    • Gary Hall Sr.

      The most important part of accomplishing this is the position from where you start. In other words, the bum needs to be at or above the surface at the start to launch. From there, one needs to jump upward and backward, but if the bum is too low in the water, one will not be able to get completely airborne. To do this, the toes need to be near the surface and one needs to use a lot of arm strength to lift the body up.


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