Backstroke Swim Drill – 6 Kick Switch

#swimisodes World champion backstroker, Junya Koga demonstrates a backstroke swim drill also known as ‘6 kick switch’, that will help you appreciate the importance of this extreme rotation from one side to the other. Developing a faster backstroke swim begins with learning to use fast, strong body rotation.The energy from this quick body turn couples with the force from the underwater pull, resulting in more distance per stroke. The rotation of the body to the side in backstroke also places the shoulder in a stronger mechanical position to generate a greater force during the pull.

Using this backstroke swim drill at The Race Club, we also teach the swimmers to relax their hands and wrist on the recovery. This little known relaxation practice plays a big role in enabling the arm muscles to recover better for another strong underwater pull. In backstroke and in freestyle, many swimmers keep their hands and wrists stiff during the recovery and never give their arms a chance to recover enough for the next underwater pull. Doing so will quickly lead a swimmer to exhaustion.

For both of these reasons, you should practice the fast backstroke swim drill to develop a more powerful and sustainable backstroke swim.

6 Responses to Backstroke Swim Drill – 6 Kick Switch

  1. Quincy Kelly

    Should the back of the hand enter the water then rotate pinky down? I do like the relaxed arm idea!

  2. Susan Huber

    Thanks for the video- is there any drill I can do to not poke my knees through the water on backstroke. I raced recently and although I won it, I was upset that knees were not in optimimum position. I train alone and therefore did not pick that up. I do swim fly too and all the other strokes. Can you advise as to how to train this out? Would appreciate any help.( I only see my coach at infrequent meets).

  3. Gary Hall Sr.

    Too much knee bend is usually a result of not having enough plantar flexibility in the ankles. As a result, the swimmer tries to develop more power from the foot by over bending the knee.
    Try wearing the yellow finis band around your legs below the ankle and kicking with this on. It will help prevent the problem and reduce the drag caused by the knee bend.
    The bands are available on our website.

    • Susan Huber

      Thank you very much, since I could not get the band, I used a bike inner tube and do all my strokes using it. Backstroke is much better but did not rotate my shoulders enough at last LCM. Your video will help a lot!

  4. LBL

    Hi couch Gary. do you have video of back stroke that uses the finis band around the legs so i can follow or execute it. thank you… and can i ask if the transmitter under water headphone is still available. I want to get one for my son. thank you….again….

    • Amy Hall

      We are working on the #swimisodes with kicking backstroke with the band. Stay tuned for a release soon! Yes, you can purchase the Race Club swim speakers – transmitter and headsets on our website store here:


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