Backstroke Dryland Exercises

There is so much we can teach swimmers about backstroke technique before they even put a foot in the water. Not only can we teach them good form outside of the water, but we actually think it's easier to do so before getting in. In this video, masters swimmers Rich and Laura go through a set of dryland exercises to learn the proper backstroke pulling motion.Although Rich and Laura are both longtime swimmers, there was still plenty for us to correct in their backstrokes. We first start with a simple body rotation drill. Next, we have swimmers raise their arms to shoulder level and continue rotating. After a few rotations with hands at shoulder level, we have them raise their hands above their heads. This gives us and the swimmers an idea of their shoulder rotation and where they might be limited. It also helps them loosen up and feel just how far their shoulders should rotate in backstroke.Next, it's time to incorporate the pulling motion. We often see swimmers pulling out too wide and not pushing water back for long enough. The key here is to enter the water pinky down and almost immediately break the elbow. This allows the hand to come straight down and push water back for longer, giving us maximum propulsion.