Backstroke - A woman swimming in a pool with a red line
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What Drills Improve Backstroke Skills?

Mastering the backstroke in swimming requires a combination of skill, technique, and strength. It is essential to practice specific drills that target different aspects of the stroke to improve overall performance in the water. By incorporating these drills into your training routine, you can enhance your backstroke skills and become a more efficient and powerful swimmer.

**Body Positioning Drill**

One of the fundamental aspects of backstroke is maintaining the correct body positioning in the water. A common drill to improve body positioning involves using a kickboard or a pull buoy. Start by holding the kickboard out in front of you with your arms fully extended while kicking on your back. Focus on keeping your body parallel to the water surface, with your hips up and your head in a neutral position. This drill helps you develop a strong core and improve your stability in the water, leading to a more streamlined and efficient backstroke.

**Catch and Pull Drill**

The catch and pull phase is crucial in generating power and propulsion during the backstroke. To enhance this aspect of your technique, practice the catch and pull drill. Begin by reaching your arm out in front of you as if you were starting the stroke. Then, initiate the catch by bending your elbow and pulling your hand towards your hip in a sweeping motion. Focus on engaging your lats and maintaining a high elbow position throughout the pull phase. This drill helps you develop a strong and effective pulling motion, leading to a more powerful backstroke.

**Rotation Drill**

Proper rotation is key to a smooth and efficient backstroke. To improve your rotation skills, incorporate the rotation drill into your training routine. Start by lying on your back in the water with your arms by your sides. Initiate the rotation by pressing your shoulder blades down towards your hips, allowing your body to roll from side to side. Focus on keeping your head still and in line with your body as you rotate. This drill helps you develop a fluid rotation motion, enabling you to maximize your reach and power in each stroke.

**Kicking Drill**

Strong and consistent kicking is essential for maintaining speed and propulsion in the backstroke. To improve your kicking technique, practice the kicking drill. Begin by holding onto the pool wall or a kickboard for support. Focus on kicking from your hips in a continuous and rhythmic motion, keeping your legs straight and toes pointed. Pay attention to the timing of your kicks and aim to generate power from your core muscles. This drill helps you develop a strong and efficient kicking technique, leading to improved speed and endurance in the backstroke.

**Underwater Dolphin Kick Drill**

The underwater dolphin kick is a powerful technique used by elite swimmers to accelerate off the wall and maintain momentum in the backstroke. To enhance your underwater dolphin kick, incorporate this drill into your training regimen. Start by pushing off the wall on your back and initiating a dolphin kick motion with your legs. Focus on generating power from your core and hips, allowing your body to move smoothly through the water. This drill helps you improve your underwater propulsion and streamline your body position for maximum speed and efficiency.

**Conclusion: Elevate Your Backstroke Skills**

By incorporating these drills into your training routine, you can elevate your backstroke skills and become a more proficient swimmer. Focus on body positioning, catch and pull technique, rotation, kicking, and underwater dolphin kick to improve different aspects of your backstroke. Consistent practice and attention to detail will help you refine your technique and enhance your overall performance in the water. Remember, mastering the backstroke takes time and dedication, so stay focused and keep pushing yourself to reach new levels of excellence in your swimming journey.