Why you should learn the Backstroke for Triathlon?
I have always head to the pool doing laps after laps with 80% of front crawl and 20% breast stroke all the time, I am not sure if it was the best way to train as I am only improving those few muscle group. I was a club swimmer, training with the boys doing 50m freestyle competition but never got to signing up for one, have friends who are on the national squad but never took any swim tips from them.
Since I am doing triathlons and Ironman for the love of it, when it comes to the swim part I can tell you,I am definitely not fast even after so many swim sessions, ,sessions after sessions my time never seem to improve. I also never used other strokes like the backstroke or butterfly, never wondered why I need the them for, this conversation between speedy @trimeon and coach @felog in my feed were conversing about backstroke got me intrigued. I went all out and in search for the missing piece to understand why a backstroke was needed in our training session
So what happens now is that, I am gonna put in post some backstroke drills that I am gonna use and try on my next swim session..
The backstroke is easy to learn and helpful to triathletes for multiple reasons. It counteracts swimmer’s “shoulder slouch” by engaging upper-back muscles and lengthening pectorals, it can provide an opportunity to calm breathing or clear goggles during an open-water swim and it breaks up monotony in the pool. Plus, kicking while on your back serves as good cross-training for major cycling muscles such as the hip flexors, core and quads.
Try these sets:
• 4×75 with 15 seconds rest (25 free/25 back/25 free)
• 1×600 [4x(100 freestyle strong effort/50 backstroke easy)]
• 8×50 on 1:15 (25 back/25 free) descend time 1-4, 5-8
Five technique tips:
1. Tilt chin up and look at the sky. This puts head and spine in good alignment. Do not look toward your toes, as it causes hips to sink.
2. Push hips toward the surface and maintain a steady up and down flutter kick. Keep feet just below the surface of the water. Do not rotate feet with the rest of body.
3. Hands exit the water thumb first and enter the water pinky first. This requires a slight wrist and shoulder rotation as a straight arm moves through the air.
4. Arms enter the water straight up from shoulders and do not cross the center line overhead. Swimming backstroke in a straight line is difficult without following pool lines. Keep zigzags to a minimum with consistent arm placement.
5. The key to backstroke is good upper-body rotation with a motionless head. Try to roll your left shoulder to your chin as the right pinky enters the water and vice versa
drills taken from Triathlete Competitor By Sara McLarty