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

Twitter Feed Elieen and Felog

Twitter Feed Elieen and Felog

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

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5 responses

  1. I’m not very good at the backstroke. My strongest is freestyle. Every once in a while I do a couple of laps as the backstroke just to see if i can do it. I really shoudl do it more often.

    Like

    11/01/2013 at 11:54 am

    • well I am gonna start doing the backstroke to balance my body in the water.. I hope I’ll survive.. thanks for visiting my site 🙂

      Like

      11/01/2013 at 12:53 pm

  2. Thanks for this reminder, Isaac…..I need to work on my backstroke.

    Like

    12/01/2013 at 1:50 am

  3. Even though it may appear to be the same motion, kicking ( especially with my short, stubby fins) on my back works the hip flexors that must help with running. With high cadence running, it seems like so much more of the driving force comes from the hips, not the legs.

    Like

    12/01/2013 at 10:49 am

    • Yeah I agree with you.. The hip flexors opens up and helps us in he run without us being too tight.. I just saw a video on Joanna Ziagger explaining the importance of hip flexibility. Will consider putting up a post on this topic. Thanks for dropping by.

      Like

      12/01/2013 at 11:14 am

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