TYR How To: Proper Backstroke

With the 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series well underway, we want to help athletes up their game in time for race day.

In our most recent “TYR Sport How to Video” we’re diving into how to achieve proper body position in your backstroke, featuring none other than 6x Olympic Medalist and 23x World Championship Medalist Matt Grevers. Check out the video and our tips below, plus stay tuned for more tutorials to come!

Proper arm stroke is the key to maximizing speed and efficiency in your backstroke. When beginning a stroke on your back, you are in a less natural position to see your pull. As a result, stroke technique is essential.

  • To begin, start with the hand entry phase. With the head at a 12:00 o’clock position, your body should penetrate the water pinky finger first at either 11:00 or 1:00 o’clock. This is the most natural position for the arm to begin the pull phase of the stroke.
  • Here, maintain a necessary bend in the elbows (similar to in the freestyle). As the hand goes through the pull phase you should feel as though you are throwing water down toward your hip.
  • In order to be in the proper position for the hand entry, the pull phase and the finishing portion of the stroke, it is important to rotate from the hips, keeping the rest of the body in line as you move.
  • Practice Tip- To practice proper technique in your arm stroke try focusing on rotating the hips and shoulders together. Though your momentum will ultimately come from the hips, you want the shoulders to move in line as one. While on your back, press the center of the back between your shoulder blades toward the bottom of the pool. This will help you to maintain a strong and aligned body position.