Tips for getting backstroke right

Getting backstroke right isn’t easy. Next to butterfly it is one of the most difficult strokes. Learning all the main swimming strokes comes after you have mastered the basic skills of swimming. This is during Stage 3 of the Learn to Swim Pathway for adults learning to swim. But the strokes can take a lifetime to master.

If you feel you have reached a point with breaststroke where you are ready to develop then we have collated some tips for you below. There is also a short video to help you get it right. If you are not there yet, head over to the Learn section for more on learning to swim.

Tips for getting backstroke right

  1. Float on your back, with your ears just in the water and eyes looking up; stretch your body as long as possible.
  2. Keep your legs long with pointed toes; kick your legs up and down (alternating) making your ankles as floppy as possible, using your feet like flippers. Keep knees under the water with your toes making a small splash. Kick your legs fast and continuously.
  3. Start with your arms stretched down the side of your body. Your arm should be kept straight bringing it out of the water over the top in an arc action. Enter your hands into the water with your little fingers first, keeping your arm straight. Pull your arm under the water all the way to the thigh. Keep pulling your arms in a continuous movement as one arm enters, the other is ready to exit at the thigh.
  4. A breath is taken regularly as and when required and at least once during the stroke.

A Quick Video Tutorial

This short video from Nuffield Health will help you get your technique right. Remember, practice makes perfect.