Lesson number 6 – How to do a backstroke while protecting your lower back
In order to understand the differences between world record holder Aaaron Peirsol and swimming WEST
Let’s start with the “classic” backstroke. This stroke involves stretching both hands over your head while stretching your legs in the opposite direction, which of course causes your back to arch, creating stress in your neck and lower back. So how do we do this “WEST stile”?
Start with your hands down, parallel to your body, with your thumbs close to your body. Then bend your hands, keeping the same parallel position, “tickling” the side of your body with your thumbs. Inhale when you do this. When you reach your armpits stretch your hands out to a T position and close them down to the starting position, kicking your legs and exhaling for 3 seconds.
Many of the swimmers bring their chins toward their chests, which creates stress to the neck and also makes the feet sink. If you raise your hands above the water your head will sink and you will inhale water.
So how do we swim backstroke in WEST swimming technique? The same as before, we have to know how flexible we are. You can try this outside the water. Simply raise your hand gently upward, and stop when you feel any kind of pressure. This is the angle in which you have to get your hand back into the water. If you try to swim over your flexibility limits you will create a halt to your movement through the water.
The next point, to avoid sinking, is to time the breathing with your strokes – inhale with one hand and exhale with the others. The rest of the elements’ like dragging your feet and sliding, are the same as we’ve learned before.