Newton's Third Law of Motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. That applies even to swimming- and especially Backstroke!

Most swimmers attack every other stroke but think they must be smooth (think the Ledecky water bottle on head drill) and Straight armed during Back. So much so they completely forget that catch and speed are just as important in Back (Think Thomas Ceccon) as it is in free

What is Back Catch?

Catch, also called the pull phase, is the initial stroke phase in which you begin the underwater phase of your stroke.


Things to remember
  • On rotation your pinkie finger should enter the water first with your palm facing out.

  • Roll the opposite hip of the stroke arm upward. This will force your shoulders to follow and create better catch.

  • Proper catch position is with the swimmer's shoulders lined up with their upper back.

  • Once in the water bend your elbow!

  • Elbow should be 100-120 degrees with your hand about 5 inches below the surface & with your palm facing towards your feet.


Additional Backstroke Tips

-Great Backstroke starts with great body position. Body position- Keep hips and legs at the water line. Dropping either will result in drag. Remember to keep head straight. Straight swimming also reduces drag.

-Arms should be constantly in motion- just like freestyle. Improved stroke rate will increase your speed. I heard a coach say its like scooping water and throwing it at your feet.

-Don't Forget about Rotation. The ideal amount for backstroke is 30 degrees or less from the surface of the water.

-Head Back! Head and shoulder blades should be pressing into the water.

-Streamline. This maximizes your start and turns by creating efficiency through the water.

- Engage your core. This will help with rotation and create power in your kick.

-Keep legs shoulder width apart when kicking. This will allow you to create power from your hips.