Exploring the Meaning of ‘Back Strokes’ in Context

By Sls Lifestyle 11 Min Read
back strokes meaning

Are you curious about the meaning behind the term ‘back strokes’? Perhaps you’re new to the world of swimming or simply looking to deepen your understanding of this popular technique. Either way, you’ve come to the right place. In this section, we’ll walk you through the definition of backstroke, help you understand its purpose, and provide tips for mastering this essential swimming style. So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of back strokes together.

Backstroke in Swimming

Backstroke is a key swimming style and is an essential part of any swimming competition. This stroke is performed with the swimmer lying on their back and using alternating arm movements and a flutter kick. The backstroke is used in both short and long distance swimming events and requires a solid understanding of technique.

The backstroke technique involves several key elements to ensure a successful swim. The arm movements are alternating, with one arm extending overhead while the other is at the swimmer’s side. The arms then switch positions, and this movement is repeated. The flutter kick is also an integral part of backstroke swimming and requires the swimmer to kick their legs up and down continuously. Proper technique involves keeping the head steady and in line with the spine, allowing for an effective breathing pattern.

To maximize your backstroke swimming technique, focus on maintaining the correct body position and hand entry. Keep your head steady, your body horizontal with your water level, and your hips up. You can also work on improving your swimming posture and efficiency by incorporating drills that enhance your backstroke technique and help you to develop your stamina and coordination. For example, backstroke swimming drills like the ‘catch-up drill’ encourage a steady pace that contributes to your overall performance.

backstroke technique

Backstroke Technique Tips

  • Keep your legs together and toes pointed
  • Engage your core to maintain stability
  • Focus on a steady, continuous arm and kick movement
  • Keep your head steady
  • Breathe regularly by turning your head to the side

How to Do Back Strokes

If you’re looking to perfect your backstroke technique, you’re in the right place. Follow these easy steps to learn how to perform backstrokes like a pro!

  1. Start in the water. Position your body so that you are lying flat on your back. Your arms should be placed at your sides, and your hands should be facing downwards. Your head should be in a neutral position, and your eyes should be focused on the ceiling.
  2. Extend your arms. Slowly move your arms from your sides towards your head. Keep them fully extended and close to your ears.
  3. Kick your legs. Bend your knees and kick your legs in a flutter motion, sweeping them apart and pulling them back together. This should propel you forward in the water. Remember to keep your legs straight and your toes pointed.
  4. Use your core. Engage your core muscles to maintain a balanced and streamlined position. This will help you move smoothly and efficiently through the water.
  5. Don’t forget to breathe. Take deep breaths from your mouth or nose as you move through the water. Remember to keep your face out of the water to avoid inhaling water.

Take your backstroke technique to the next level with these essential tips:

  • Use your hands. To achieve a stronger stroke, use your hands to pull the water towards your body. Cup your hands slightly and use your fingers to create a slight ‘scoop’ motion on the surface of the water.
  • Practice, practice, practice. As with any swimming style, practice makes perfect. Set aside regular time to work on your backstroke technique, and gradually increase your distance and speed as you improve.

With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the backstroke. Keep practicing and refining your technique to see real improvements in your swimming abilities!

Benefits of Back Strokes

Backstroking not only feels great, but it also has a range of health benefits that make it an ideal addition to any swimming routine. Here are just a few of the advantages:

  • Improves overall fitness by burning calories and increasing endurance
  • Strengthens the muscles in your back, shoulders, upper arm, and legs
  • Can improve posture by strengthening the muscles that support the spine
  • Increases flexibility by engaging the hip flexors and glutes

If that isn’t enough evidence to convince you, check out the table below for a side-by-side comparison of the benefits of backstrokes versus other swimming styles.

benefits of back strokes

Benefits of Back Strokes Vs. Other Swimming Styles

Benefit Back Strokes Freestyle Breaststroke
Calorie Burn 8 per min* 9-12 per min 7-10 per min
Arm Muscles Worked Back, shoulders, upper arm Shoulders, triceps, upper back Pecs, triceps, biceps, upper back
Leg Muscles Worked Quads, hamstrings, calves Quads, hamstrings, calves Inner thighs, hips, quads, hamstrings, calves
Flexibility Enhancement Hip Flexors, glutes None Quads, hip flexors
Posture Improvement Strengthens muscles supporting the spine None Strengthens muscles supporting the spine

*calories burnt per minute based on a 150-pound person

Backstroke Swimming Drills

If you want to improve your backstroke skills, you need to practice the right drills regularly. Here are some of the most effective drills that can help you enhance your backstroke technique:

Drill Purpose
Single-Arm Backstroke This drill can improve your rotation and stability in backstroke by isolating a single arm and increasing your awareness of your body’s position in the water.
Backstroke Kick on Your Side Working on your kick can help you generate more power and speed in backstroke. This drill involves kicking on your side while using the opposite arm to balance and stabilize your body.
Backstroke to Breaststroke This drill can help you switch seamlessly from backstroke to breaststroke by practicing the timing and coordination required for this transition.
Backstroke Catch-Up Drill Working on your arm technique can improve the efficiency of your strokes. This drill involves touching your hands together above your head after each stroke before initiating the next stroke, forcing you to focus on the timing and positioning of your arms.

Remember, consistency is key when it comes to practicing swimming drills. Incorporate these drills into your training routine for a few weeks and track your progress to see how they’re contributing to your backstroke ability.

backstroke swimming drills

Understanding Back Strokes – Techniques and Drills Revisited

So, you’ve mastered the basics of backstroke swimming? It’s time to level up with more advanced techniques and drills. Let’s dive in and explore the nuances of backstrokes, building upon what we learned earlier.

Advanced Techniques for Backstroke

If you want to increase your speed and efficiency in backstroke swimming, there are a few advanced techniques to consider:

  • Underwater Pull: During the pull phase, try to extend your arms as far as possible and sweep them downward before bringing them up to your hips, as if you are pulling something from behind you underwater.
  • Kick Tempo: Your kicking can be the deciding factor between a good and a great backstroke. Focus on increasing the tempo of your kicks, making sure they’re short and fast rather than long and slow.
  • Head Position: Keeping your head steady and still can help to streamline your body and make you more efficient in the water. Try to look straight up, towards the ceiling, and avoid moving your head from side to side.

Backstroke Swimming Drills

Practicing drills is a fantastic way to hone your backstroke swimming skills. Here are three advanced drills to try:

Drill Name Description
One-Arm Backstroke Swim backstroke with only one arm, then switch to the other arm after each length of the pool. This drill helps strengthen the pulling motion and improve your body rotation.
Backstroke Tarzan Swim backstroke with your head out of the water, and your arms only partially submerged. This drill works to improve the timing of your pulling and kicking motions, as well as overall coordination.
Backstroke with Flutter Kick Perform your backstroke with a flutter kick instead of the usual kick. This drill can help increase your kicking speed and strength, as well as improving your overall body position in the water.

By incorporating these advanced techniques and drills into your training regime, you can further strengthen your backstroke swimming skills and take your abilities to the next level.


Congratulations! You have successfully navigated through this comprehensive guide on backstrokes in swimming. By now, you should have a clear understanding of what backstrokes are, how to perform them, and the benefits they can offer to your overall fitness and swimming proficiency.

Remember to incorporate the drills we have outlined into your training routine in order to continually enhance your backstroke abilities. Practice makes perfect, and with consistent effort and dedication, you will be able to execute this technique with ease and precision.

Thank you for reading, and we hope this guide has been informative and helpful. Now go out there and make some waves!

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