By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Friday, January 1, 2016
Six-time Olympic medalist, Matt Grevers, set a new world record in the 100-meter backstroke at the Duel in the Pool event in Indianapolis just a couple weeks ago. In this clip, you’ll learn a backstroke sculling drill from Grevers himself that he likes to use prior to competing in a race.
Drill Summary: This drill focuses on the “finish” of your backstroke. The key is to keep your hands sideways in the water at all times, rotating side to side. When in the water and going backward, pull your knees close to your chest and keep your hands down by your waist. Push the water away from your body using your hands and continue swimming backward with your knees close to your chest. Coach Grevers loves to do this drill right before a race, and even used this drill right before he won the 100M backstroke in the Olympics.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Sunday, November 1, 2015
University of Wisconsin head men’s and women’s coach, Whitney Hite, shows you his version of the “Vertical Dolphin Kick.” This drill will help swimmers learn to use their entire body to generate power, and also serves as a great workout for athletes needing to strengthen their core.
Vertical Dolphin Kick
Drill Summary: Swimmers get to a spot in the pool where they can vertical kick without having to worry about hitting the bottom. This drill can be completed in two ways: 30 second technique mastering and 6 second bursts. For the technique, focus on keeping the hands crossed over the chest and kicking with a dolphin motion. Make sure to use the hips and as much of the chest as possible to kick. In the 6 second bursts, try to get at least 18 kicks in.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Thursday, October 1, 2015
David Marsh, eight time NCAA Coach of the Year and head coach of SwimMAC Carolina, presents the techniques he teaches his swimmers for executing the backstroke turn. Coach Marsh emphasizes the ability to control speed heading into the turn and being comfortable swimming on your side.
Drill Summary: There are two drills in this video.
12 Kick, 12 Kick Series: Swimmers kick on their back for 12 kicks, then rotate over and kick on their stomach for 12 kicks. After that, they flip over right where they are in the water.
Plant Pause: Swimmers stay in the same column of water while turning and flip against the wall, pause for a second, then push off and glide.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Tuesday, September 1, 2015
The key to increasing backstroke speed lies in the effectiveness of your arms. Josh Davis, American record breaker and Olympic gold medalist, uses the “Spin Drill” and “Swim Spin” to train his arms to whip around quickly in the water, generating more propulsion for faster times.
Spin Drill & Swim Spin
Drill Summary: For the “Spin Drill,” swimmers simply execute a backstroke and throw their arms as fast as they can through the air. They also whip their arms through the water as fast as they can. The key to this drill is to generate power from the core, torso and hips. Make sure to stop doing the drill if you feel any discomfort in your chest or arms. For the “Swim Spin,” execute a backstroke and focus on keeping arms and legs relaxed throughout the exercise.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Saturday, August 1, 2015
Whitney Hite, head coach at the University of Wisconsin, uses the “Up Top Scull” drill to train swimmers how to use their hands above their head for the backstroke. Being able to generate maximum propulsion is essential for faster times, and this drill can help swimmers accomplish that.
Up Top Scull
Drill Summary: Swimmers push off from the wall, perform a couple dolphin kicks, then get into a light flutter kick and work on the initial catch up top in their backstroke. For this position in the water, swimmers should be tilted slightly on their side and avoid making too much unnecessary movement. Once one hand is drilled, switch to the other hand.