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Backstroke – Double Arm

Do you over-reach on your backstroke? Having a hard time keeping your hips up? Wondering how your hands should exit to initiate the recovery? Want to get the feeling of where you start your pull? Want to get a bonus effect of practicing your breaststroke underwater pull? This drill is for YOU!


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Why Do It:
This old standby is actually a pretty amazing drill, because it lets you focus on so many different things. We’ll hit on a few of them, but you can add your own. And remember…choose just one focus point at a time.

How to Do It:
1. Push off on your back with both arms above your head and start flutter kicking.
2. Pull down with both arms at the same time, making sure you keep your hands under water.
3. Finish the stroke and recover both hands at the same time as well.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
See, the drill is very easy, but there are so many fine points to it. By focusing your attention on one of the specific points, you’ll feel it working.
1. If you consistently over-reach on your backstroke pull, double-arm makes this very tough to do, because you have to cross your arms during the recovery to accomplish that. This drill usually helps you get your hands in the water directly above your shoulders.
2. In order to keep your hips up with both arms recovering at the same time, you’ll need to lean back into the water on your upper back, and make sure you have a constant kick.
3. You may drag your wrists out of the water because you have so much to think about, but focus on a thumb-first exit, and you’ll slice both hands out at the same time. Very clean.
4. To grab the water for an effective catch, you’ll have to engage your back and elbows very quickly. Focus on grabbing the water immediately with both hands.
5. While the pull will be a bit behind your head, the double action gives you a good idea of how to create power for the breaststroke underwater pull… a great little bonus.