Backstrokers. How do they do it? They swim upside down and backwards. They can’t see where they’re going. They use nose clips.
And…they do THIS. The backstroke start is one of the most un-natural moves in all of swimming. Arching the back like this takes flexibility, great strength, and a lot of practice.
Why Do It:
An arc-ing, well-executed backstroke start gives you a clean, powerful entry into the water, and sets you up for a powerful underwater dolphin. Plus…it just looks really cool.
How to Do It:
One way to strengthen the muscles needed for the backstroke start is to use the Vasa Ergometer.
Set the resistance at about level 2 or 3 to start.
Straddle the stanchion, grab a paddle with each hand, and stand so that the backs of your legs are almost touching the bench.
As you bend the knees, swing the paddles back…as if you’re getting ready to do a standing broad jump.
While keeping the elbows locked and arms straight, swing the arms forward, up, and BACK. Arch your back and take the paddles as far back as you can. Then bring the arms back down and start again.
Try for 10 or 20 reps.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Keep your motions smooth and even.
Arch your back and swing the paddles as far back as you can.
In your mind’s eye…keep thinking about how you’ll look like THIS in the pool.