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Backstroke – The Wave

This week’s drill is designed to build hand speed as the hands EXIT the water on backstroke.

Why Do It:  
Faster hand speed can lead to a faster backstroke, but not all swimmers are strong enough to PULL faster.  By focusing on a fast hand EXIT and a faster recovery of the arms, swimmers can speed up their overall cadence with a bit less effort.

How to Do It:
1.  Push off on your back in streamline and pull down with one arm to get into your starting position for The Wave…one arm up and one arm down, with a steady flutter kick.
2.  Keep the lead arm extended as you lift the trailing arm straight up…pause…and let it fall back into the water.   Pause the arms for a moment as you continue to kick.  You’re back in your starting position.
3. Then, with a SNAP, lift the trailing hand out of the water, sending the arm straight up and into an extended position over your head.  As  you snap the trailing hand out of the water, pull with the other hand and DO NOT PAUSE as the hand exits the water.  Cut right through the surface with your pulling hand, and send the hand STRAIGHT UP toward the ceiling.  Pause for a moment in the "wave" position, then let the hand fall back into the water.  Your now in your starting position on the other side.  
4. Repeat, focusing on a fast and clean hand exit.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Don’t rush this drill…except for the brief moments when the hands are exiting the water.    Both exits should be clean and quick.   Exit thumb first for the fastest, cleanest exit.  

Alternate a few lengths of The Wave with a few lengths of backstroke, focusing on getting the hands OUT of the water as fast as you can.