HydroSplash Swimming Lessons

BackStroke Swimming

The Basics of Backstroke Swimming

Backstroke swimming is the reverse swimming technique that might seem difficult for beginners. It is also known as back crawl swimming. Other swim styles are a more natural position where your body is aligned in the forward direction. It is the only swimming stroke that is performed completely on the back. Beginners might find it tricky, but it can be mastered through Swimming Academy Singapore. Let’s further dive into the fundamentals of backstroke swimming to understand its features and technique applications.

Why is Backstroke Swimming Different

Backstroke Swimming Lessons Training

Swimmers take a longer time to become confident in their backstroke. It is different from other swim styles like freestyle and breaststroke due to its backward position. It requires a long axis rotation and steady flutter kicks to support propulsion and momentum. A backstroker has mental toughness as he must identify his position in the water lane towards the endpoint.

Swimmers can mix up their styles through backstroke. It will give your body a break from forwarding swim action and provide recovery. 

Fundamentals of Backstroke Swimming

Backstroke Technique – Everything about backstroke swimming is different. Seeing a backstroker is fascinating. You need good body alignment, awareness, and perfect rotation timing for a successful backstroke swim. Here are the fundamentals you need to learn for backstroke swimming.

Backstroke Swimming Lessons HydroSplash Singapore

Body and Head Positioning

As the name suggests, you will be on your back, facing toward the top/roof of the swimming pool. Think as if you are looking at the sky. Maintain a flat body and a stable head position as much as possible. If you change your position, it will cause a change in the direction of your swim. Your body must be close to the water surface. Relax your head, and don’t stuff your head muscle. You can later develop strain. Try not to lower your hips; if you do so, you will become slow. 

ARM Strokes

In backstroke swimming, it is essential to use wide semi-circular arm strokes. Extend your arms backward, and your pinky finger should enter the water first. Your arm should pass your ears before entering the water. Once your palm enters the water, you should turn your palm facing downwards along with a slight shoulder rotation for comfort and alignment.  As you move one arm into the water, simultaneously move your other arm.


Your head should be aligned with your hips. As you perform an arm stroke, you must initiate body rotation through your hips followed by your shoulder, to get a powerful swim and momentum. Too quick or late rotation can lead to loss of body balance and can make you sink. 

Breathing Control

Breathing in backstroke swimming is fairly simple. It does not require breath control as in other swim styles. Breathing once per arm cycle is recommended to maintain a steady oxygen supply to the muscles for energy stimulation. Inhale with arm pull and exhale through Breathing at the same pace to help you maintain backstroke position for longer with comfort.

Kicking Technique

You don’t need to kick wide to initiate powerful propulsion. Generate smaller amplitude kicks while keeping your legs close. Start slowly, and once you are comfortable, you can increase the speed of your kick motion. It is best to keep your toes pointed and be continuous in the kicks. Do not start your kicks from the leg but your hips. You can slightly bend your knees but avoid bending too much. Otherwise, you will feel greater water resistance and hence more consumed energy. 

Improving Your Backstroke SWimming

Backstroke swimming can be challenging for beginners. You must follow these expert suggestions to improve your Backstroke swim.

  • Try not to tuck in your chin to support your head. It will become uncomfortable for you and lead to muscle strain. 
  • Some swimmers bend their knees a little too much. This will increase water resistance and pull you down due to a disbalance of body alignment.
  • Slow arm strokes will mess up your coordination and increase body fatigue. Try to work on coordination to improve your backstroke.
  • Practice swimming drills to focus on specific techniques. Connect with Swimming Academy Singapore to get expert supervision for professional training drills.


To get the best of swimming, it is recommended to mix up your swim routine and infuse challenging swim styles. It will increase your endurance and mental toughness in the swim and in your life. While backstroke swimming may seem daunting, it can become easier to learn through the right training under a swim coach. Once you become a backstroker, you can nail any swim style with excellence. 

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