The stroke 划水
The backstroke is not so much swum on the back as it is on the side. Accomplished backstrokers have the ability to rotate power-fully and rhythmically from one side to the other. They spend as little time as possible flat on their backs – where the water’s resistance is greatest – and as much time as possible on their sides, where they minimize the amount of body surface that must push through the water.
By rotating your body at the beginning of each (back) stroke, your hand can enter the water at a deeper level than it could if you remained flat on your back. The deeper your hand, the more powerful a fulcrum you’ll have to push water behind you.
Your head position is the key to controlling what the rest of your body does in the backstroke. Your head is the only thing that should never move in backstroke.
Point your nose skyward at all times. Find a point on the ceiling and keep your eyes focused on it as you swim. This will remind you to keep your head still. Your chin should be slightly tucked, as though your head were resting on a small pillow.
There is a breathing rhythm for the backstroke, although most novice swimmers hold their breath to avoid swallowing water when inhaling. Try swimming easily on your back, inhaling on one arm recovery and exhaling on the other. Do this for one breath on each stroke cycle. When swimming harder, inhale as one arm exits the water and exhale as it re-enters. This will give you two breaths on each stroke.
Tip To remind yourself not to hold your breath, avoid pursing your lips or puffing your cheeks. Just relax and keep your face slack.
To make the backstroke motion second nature, you’ll need to mix in drills frequently with your “straight” swims. Alternate one length of drills (see below) with one length of straight swimming.
Drills for Learning the Backstroke Body Position學習仰式身體體位的練習
Barbecue Skewer Drill 串燒練習
Start by lying on your back and flutter kicking with your arms resting on your sides. As you kick, roll one shoulder up toward your chin. Hold it there briefly, return to the neutral position and then roll the other shoulder up toward your chin. Fight the urge to take a stroke. During each rotation, your whole body – from shoulder to toes – should rotate on the same axis, perpendicular to the water’s surface, as if on a barbecue skewer. Your head should remain still throughout this drill.
Hold the side-lying position briefly on each rotation. Once you’re comfortable with the feeling of controlled body rotation, practice it with the arm stroke included.
TIP Flutter kicking on your back while wearing training fins will teach you to keep your hips elevated for better body position and a stronger kick.
Six-Six Drill 六拍練習
Start by lying on your back with your legs extended and toes pointed. Flutter kick on your side for six kicks (or three counts), with your bottom arm extended overhead and your top shoulder touching your chin. Your head should remain fixed with your nose pointing toward the ceiling – try to keep your eyes focused on the same spot on the ceiling. After six kicks, take a stroke, recover fully and then briskly roll to your other side. Repeat this stroke-recover-roll sequence with a side-lying pause between strokes. The idea is to reduce the pause gradually until you’re swimming in a nearly normal rhythm.
When rolling from side. Imagine that your body is rotating on a single straight-line axis that runs from the top of your head to the bottom of your spine.
Drills for Learning the Backstroke Arm Stroke 仰式手臂划水練習
To understand how to incorporate your arms into the backstroke, imagine that you could reach down about two feet below the water’s surface and grab a convenient handle for leverage. This handle would allow you to pull your body past your hand (rather than pull your hand past your body).
Single-Arm Drill 單臂練習
This drill utilizes the same rotating kick position as the barbecue Skewer Drill (see page 14). With your left arm resting at your side, stroke a length of the pool with your right arm only. On the next length switch arms so you’re stroking only with your left. At the completion of each pull, make sure the shoulder on your stroking arm is touching your chin. Count your single-arm strokes per length-aim for 10 to 14 if you’re in a standard 25-yard pool.
這個練習和串燒練習相同，同樣是利用轉動踢水的體位。你的左臂在體側放鬆，只划動你的右臂，練習一個泳池的距離，回程時轉換成左臂，只用左臂划水。在每次推水完成後，確定你划手的那個肩膀有接觸到你的下巴。如果你是在標準的25公尺泳池，計算你的單臂划次約在10 到14 次。