How To Swim Backstroke
Want to learn how to swim backstroke? The backstroke is also known as the back crawl because you lay on your back and use your arms to crawl backwards. Although it can be a bit disorienting for beginners, the backstroke is an easy stroke to learn and a beautiful stroke to watch.
- Float on your back in the water. Hold your head as if you were laying on your back in a bed with your head on a pillow. Relax your neck and don't tuck your chin into your chest. If you keep your eyes open, focus on the ceiling while you swim backstroke; don't look from side to side. It will take some time to get used to swimming when you can't see where you're going. Make sure you count your strokes so you know when you're about to hit a wall.
- Move your legs using long, fast kicks. If you are familiar with the front crawl, it may be helpful to know that kicking when you swim backstroke is very similar. Keep both legs underwater, making only a small splash when your toes reach the surface. Start the motion at your hip and let it move down to your toes, making sure your ankles are relaxed. When one leg is straight and other is beginning a kick, it should be bent at about a 30 degree angle from the straight leg.
- Stretch one arm up in a straight line above your shoulder. Push it down through the water and towards your feet, bending the elbow to pull the arm in to your side. This is the basic arm movement for how to swim a backstroke, which will provide most of your propulsion when you swim. Alternate your arms, putting one down into the water at about the same time as you pull the other one out of it.
- Rotate your hips from side to side as you swim the backstroke. This movement should reflect the motion of your arms, which will help give your strokes momentum. Don't let your bottom sink too low; that will create drag and slow you down.