Learn how to develop butterfly kick for backstroke 

It is reality that the fastest way to swim is to swim butterfly kick under water –  if you are great at the skill.  Many backstrokers both nationally and Internationally are skillful fly kickers on their back and utilize this skill to their advantage in the starts and turns of their race.

If you want to improve your backstroke, then get your hands on this great video that you can watch over and over again in the Backstroke Stroke Model.  In this video Leigh Nugent, former Australian Head Coach, explains how to swim backstroke correctly.

To be competitive in backstroke events at international level you now have to be a great fly kicker on your back.

The kicking action from my observation basically has two variations-

1 – very fast action generated in the upper leg by activating the lower leg and feet. This technique requires a streamlined upper body with the transfer of stability through the trunk to the hips.

2 – the technique I recommend is with the kick being generated by contracting the upper abdominals followed by progressive contractions down the body finishing finally at the feet. Following the completion of the up-beat the down-beat is initiated by the muscles of the lower back and the gluteus maximus.

Regardless of the technique used the head, arms and upper body must be streamlined and stable demonstrating minimal response to the propulsive movements of the lower body.

To be able to kick effectively underwater on their back swimmers need to develop the skill of preventing the water from going up their nose.

1- By equalizing pressure at the interface of nose and water.
2- By controlled exhalation.
3- By covering the nostrils with the upper lip.
4- When all else fails use a nose clip

Leigh Nugent