How to Swim the Backstroke

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Ever wonder how people do the backstroke? Floating on your back, use an up-and-down freestyle kick and windmill stroke to propel yourself. Follow the steps below to learn to get from point A to point B on your back.

Things You'll Need

  • Swimming Trunks
  • Swimsuits
  • Swimming Caps
  • Swimming Ear Plugs
  • Swimming Goggles
  • Swimming Nose Clip
  • Floating on your back in a horizontal position, kick your legs up and down. Keep your legs straight, but not entirely rigid. Your toes should be pointed out. Try not to make a big splash with your kick; just churn the surface of the water.

  • Pivoting slightly at the waist and rotating your shoulders, windmill your arms. Keep one arm straight as you raise it out of the water from your waist to a fully extended position. At the same time, the other arm should be bent and pulling a cupped hand along your side in the water, from the extended position back down to your side. Your hand should enter the water pinky-first.

  • Keep your head floating back in the water, with your eyes looking up. Breathe normally.

Tips & Warnings

  • The motion of your arms should be staggered, with one arm up while the other is down.
  • Blow air out of your nose as you lean your head back to see the approaching side of the pool. That way you won't get water up your nose.
  • Be careful not to hit your head on the side of the pool. Many pools have flags hanging about 10 feet from the wall. Count how many strokes it takes to get from these flags to the wall to gauge your distance.
  • If you have any condition that would impair or limit your ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician before attempting this activity. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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