How MUCH Rotation in Backstroke is Enough?

How MUCH Rotation in Backstroke is Enough?

Welcome back to Part II of our series on Backstroke Rotation! My apologies as it’s taken me a while to get another blog up! The holidays and New Year’s came flying by, and now we are off and running for 2020!

If you missed Part I of this series, click here. Also, I’d recommend if you need a refresher on what we talked about last–do so, before reading this part. My goal in today’s blog post is to give you feedback on exactly HOW MUCH rotation you need in Backstroke and what rotation does to your body alignment!

Let’s get started…

As we discussed in Part I, rotation is NEEDED in Backstroke. You actually, physically, cannot swim Backstroke without rotating—as the hand needs to be driven into the water. If you don’t rotate, your hand would be too shallow and would push water/air at the same time.


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With this, you actually need MORE rotation during Backstroke than you do Freestyle—because of this physical limitation of our scapulas. The amount of rotation needed in Backstroke is about 40 degrees from the water’s surface. Freestyle is about 30 degrees. Having this extra 10-degrees of rotation allows swimmers to gets their hands fully under the water and be able to drive water back towards the feet under the pull.

Body Alignment:

Obviously, anytime you are rotating the body from side to side, it allows the body to change alignment. The key here is to keep the rotation being initiated from the swimmers hips and not their arms or legs. You want to think of the torso of swimmers as their trunk, and that is what stabilizes them throughout their rotation from side to side. Check out my short video analysis on Backstroke rotation below:

Until Next Time,

Abbie Fish

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