Differences Between Freestyle and Backstroke Pushoff

Video Transcription: For Backstroke, you’re obviously going to be more on your back. You can see I’m slightly tilted there to my side. Some swimmers will choose to be a little bit on their side. But for the most part, most swimmers are going to be pointing their belly button up so that way they don’t get disqualified for not pushing off on their back. Technically, the approach is different, too. But we dissected through that in module one. You see you’re swimming into the wall with the different stroke, but once you hit the wall, you’ve got the same turn, and then you’ve got some differences on this push-off.

Some of those key differences of the push-off is you’ve got to be on your back. Belly button is an important physical characteristic. You want that to be pointing straight up towards the water surface. As I said, some swimmers can be slanted to the side, but that’s for more elite swimmers, ages 14 plus. Swimmers that have been swimming for a while and have good body awareness and control of where that belly button is pointing.

You want your knees and toes to be pointing to the sky after you complete your somersault, that’s once you plant your feet on the wall. The Flip  can be a little bit different. Some people flip and twist on Freestyle Flip Turns. For Backstroke we really want you to be kneecaps pointing straight up and toes pointing straight up.

The back itself should be a straight line from hips all the way to the end of your streamline because you want to push straight off. Sometimes you have a little bit of a slant for Freestyle. So we’re really looking for you to be totally on your back when you’re pushing off on a Backstroke Flip Turn.

You also want to get a little bit more comfortable with pushing off a bit deeper than in a Freestyle Flip Turn to avoid surfacing too early. The reason this happens is when you flip the body over, the way the body sits in the water is different. You’re going to want to get up faster. Reality is, if you’ve got good dolphin kicks, you don’t want that to happen. So you may need to push yourself down to allow yourself to dolphin kick and not be too buoyant that you fly up to the surface.

In Freestyle Flip Turns, you can do any of those three things. You can push off deeper, you can push off straight, or you can come straight up. But for the most part, you’re not going to have the straight up happening all the time, where you see coming straight up and surfacing too early happening a lot with Backstroke turns.