Video Example: Ryan Murphy

So Ryan Murphy, also kind of stays a little bit lower in the water, you can see that every once in a while his feet just don’t kick through, there’s not like a ton of knee bend happening and there’s a bit of a Bob in his stroke, and that bar comes from the fact that every once in a while he pauses one of his legs during his kick, and he’s never really truly getting through a six-beat kick. I was kind of confused on Backstroke because I thought it made sense that if your right hand was entering you would be kicking up with the right leg at the same time, so you’d be loading one side. This made sense because if I were truly loading one side when I flipped to my other side, I’d want that whole other side to be loaded. But as I was preparing for this webinar, what I realized is that you don’t actually want to have one side fully loaded because that gives your stroke kind of like a bob and a jerk, and that’s not necessarily fluid. So the more underwater video analysis I did the more I realized that say your right hand enters your left leg would be kicking up and your right leg would be kicking down, which is opposite from what I originally thought. And then about halfway through your pull, you’d be floating one side, so it’d be ripe right and when you finish that pull, it would be left-right. So the reason you do this is the same reason that you do that connection stuff I talked about in Freestyle. As you’re ensuring that the spinal fascia line is engaged and active during Backstroke. I wasn’t entirely convinced that it was the same because it makes sense to me that if you rotate more you’d want to have the whole side-firing, and why at the very end of each pull you want to have your opposite leg up if you’re trying to go towards that opposite side. I was at a camp in California for the Chula Vista training center that Aaron Piersol was there and he was talking about Backstroke and he was saying that when he was 16 and broke the world record a bunch of people came up to him and asked him how he did that, at 16 years old. He was like “I don’t know I just swam fast,” but the faster that he got, he got a lot of praise. People started following him and other coaches started giving him more and more input, then he realized that there was a cadence to his kick in Backstroke. It should be a 1,2,3 switch, 1,2,3 switch, 1,2,3 switch. And that 1,2,3 switch is what instigated me to ask which leg are we starting on and then which leg is free. And he just naturally figured that out, or he was adding in that tempo for his Backstroke stroke or someone like me who wasn’t a backstroker, I’ve never even thought about that my whole life, and I’ve never even had a coach, tell me that I should do that my entire life. So once again, if your right hand is entering your left legs kicking up, and then if your left hand is entering your right legs kicking up.