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Learn How To Swim 101 - Backstroke - Bent Arm Action

The bent arm action is one of the most powerful enhancements to the performance of backstroke but it is also one of the most common causes of faults that I know of.

Backstroke Bent Arm Action Stops Faults

I thought that I might try and make pictures of the faults that I have had to try to correct but when it came down to it there are just too many of them.

If your hand enters the water too far over your head you are going to be forced to move your head. Your head along with your hand will act as a rudder causing you to zig zag in the water.

If your hand is facing the wrong direction when it enters the water you are going to be pushing yourself in a different direction to the way you intend to go and making forward motion harder.

If you don't but enough thrust into your stroke you are not going to move in the water efficiently and you will get tired more quickly.

If you put too much bend into your arm you will not get enough thrust in your stroke. You need to get someone to look at your arms and tell you what is happening so that you know if you need to correct it.

Image comparing the straight arm, with its forced contortion of the hand action and the more natural bent arm action
In this picture (above) you can see the correct position of the arm when it enters the water and as it starts its stroke respectively. Basically, if you work at getting your arm into this position when you stroke then you are well on your way to a strong and efficient stroke.


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