Swimming techniques, correct position for backstroke

by Elmien
(Sasolburg, SA)

Hi, my son is now 6 years old and has been taking swimming lessons for 3 years. He is water-safe and can help himself very well in the water and you will mostly find him swimming on the bottom for as long as he can. The teacher however says he tends to swim with his back bent (like in a round position) and this puts strain on his back and arms. His back muscles are also very well developed for his age. He also has difficulty to kick with his feet at surface level and would rather kick like a "frog". Do you have any advice in helping him?

Thank you,
Elmien Mundell

Hi Elmien,

Yes the swimming teacher is correct this will put a strain on his back and arms. It could also pull him further under the water. when swimming backstroke You tend to pull your arms to your side, but if your side is submerged under water then you will pull your arms under water to your side which are submerged and in the incorrect position this will create more drag. In this situation it is best to ask your child to stop swimming and resume the correct position, which is horizontal in the water so it is streamlined so that when you pull through the water kicking your legs and your body stays horizontal.

As for the frogs legs kick (breaststroke legs) if his legs are well developed for his age then he will quite good at kicking back stoke legs.

There are a few ideas you can try, try standing in front of his legs when he is swimming back stroke as say try and splash me if you can, make it into a game.

You could also try putting a beach ball by his feet as tell him to see if he can kick the ball. You can make it fun by turning it into a game you are more likely to succeed. Keep reminding him to keep his tummy up and head back.
Make sure the legs are straight and together toes touching, kicking from the hips not the knees.

Offer rewards for doing well try games and fun things your child enjoys.....

Try to get your child to do some push and glides I do have some examples on my website if you need advice on that.

I hope this has been some help to you if you have any more questions please get back in touch. Let me know how you get on and I hope he does well with his backstroke....

Dale :)

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