Backstroke Throw Drill

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

Elite backstrokers make use of their propulsive movements and body rotation to generate incredible power throughout the stroke. I liken this motion to that of a kayaker. When paddling a kayak, the paddler places the oar in the water and pushes on the opposite hand to use the oar to generate leverage. So it is in backstroke.

Throw drill is essentially one fast stroke and one easy stroke, alternating. The emphasis is on the fast stroke. The swimmer uses the catch and middle part of the stroke as an anchor point and leverage into a high-velocity “throw” of the arm stroke on the opposite side. It ends up being a “limping” backstroke, but focusing on only alternating arm strokes allows for the athletes to really set up the throw motion well.

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