Dan Kutler: Hi! My name is Dan Kutler and I am going to show you how to swim advanced backstroke.
So much like I discussed in the advanced freestyle segment, in order to get the most out of your stroke, in order to be able to swim with your body and to move down the pool in a powerful, more efficient way is basically learn to think of your head and your spine as an axis on which your shoulders and your hips rotate around. So you want to keep your head as still as possible and you just want your shoulders and your hips to rotate around your head and spine.
You will notice in this upcoming underwater shot that when my shoulder and arms reach down to pull the water that my head sort of stays detached from that movement. It's not dipping down with my arms, it's staying, independent and detached. So I am trying to keep my head still and yet my arms and shoulders are rotating quite dynamically. While my head stays pretty motionless. So speaking of the head, the other major factor in helping advance you backstroke, the head weighs a lot. It's not a smart thing to keep it out of the water. In fact, the more that you can learn to relax your head in the water the better-off you are going to be. Ironically, as I look at myself in this shot, I would recommend that I take some of my own advice and put my head back more. Sometimes the way you feel like you are swimming is not the way you actually are swimming and this is definitely a case in point. I felt like I had my head back, but as I look at this footage I realize I should have let it drop and let the water hold it a little bit more. One way to sort of know if your head is in the right position is if you sense a thin layer of water kind of cascading over your face, you are probably in the right position. So one of the reasons that we rotate our body so much in advanced swimming is because we want to get a deep pull and that's what we see kind of happening here. My shoulders rotate down so that my arm can really grab on to the water and pull it past, which is why it's at that angle. It's why my elbows bend. It's why my hand is high. I am creating a surface area so that I can grab on to a mass of water and move it past my body. If my arms were straight they wouldn't move through the water as efficiently. So the other sure far way to advance your backstroke is to get your legs into the best shape possible. Your legs are the biggest muscles in your body and when they are in great shape you just see your stroke improve by leaps and bounds. So I would devote at least 30% of every workout to strengthening your legs.
Alright, so hopefully those tricks will help you to find your backstroke to be more like an Olympians. Let's move on to the most difficult of all the strokes, the butterfly stroke.