The key to good backstroke is rotation and head position. It can be uncomfortable to swim on your back at first, but if you work on backstroke regularly you’ll feel like a natural in no time! 

We’re sharing one of our favorite backstroke drills to help with rotation, along with a backstroke workout to try!

Watch the Video:


Listen to the Podcast:

Drill: 6 Kicks & 1 Stroke

This drill focuses on finding balance on your right and left sides, allowing you to practice proper rotation. If you have fins, wear them for this drill! The extra momentum from the fins will keep you moving through the water.

Related: How Ryan Murphy Swims Backstroke So Fast

To start, rotate to one side and extend your arm. Take 6 kicks, then take a full stroke and rotate to your other side. Take 6 more kicks and repeat! When you rotate, try to spend as little time on your back as possible. 

Throughout the drill, look straight up at the ceiling or the sky. Tuck your chin to keep it in line with the rest of your body.

Related: How to Swim Backstroke with Perfect Technique

The Workout

Distance: 1300 yards or meters

Duration: 35 minutes

Warm Up

  • 200 Freestyle
  • 4×25 Streamline Kick on Back
  • 4×50 IM Order

Drill Set

  • 4×25 Backstroke, 6 Kicks & 1 Stroke Drill
  • 2×50 Backstroke 

Main Set (3x)

Round 1: No equipment; Round 2: Add fins; Round 3; Fins and paddles

  • 100 Backstroke, Best Average (descend by round)
  • 2×50 Freestyle, Easy

How often do you swim backstroke? Let us know in the comments! For more drills, technique videos and swimming tips, download the MySwimPro app for iPhone or Android! Get a personalized Training Plan and Guided Workouts designed to help you reach your goals. Save $35 on your first year of training with code SWIM35 >


1 Comment

  1. Glenn Gundermann on

    You have great technique! Thank you for the video. I totally neglect everything except my freestyle. You have given me motivation to do more on my back.

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