Common Backstroke Errors and How to Fix Them

Swimming Club
Common Backstroke Errors

Backstroke is a challenging stroke that requires precision and coordination. Many swimmers struggle with common errors that affect their efficiency and speed. Moreover, understanding these errors and how to correct them is crucial for improvement. Therefore, identifying and fixing these issues can lead to significant enhancements in performance.

Common Backstroke Errors
Common Backstroke Errors

Incorrect Body Position

One common error in backstroke is an incorrect body position. Swimmers often let their hips sink too low in the water. This creates drag and slows them down. Moreover, a high head position can cause the lower body to sink. To correct this, focus on maintaining a flat and horizontal position. Engage your core muscles to keep your hips up. Additionally, keep your head in a neutral position, with your eyes looking straight up. Therefore, maintaining proper body position is essential for reducing drag and increasing speed.

Inefficient Arm Movements

Another frequent mistake is inefficient arm movements. Some swimmers cross their arms over their body’s midline. This reduces propulsion and disrupts balance. Moreover, improper hand entry angles can also hinder efficiency. To fix this, ensure your arms move in a straight line, parallel to your body. Focus on a thumb-first entry into the water. Additionally, maintain a slight bend in your elbow during the pull phase. Therefore, improving arm movements can significantly enhance propulsion and efficiency.

Poor Kick Technique

Poor kick technique is a common issue in backstroke. Many swimmers bend their knees too much during the kick. This creates resistance and reduces propulsion. Moreover, an ineffective kick can lead to imbalance and reduced speed. To correct this, keep your legs straight with a slight flex at the knees. Initiate the kick from your hips, not your knees. Additionally, focus on small, rapid kicks to maintain propulsion. Therefore, refining your kick technique is vital for improving backstroke efficiency.

Inconsistent Breathing Patterns

Inconsistent breathing patterns can disrupt rhythm and performance. Some swimmers hold their breath for too long or breathe erratically. This affects their oxygen levels and energy efficiency. Moreover, excessive head movement during breathing can cause imbalance. To fix this, practice regular and rhythmic breathing. Keep your head still and breathe in sync with your arm movements. Additionally, ensure your breathing pattern is comfortable and sustainable. Therefore, maintaining consistent breathing patterns is crucial for optimal performance.

Lack of Shoulder Rotation

A lack of shoulder rotation is another common backstroke error. Insufficient rotation limits the reach and power of each stroke. Moreover, it can cause excessive strain on the arms and shoulders. To correct this, focus on rotating your shoulders with each stroke. Imagine rolling your body from side to side. Additionally, incorporate drills that emphasize shoulder rotation. Therefore, improving shoulder rotation can enhance stroke length and efficiency.

Overarching the Back

Overarching the back is a frequent mistake that affects body alignment. Swimmers often lift their chest too high, causing an arch in the back. This increases drag and reduces efficiency. Moreover, it can lead to discomfort and injury. To fix this, engage your core and maintain a neutral spine. Keep your body flat and streamlined. Additionally, avoid lifting your chest excessively. Therefore, maintaining a straight and neutral back position is essential for reducing drag.

Incorrect Hand Position During Recovery

Incorrect hand position during recovery can hinder backstroke efficiency. Some swimmers recover their hands too high above the water. This creates unnecessary resistance. Moreover, improper hand position can disrupt the stroke’s rhythm. To correct this, keep your hands close to the water’s surface during recovery. Focus on a relaxed and controlled movement. Additionally, ensure your hand enters the water with the thumb first. Therefore, optimizing hand position during recovery is crucial for maintaining a smooth stroke.

Excessive Head Movement

Excessive head movement is a common error that affects balance and alignment. Swimmers often move their head side to side while swimming. This disrupts their streamline position and increases drag. Moreover, it can cause neck strain and discomfort. To fix this, keep your head still and aligned with your body. Focus on a fixed point on the ceiling to maintain stability. Additionally, practice drills that emphasize head control. Therefore, minimizing head movement is vital for maintaining balance and reducing drag.

Poor Finish and Turn Technique

Poor finish and turn techniques can impact overall performance. Some swimmers slow down or lose momentum during turns. Moreover, an ineffective finish can cost valuable seconds. To correct this, practice powerful and efficient turns. Focus on maintaining speed and momentum throughout the turn. Additionally, work on a strong and streamlined finish. Therefore, refining your finish and turn techniques is essential for competitive performance.


Common backstroke errors can significantly affect efficiency and performance. Focus on maintaining a correct body position and refining arm movements. Moreover, improve your kick technique and breathing patterns. Pay attention to shoulder rotation and avoid overarching the back. Additionally, optimize hand position during recovery and minimize head movement. Finally, work on effective finish and turn techniques. Therefore, by addressing these common errors, you can enhance your backstroke and achieve better results in the pool. Happy swimming!

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