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Single-Arm Backstroke is a key drill for working on full-body rotation, steady rhythm, and steady head. When you do this drill, you get better rotation if you hold your non-working arm at your side. The goal is to show BOTH shoulders as you swim. Rotate your body until you can show both shoulders on EVERY stroke cycle.
Rotate everything – torso, hips, and legs – but keep the head and eyes rock steady and fixed on the ceiling. Exaggerate the rotation, until you’re nearly on your side on each rotation. Keep a steady rhythm.
Notice that our swimmers have almost no hesitation in their armstroke. The hand enters, connects with the water, and begins to pull. At the finish of the pull, the hand exits IMMEDIATELY and starts to recover. Keep the arm motion –and the body rotation -- continuous and flowing.
Single-Arm Backstroke also helps you focus on another key skill – using a bent-arm pull. After the hand enters and connects with the water, the goal is to create a long, solid surface (like a paddle) that you use to push water toward your feet. If you bend the elbow, you create a solid surface from the elbow all the way through the wrist and palm. You then use that surface to push water toward the feet. Always keep the arm motion continuous – never letting the hand “get stuck” at any point.