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In this next section, pay close attention to Aaron’s hips. Most swimmers have been taught to rotate the hips in backstroke, but, for Aaron, rotation means sliding the hips from side to side.
Here’s a different angle. Notice how Aaron pushes the hip into the finish of the pull. The hip slides to the side…just in time to meet the hand as it finishes the pull and exits the water.
In slow motion, you can see the timing. The hip slides into the finish of the pull.
Notice that as Aaron pushes his hip to the side, he engages or squeezes the muscles along the side of his pulling arm.
This is the torque that we mentioned earlier. It’s all about harnessing the power in your core. By timing the slide of the hips with the contraction of the muscles along his pulling side, Aaron increases the power of his pull.
Let’s watch the focus points in sequence. The hand slides in and Aaron stretches into the catch. The hip slides to the pulling side and meets the hand as it finishes the pull. The power comes not so much from the arms…as from pushing the hip and contracting all the muscles along the side.
In this clip, you can see that Aaron’s hips ROLL rather than rotate. He likes to think of his hips as rolling from side to side in a bowl, rather than rotating on a skewer.
Let’s watch again at a faster pace. Watch for the hips to roll rather than rotate.
Don’t forget to keep your head steady as you slide your hips. Remember: The head is the director; it never moves. The head draws the line along which your body follows.
You can see it better from this angle. The hips are rolling as if in a bowl…but the head never moves.
In this next clip, focus on Aaron’s kick. The hips are sliding and rolling from side to side, but the kick prevents the hips from sliding out of control.
Let’s watch that again. The kick is what drives you forward and holds your body from swinging out of line, like a balloon losing all its air and flying around the room.
Let’s watch the sequence one more time. The hand slides in…the body stretches into the catch…the hips slide to the side to meet the finish of the pull. Hand in…extend and catch…compress the torso and slide the hips into the pull. Push the hips to power the pull.