Courtesy of Gary Hall Sr., 10-time World Record Holder, 3-time Olympian, 1976 Olympic Games US Flagbearer and The Race Club co-founder.
Gary Hall Sr. coaches us through a perfect technique for your best backstroke starts. In order to perfect backstroke starts, the feet position and pull up are critical to achieving success in the four different phases of the start; the launch, the entry, the underwater propulsion and the breakout.
World Champion Junya Koga shows us both the incorrect and correct feet positioning while Gary Hall Sr. explains why correct feet positioning matters in the start, launch and entry. Junya also demonstrates the difference between an incorrect body position at “take your mark” and a perfect one. Setting yourself up for a perfect start is not easy, but with practice can become the fastest swim technique for backstroke starts.
ENTERING THE WATER OFF THE START
When the tips of the fingers enter the water on backstroke starts, an elite swimmer is nearing 10 miles per hour. Watch as Junya takes advantage of that speed gained in the air from the launch and how he manages to sustain his speed when he enters the water and starts his propulsion. Having a ‘no splash’ entry is the secret to keeping that momentum, with as little drag as possible.
DOLPHIN KICK + BREAKOUT
The Fifth Stroke, dolphin kick, can help you win or lose races, depending on its strength. Junya starts his dolphin kicks right away and at a perfect depth in the water. As he breaks out, the momentum from his start is still in effect, helping him explode through the breakout.
Junya is a master at the backstroke start. It is beautiful to watch his clean entry, the raw power of his kick, his streamlined position throughout the underwater, and his seemingly effortless technique at breakout. To attain this level of speed, one must practice backstroke starts often, paying attention to all of the important details.
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