Fitter and Faster Swim Tip: Matt Grevers Thinks Core Strength in Backstroke

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Love Matt Grevers, admire his success, there is no more accessible and sweetest person in swimming than him, but why make yet another backstroke tape after goswim already released the “backstroke bible” – backstroke tape with Aaron Piersol. What is new we can see here that can improve on Aaron’s perfection? That said, I am happy if this can support Matt financially. if you swim backstroke and never watched tape with Aaron, you are missing on seeing how it should be done. Last but not least, since many expect now for me to criticize Matt’s technique (me being world’s foremost expert on backstroke and breaststroke), here it is: 1. His right arm is overreaching a little – left does not.… Read more »

Steve Nolan

I’m sure he appreciates the tips.

There is ONLY ONE WAY to swim… whether you are a 6’8″ Olympic Gold Medalist or an 5’4″ 11 year old with a crazy dad… you MUST swim the same way.

Kevin Cordes. Matt Grevers. Hacks.

When Eddie retires, will you be announced as the new head coach at the same press conference, or will they wait to announce in your own media session?


When Eddie retires there will be no swimming anymore. What would be the point?

>… you MUST swim the same way.

And yet they collect all the best swimmers at Colorado Springs all the time, and tell them this is the way to swim backstroke, breaststroke, etc. There should be ONLY ONE way to swim best stroke technique – nobody knows what that is though yet.


Some say Peirsol catches palm up. “How Champions do it” by Rushall has several videos of his back. One shows this and describes it. It is also what Rushall says is best.


I do not care who says “palms up is best” explain to me how can that work in physics language. And no, Piersol does not catch palm up.Piersol’s secret was a very quick and shallow catch – watch his video and his hand does not go down more than 2-3 inches and immediately pulls back, in a “hokey stick” shape on the pull. Then watch Lochte and you see he catches deep with a distinctive S pull.


I really want to understand the best way to do backstroke and I hope we can get to the bottom of it. The concept of the palm up is that one should quickly drop the elbow in backstroke (the opposite of freestyle) so that an EVF (early vertical forearm may be achieved). I looked at the videos and Peirsol, along with most backstrokers, do NOT have a symetrical stroke. It is possible that we are both right about what Peirsol does. I agree with your shallow pull analysis and your comments on Lochte. Those two don’t swim the same way and I prefer Peirsol’s stroke.


If you go palm up and quickly drop the elbow, you are doing everything wrong. First you are catching halfway through the stroke (too late) and second you are not getting needed rotation (not too much of it either – read Mark Russell’s excellent article about that). If anything you should enter water (almost) palm down, catch shallow and quickly turn palm backwards and forearm horizontal – not vertical. it should never be vertical. Someone said that Piersol was first one to demonstrate that freestyle and backstroke catch and pull are the same. That means do not pull elbow back until you catch the water with high elbow. The drill of one arm 3 strokes back and then turn and… Read more »


PsychoDad is a appropriate screen name


the video says… 4 time NCAA national champion… does that feel a bit redundant to anyone else?

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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