Wear A Noseclip In Backstroke

Courtesy of Gary Hall Sr., 10-time World Record Holder, 3-time Olympian, 1976 Olympic Games US Flagbearer and The Race Club co-founder.

Winning is Cool

At one time, it may have been uncool to wear a noseclip for backstroke in either workout or in competition, but not anymore. With backstroke superstars like Missy Franklin and Tyler Clary, among others, sporting their noseclips on television, coaches and swimmers are starting to realize that there is more to it than what meets the eye…or nose.

The first advantage of the noseclip is the obvious avoidance of the unpleasant experience of getting water up the sinuses. Ouch! Nothing puts a damper on a good race better than that. OK…maybe missing a wall on a turn does.

Holding Pressure

Courtesy of The Race Club

The second advantage of the noseclip is gained by avoiding what is needed to do in order to keep water from crawling down the nose and into the sinuses, blowing out your air. Unless you are one of those freaky swimmers with a long nose and big upper lip and can curl that lip up against your nostrils to keep water out, then you must provide a steady stream of air from your lungs out your nose in order to provide the positive pressure to keep the water out. The problem with this maneuver is that if you are staying underwater for any length of time doing the dolphin kicks, by the time you are ready to surface, the lung has run out of air.

If you were to blow all of the air that you can out of your lungs in the pool, the first thing you would notice is that you sink like a rock. The truth is, you would then weigh about 8 pounds in the water. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but when compared to the neutral weight of the body with a lung filled with air, it is significant. Imagine putting on an 8 pound weight belt and trying to kick to the surface; not impossible, but requires a lot more work.

Wear a Noseclip

By the time you blow out all the available air in your lung on your underwater dolphin journey to the surface, you have added about 8 pounds more weight to the task. Why burden yourself with the extra work? Wear a noseclip, keep the air in your lung and explode out of the water on your breakout, instead of resurfacing like a submarine floating to the surface. Not only will you pop up easier, but you will also have one less thing to worry about, getting water up your nose.  With a relatively small investment in a Finis noseclip, you will do yourself two big favors.

In our Race Club camps, we work a lot on improving the underwater dolphin kick, now considered the fifth stroke. The use of the dolphin kick on backstroke is of the highest importance in developing good swimming technique. Getting fast underwater and staying down for the maximum allowed distance is essential to win. We highly recommend you wear a noseclip from Finis in backstroke as an important part of that process.

Yours in swimming,

Gary Sr.

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Gary Hall, Sr., Technical Director and Head Coach of The Race Club (courtesy of TRC)

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THE RACE CLUB

The Race Club, logoBecause Life is Worth Swimming, our mission is to promote swimming through sport, lifelong enjoyment, and good health benefits. Our objective is for each member of and each participant in The Race Club to improve his or her swimming performances, health, and self-esteem through our educational programs, services and creativity. We strive to help each member of The Race Club overcome challenges and reach his or her individual life goals.

The Race Club provides facilities, coaching, training, technical instruction, video, fitness and health programs for swimmers of all ages and abilities. Race Club swim camps are designed and tailored to satisfy each swimmer’s needs, whether one is trying to reach the Olympic Games or simply improve one’s fitness. Our programs are suitable for beginner swimmers, pleasure swimmers, fitness swimmers, USA swimming or YMCA swimmers, or triathletes; anyone who wants to improve swimming skills. All of our Race Club members share an enjoyment of being in the water and use swimming to stimulate a more active mind and body.

Swimming Press Release courtesy of The Race Club, a SwimSwam partner.

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15 Comments on "Wear A Noseclip In Backstroke"

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I suggest working the nose clip into a swimmer’s normal practice routine as well. Showing up at a meet and deciding to wear it can cause issues with practiced breathing patterns and style.

We agree. Use it in practice before trying in meets.

Any particular advantage in using a Finis noseclip over other brands?

crooked donald

Paid advertisement. Waiting to hear “it reduces frontal drag.” Maybe it helps with a “coupling motion.”

We have no financial relationship with any other swim companies. We recommend what we feel will help swimmers get faster. We don’t care what brand of nose clip swimmers use, or if they are able to keep air in the lungs while underwater on their backs…that they use one at all.

Not really. Some stay on and endure better than others. If the nose clip fits….wear it.

Or just suck it up and don’t breathe out your nose

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