Swimming World Presents – Swimming Technique Concepts – Development of an Optimal Model For Technique Part IX: Body Base of Support For Backstroke

Swimming World November 2020 Swimming Technique Concepts 1
This backstroker’s torso rotation is restricted because she does not have a level BOS. Part of her head is above the surface, and her hips are below the surface. Her upper arm is hyperextended behind the yellow line through her shoulders to keep her hand submerged.

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Swimming Technique Concepts – Development of an Optimal Model For Technique Part IX: Body Base of Support For Backstroke

By Rod Havriluk

This month’s article continues a series on concepts related to developing an optimal model for swimming technique. The first three articles in this series addressed concepts related to a swimmer’s body position that minimize swimming resistance (SW July August September 2018). The next five articles addressed the “base of support” (BOS) concept related to a body position that maximizes propulsion (SW December 2018, January February 2019 and August 2020). This article addresses the body BOS in backstroke to maximize propulsion.

An optimal backstroke body base of support (BOS) depends on first mastering a level torso and then mastering torso rotation. An optimal BOS facilitates the arm motion to maximize propulsion.

To optimize the BOS for backstroke, a swimmer must position the body in two ways:
1. A level body from head to feet
2. Effective torso rotation from side to side

LEVEL BASE OF SUPPORT
The model’s body is level from head to feet. The model’s head is almost completely submerged, with the mouth and nose above the surface to allow breathing. The model’s back is completely arched so that the hips are at the surface. For many swimmers, controlling the head and hips is sufficient for a swimmer to achieve a level BOS.

BASE OF SUPPORT FOR THE PULL PHASE
To effectively position the BOS for the pull phase, a swimmer rotates the torso downward on the same side as the entry arm. If the arm entry is simultaneous with sufficient downward torso rotation (i.e., 30 degrees), a swimmer can submerge the hand below the shoulder.  An effective entry positions the arm to immediately begin generating propulsion.

As a swimmer moves the arm backward to the shoulder, there is another 15 degrees of torso rotation to facilitate the arm motion. A swimmer can flex the elbow to 90 degrees to achieve the strongest position to generate propulsion. Torso rotation continues to 45 degrees on the pull phase.

 

Dr. Rod Havriluk is a sport scientist and consultant who specializes in swimming technique instruction and analysis. His unique data-based strategies provide rapid improvement while avoiding injury. Learn more at the STR website, swimmingtechnology.com, or contact Rod through info@swimmingtechnology.com. All scientific documentation relating to this article, including scientific principles, studies and research papers, can be provided upon demand.

 

To access the full Swimming Technique Concepts article complete with model illustrations,
check out the November 2020 issue of
Swimming World Magazine.
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Swimming World November 2020 Cover - Allison Schmitt - A Legacy Much More Than Gold Medals[PHOTO CREDIT: CONNOR TRIMBLE]

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Swimming World Magazine November 2020 Issue

FEATURES

010 OPEN WATER SWIMMERS OF THE DECADE (2010-19)
by Andy Ross
Since the COVID-19 pandemic prevented Swimming World from naming Open Water Swimmers of the Year for 2020, the magazine, instead, takes a look at the top marathon athletes over the last 10 years.

015 HIGHLIGHTING ISHOF’S 1980 OLYMPIC EXHIBIT
by Bruce Wigo
As we mark the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Olympic Games, much has been written and discussed about the impact on the athletes who were denied the opportunity to compete in Moscow. Lost in most of these discussions is the significance of the boycott to the Olympic movement, which is why, in 2014, the International Swimming Hall of Fame made it the subject of one of the largest permanent exhibits in its museum.

018 OLYMPIC HISTORY WITHIN REACH
by David Rieder
Despite the global pandemic, the Olympic postponement and a coaching change, Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri put together some of the best swimming of his career last summer in the 800 and 1500 meter freestyle as well as the 10K marathon. Come Tokyo 2021, he’ll be trying to become the first swimmer ever to capture Olympic gold in both the pool and open water events.

021 STILL SWIMMING STRONG
by Dan D’Addona
Throughout Allison Schmitt’s illustrious swimming career, the three-time Olympian and eight-time Olympic medalist has experienced success and has dealt with her share of struggles. Now 30, she remains goal-oriented and continues to be one of the world’s elite athletes.

026 THE TRUE OLYMPIC SPIRIT
by John Lohn
Pierre de Coubertin developed the Olympic motto that stressed athletic prowess, but he also said, “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning, but taking part.” That description fit Eric the Eel Moussambani perfectly when he swam all by himself in Heat 1 of the men’s 100 meter freestyle at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and finished in slightly less than two minutes!

COACHING

012 TOUGHEST WORKOUTS (Part 1)
by Michael J. Stott
Here’s a painful—but productive—sampling from yesteryear of some coaches’ toughest workouts ever.

036 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: DEVELOPMENT OF AN OPTIMAL MODEL FOR TECHNIQUE: PART IX—BODY BASE OF SUPPORT FOR BACKSTROKE
by Rod Havriluk
An optimal backstroke body base of support (BOS) depends on first mastering a level torso and then mastering torso rotation. An optimal BOS facilitates the arm motion to maximize propulsion.

038 SPECIAL SETS: A REALLY SPECIAL SET
by Michael J. Stott
Nov. 21, 1975: Mike Bruner’s 100 x 100 on 1:00!

042 Q&A WITH COACH LORI RIEGLER
by Michael J. Stott

043 HOW THEY TRAIN JACK ALEXY AND MEREDITH RIEGLER
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

035 DRYSIDE TRAINING: LET’S RACE
by J.R. Rosania
With COVID-19 being managed somewhat and new protocols being put in place, racing is slowly coming back. Here are some exercises that will help get your body ready to race.

JUNIOR SWIMMER

046 UP & COMERS: ALANA BERLIN
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

014 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT HYDROMANIA?

029 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

045 THE OFFICIAL WORD

047 GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

Swimming World is now partnered with the International Swimming Hall of Fame. To find out more, visit us at ishof.org

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