Backstroke – Full stroke – Backstroke with Freestyle

BKS10 Category: Backstroke with Freestyle (aka corkscrew)

Note: this is identical to FRS10



Different combinations of backstroke and freestyle strokes.  The most common version of this is with 3 strokes freestyle, then 3 strokes freestyle.


While this drill is ideal to improve both Freestyle and backstroke, we listed it as a backstroke drill as it tends to help improve the backstroke more than the freestyle.   The combination tends to take the best of both strokes and help improve the other stroke.   It can help ‘even out’ the kick rate of the weaker stroke.  It helps develop a more consistent kick rate and tempo on the weaker stroke.  It can help stabilize the head position on both strokes.  It can also help get  both kicks higher to the surface.

BKS10-01 Extended Balance with Roll to Back

  • Take 9-12 kicks on the stomach with both arms extended forward in ‘position 11’ (i.e arms straight in front of shoulders and NOT locked in streamline)
  • After 9-12 kicks, take a single arm pull and roll completely to the back, leaving the stroking arm down to your side as you kick 9-12 kicks on the back with only 1 arm forward
  • After 9-12 kicks on the back, roll back to ‘position 11’ in the reverse direction (rolling away from the arm that is down so it rolls over the body and back to position 11)
  • Focus on exhaling through the nose when on the stomach and not twisting the neck as you engage the stroke (let the head naturally roll to air)
  • Complete a 25 or 50 with the same arm stroking, and then switch arms

BKS10-02 Extended Balance with Roll to Back, alternate sides

  • Same as FRS10-01 but alternate arms each time.  Stroke with the right arm and roll to the back, then roll the trailing arm over the chest and back to position 11.  Then after a few more kicks take a left arm stroke and roll to the back.  Kick some more on the back and roll the left arm over the chest and back to position 11.  Continue switching arms

BKS10-03 Extended Balance with 3 Freestyles and then Roll to Back

  • Same as FRS10-01 but take 3 freestyle strokes on the stomach and then roll to the last stroke onto the back.   Change the first arm each time so you constantly switch sides that you are rolling toward.
  • Be sure to slow down the strokes and take 3-6 kicks between each single stroke (i.e 9-18 total kicks between each roll)

BKS10-04 Extended Balance with Roll to Back, add a Backstroke to Return

  • Same drill as FRS10-01, but as the body rotates back to the stomach, take a single backstroke with the leading arm as the trailing arm recovers over the top of the chest  back to the stomach
  • Helps to also focus on the technique of a single freestyle arm and a single backstroke arm

BKS10-05 Alternative Freestyle and Backstrokes (aka corkscrew)

  • Take 1-5 Freestyle strokes and on the last stroke roll to the back to take an equal number of backstrokes
  • There should be no need for any breaths while on freestyle to allow for quality stroke focus without hindering the strokes with breathing problems
  • Important to focus on exhaling through the nose when on the stomach
  • Allow the head to naturally roll to the back without twisting to help focus on a natural head roll for freestyle breathing
  • Be sure to change the number of strokes and which arm starts the count so that a swimmers can practice rolling in both directions and not just always to 1 side (i.e require a ‘left corkscrew’ or a ‘right corkscrew’ from time to time)