Backstroke – Full stroke – Heads-Up Backstroke

BKS06 Category: Heads-Up Backstroke  (aka Spin Drill, or Sit-Up Drill)


Normal backstroke with the added complication of holding the head  up above the surface of the water.  This greatly limits the desired body rotation and forces the body to be rather flat.  It can also add stress to the shoulders so it is often best to swim ½ laps (12 yards or so) for most swimmers and then drop the head and swim normally for the rest of the distance.


Helps eliminate any hesitation in the catch to improve sprinting speed.

Also helps develop a better range of stroking muscles


BKS06-01 Without buoy, no kick

    • Heads up without a kick or floatation is perhaps the hardest on the cardio and muscle development due to the high resistance from the sinking legs (also the most stress on the shoulders)

BKS06-02 With buoy between thighs

    • Adding the pull buoy between the thighs helps with balance and lift of the legs
    • While not obvious at first, a pull buoy also helps when kicking with the legs on backstroke.  The buoy greatly helps to restrict the knee bend and improve the quality of the kick

BKS06-03 Buoy between the ankles

    • Use the 1Flexband as a safety strap to hold a standard buoy between the ankles
    • This drill variation will seriously challenge the side-to-side balance of swimmers
    • This drill is also ideal to develop core muscles

BKS06-04 With Touch Paddles  (GIF)(Full Video Link)

    • Add Touch power paddles (3 size options) to help intensify muscle development

BKS06-05 With displacement paddles (Precision or Brute)

    • Add Precision or Brute paddles to remove the contact with the hands and force all power to the wrist/forearms
    • This also greatly impacts the side-to-side balance of the swimmers
    • For the ultimate side-to-side balance challenge, combine displacement paddles with a buoy between the ankles
    • The use of displacement paddles can be deceiving as merely only technique devices but swimmers will quickly learn that they are much harder to use (due to their instability in the pull phase) and will develop a much better range of muscles when used regularly

BKS06-06 With Power Bags

    • Add Power Bags to the feet to create a stronger pull and workout the core