Backstroke – Full stroke – Single Arm Backstroke with Kick

BKS01 Category: Single Arm Backstroke with Kick


Stroke only with 1 arm for entire length of pool.  Non-stroking arm is down.  Typically with a 6 beat kick for each single stroke.


Focus on stroke quality, hand entry, body rotation, and ‘push’ prior to the outsweep

Ideal drill for any changes or improvements to stroke technique

Allows swimmer to focus on a specific point of interest in there stroke

Allows swimmer to isolate a problem arm and work on improvements


BKS01-01 Full Length of Pool on each side

      • Be sure to focus on the timing of your hand entry and the hip rotation
      • add paddles such as Touch to focus on Push prior to outsweep
      • add Glide Paddle to focus on pinky-first hand entry
      • add Precision Paddle to focus on forearm engagement (EVF)
      • Hold a weighted alignment board such as Lil’ Red Kick overhead with the non-stroking hand (GIF)

BKS01-02 Alternate Strokes with intermittent intervals

      • Take 2, 3, 4, or more strokes on each side and then switch
      • Switch hands by holding Lil’ Red Kick in the non-stroking hand (GIF)

BKS01-03 Alternate Single Strokes (w/intermittent intervals) Then Consecutive Arms

      • Take 2, 3, 4 strokes on one side, then 2,3, 4 on other side, then finish with normal arm cycle

BKS01-04 Partial recovery on the Non-Stroking Arm

      • Single arm stroking with non-stroking arm down.  
      • As the stroking arm enters the water, the non-stroking arm begins to recover but only ¼ of the way up
      • Continue the same drill but vary it with ½ arm recovery

BKS01-05 Recovery Phase with Single Arm

      • Single arm strokes (or alternating arms) in which the stroking arm recovers over the body and touches the surface with the pinkly only.  Then instead of stroking, the arm returns over the body back to the side of the body.   Repeat this motion 2-4 times before actually engaging the stroke through the water.  Then repeat this with the same arm or alternate arms
      • The purpose of this is to create the muscle memory of the arm rotation needed to ensure a pinky entry for every stroke.

BKS01-06 Lane Line Pull

      • Stroke single arm.  As the hand enters the water, it catches the lane line and pulls the body forward by holding the same lane float from the catch until the release.  
      • This can help guide the wrist through the catch and the push phase of the stroke.  
      • This is possible with the left arm but for the right arm it is best to swim only 25’s to avoid accidents from circle swimming habits.

BKS01-07 Displacement Strokes

      • Swim any drills on backstroke with various forms of displacement such as fist or with the Precision or Precise displacement paddles