Backstroke – Full stroke – Single Arm Sculling Backstroke

BKS08 Category: Single Arm Sculling Backstroke


Kick on the side with lower arm forward and sculling back and forth in the catch position.  Arm should be down below the surface at a desired catch depth of 12+ inches from the surface.  If new to sculling it is best to start by ‘sculling’ the hand back and forth on the side of the pool wherein the thumb drags as the hand moves away from the body and the pinky drags the concrete as the hand sculls back toward the body.


Sculling drills train swimmers to feel the initial catch and find the most water as early as possible.


BKS08-01 1 arm at a time, sculling only for entire length of pool

    • To initially learn this drill it is best to start with 1 side for the entire length (or longer) of the pool

BKS08-02 Kick Switch

    • 1 arm sculling for 6-12 kicks, then catch, pull and rotate to the other arm.   Trailing arm should recover from the thigh as the lead hand catches

BSK08-03 Displacement paddles

    • Add displacement paddles such as the Precision or Brute to completely displace from and open hand
    • This encourages a relaxed hand through the stroke to focus more on the forearm
    • This is a more natural way to learn the value of adding power to the wrist/forearm since the hand is natural flat and the swimmer doesn’t need to unnaturally resist the urge to open their fist
    • 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