Learning backstroke opens up a world of possibilities in the water

2024-05-13 - swimming

Swimming is not only a valuable life skill but also a fun activity for kids to engage in. Among the various swimming strokes, the backstroke offers unique benefits and excitement. In this article, we'll delve into the basic steps of backstroke swimming specifically tailored for kids, ensuring a safe and enjoyable learning experience.

Understanding the Backstroke

Backstroke is a swimming stroke performed on the back, characterized by alternating arm movements and a flutter kick. It's an essential skill for swimmers of all ages, offering full-body workout and improving overall aquatic competence.

Importance of Learning Backstroke

Learning backstroke opens up a world of possibilities in the water. It enhances water safety by providing kids with the ability to float and move efficiently on their backs, allowing them to rest and regain energy during longer swims.

Safety Precautions

Importance of Supervision

Before embarking on backstroke lessons, it's crucial to emphasize the importance of adult supervision. Children should never swim alone, and a lifeguard or responsible adult should always be present to ensure safety.

Ensuring a Safe Environment

Choose swimming pools with shallow ends and clear lanes for practice. Remove any obstacles or hazards from the pool area to minimize the risk of accidents. Additionally, ensure that kids wear appropriate swim gear, including goggles and flotation devices if necessary.

Floating on the Back

Begin by teaching kids how to float on their backs comfortably. Encourage them to relax and spread their arms out to the sides while gently kicking their legs to maintain buoyancy. Assure them that floating on the back is a natural and safe position.

Arm Movement Technique

Next, introduce the arm movement technique by demonstrating the alternating motion of the arms. Kids should extend one arm above their head while pulling the other arm down towards their hip, maintaining a continuous and rhythmic motion.

Leg Movement Technique

Teach kids the flutter kick, where they kick their legs in an up-and-down motion while keeping their knees slightly bent. Emphasize the importance of kicking from the hips to generate propulsion and maintain balance in the water.

Coordinating Arms and Legs

Once kids are comfortable with the arm and leg movements individually, encourage them to coordinate both actions simultaneously. Remind them to keep their body position flat and streamlined, with their head resting comfortably on the water's surface.

Patience and Persistence

Learning backstroke takes time and patience. Encourage kids to persevere through initial challenges and setbacks, reassuring them that improvement will come with consistent practice.

Consistent Practice

Schedule regular swimming sessions to reinforce backstroke skills and build confidence in the water. Practice drills and exercises that focus on specific aspects of the stroke, gradually increasing the level of difficulty as kids progress.

Feedback and Guidance

Provide constructive feedback and encouragement to kids throughout their learning journey. Offer praise for their efforts and achievements, while also gently correcting any mistakes or errors in technique.

Head Position

One common mistake in backstroke swimming is lifting the head too high, which can cause strain on the neck and disrupt body alignment. Encourage kids to keep their head in a neutral position, looking straight up at the ceiling or sky.


Avoid excessive arching of the back, as it can create drag and slow down forward progress. Encourage kids to maintain a slight core engagement and elongate their body from head to toe for optimal efficiency.

Ineffective Arm Movement

Ensure that kids fully extend their arms during the recovery phase of the stroke, reaching as far back as possible before initiating the next arm pull. This maximizes propulsion and minimizes resistance in the water.

Building Confidence

Celebrate milestones and achievements along the way to boost kids' confidence and motivation. Set realistic goals for improvement and track progress over time to demonstrate tangible results.

Increasing Distance and Speed

As kids become more proficient in backstroke swimming, gradually increase the distance and speed of their swims. Introduce interval training and endurance drills to improve stamina and performance in the water.


Learning backstroke swimming is an exciting journey for kids, offering a blend of fun, fitness, and safety. By following the basic steps outlined in this article and practicing consistently, kids can master the backstroke stroke and enjoy the countless benefits it brings.