The difficulty with the back stroke is that the swimmer cannot see where he/she is going. It is very easy to bump into other swimmers or with the end of the pool, while learning this stroke. You could start by counting how many strokes it takes you to swim a length, so you will know when you are getting close to the end of the pool. The initial position for the back stroke is lying on your back with your arms and legs stretched straight out. While swimming all of your body should stay close to the surface of the water.
Leg Movement: Your legs constantly kick while doing the back stroke. This allows the swimmer to travel in a straight line. You should use long fast kicks and make sure your legs are moving up and down. Your knees are kept slightly bent and underwater, and your toes should make a small splash when you kick. You can practice the leg movement by using the safety rail at the side of the pool. When you have built up enough confidence you can then let go of the rail as kicking your legs will keep you afloat.
Arm Movement: The arms are used similar to the front crawl, but in reverse. The swimmer makes a circular motion as they move their arms in and out of the water at alternate intervals. You can start by putting one arm in the water in a straight line above your shoulder. Your palm should be facing away and once your hand is in the water it should push down and towards your feet. Keep pushing your hand towards your feet until your elbow is straight. Then lift your arm out of the water, back to its original position and repeat the motion again. The arm should be kept straight all of the time it is out of the water.
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