I really enjoy working on the Bent Knee Surface Arch (BKSA). Generally, I find the position is lacking in accuracy due to hip extension and not a lack of back flexibility. Don’t get me wrong, back flexibility is key, but I find that the hips get over looked.
Look at the photo below. The arrow is pointing at the bend in the hip. This line should be straight, but instead many swimmers arch through the lower back and belly.
Do not correct anything else until you get this position accurate.
My favourite way to work on this position is to have swimmers start in a vertical underwater, as they rise up they need to get into BKSA. The goal is to keep the hips extended as long as possible. Be sure to video the drill it so your swimmers can see the moment the get off their line.
Check out the video below of the drill I just described. You can see the precise moment this swimmer loses her hip alignment. (Thanks Hayley for letting me use the video)
Click the link to watch a Video of the BKSA Drill
The other point to consider is where the hips are facing. In inaccurate BKSA’s, the hips tend to face the the sky and not the side of the pool.
Have your swimmers focus on pointing the hips more towards the wall to create the desired arch in the BKSA. Starting in a vertical under water is great because the hips are already pointing the correct direction. The swimmer just needs to maintain it.
I would do this drill at every practice until your swimmers correct their position. In one session the swimmer in the photo and video made huge improvements and so can your swimmers.
If you found this helpful please share it with others.
Yours in Synchro,