PDA

View Full Version : Open turns more efficient than flips...



dolfinbabe
November 29th, 2008, 11:55 AM
I am back with open turns (due to pregnancy) and I've been amazed at the overall efficiency I gain doing open turns vs the flips I've been practicing over the past few months.

I am rapidly coming to conclusion that open turns done correctly can give an overall faster time in a long event like 1500m. The reason that I think they are 'more efficient overall' over the flip turn is the following:

1. Oxygen/air: you don't run out of air in tank like in a flip, as the short breath taken at the end of the pool oxygenates the body fully for the next length, so you really can 'steam through' the distance.

With the flip on the other hand, I have to judge my breathing, seem to get that hypoxic 'restricted oxygen feel' now and again (even though this has improved) which raises my heart rate and by the end of 1500m, I'm in a type of oxygen debt feeling which is lung busting and quite frankly inefficient.

2. I can consistently push off the wall in an explosive fashion and then streamline for longer and even do dolphin over a longer distance 800-1500m as I have much more oxygen to play with.

With the flip you have to judge it every time to the wall and out of it and sometimes get it wrong and I certainly can't do dolphin with a flip - I'm gasping for air - even though my flip is executed really smoothly and speedily!

I agree that the 'execution' of the flip turn is faster (very slightly if any gain) than the open turn, BUT it's the gain in oxygen/air with the open turn that could gain a substantially faster time in distance swimming overall...

I am wondering what other's think of this.

gobears
November 29th, 2008, 12:19 PM
Perhaps this is the case for you. When you aren't as used to flip-turning it can seem difficult. However, I would argue that if open turns were truly more efficient you'd see world class swimmers using them.

I hate having to do open turns. They totally disrupt the rhythm of a swim for me and require a lot more effort than flip turns. I swam through 3 pregnancies and never had to stop doing flip-turns.

Allen Stark
November 29th, 2008, 01:16 PM
If you do flips all the time they become second nature and are faster and easier(unless pregnant or strained back etc.)That said a good open turn can be very fast and certainly gives you that additional breath at the turn.I generally think it's best to do what works for you.

anita
November 29th, 2008, 01:32 PM
After you give birth and feel more comfortable doing flip turns, you may see how most people prefer them. It does take work to get the timing right, and lose the fear of hitting your feet on the deck. I recall using 1/2 of practice time just to work on timing when I was really young. Once you get the timing down, there is no question, IMO, that flip turns are faster. Your breathing capacity can be helped by doing "no breathers" as far as you can underwater. You will notice a big improvement in a short amount of time.

Meanwhile...if you're planning on doing open turns, my advice is to alternate arms when coming into the wall. You will use your obliques as you bring your feet up to the wall, and if you alternate, you will alternate side muscles and keep each at equal strength.

dolfinbabe
November 29th, 2008, 02:15 PM
[Note: this is before I got pregnant two weeks ago] Every session I have swum (4 months) I have practiced every single turn as a flip with discipline (!) and have seen a marked improvement in my breath holding and it was a lot easier to hold the breath at race pace, which initially I could not do. Indeed I seem to be good at the flip and like learning and improving it, but I do still run into critical problems with it now and again:

I worry about what effect the restrictive oxygen is really doing for my health if it runs up my heart rate - it seems sometimes quite unnatural, even though I am good at them. If my heart rate rises and chest feels restricted then perhaps my blood pressure is rising too? - this could potentially lead to heart failure (?) and this kind of panics me a little when swimming.

I feel more comfortable therefore on the opens simply because they are seemingly more efficient for me (see last post by me) BUT I am not one to wimp out of flips forever either, not after all the work I have put into them. I think one of the problems is that I am a mega aerobic distance type and don't have an ounce of anaerobic capacity in me, so struggle on this aspect.

Perhaps it really is down to pure practice as you say - I do hope so - if so, roll on 9 months or so!

(As to the pregnancy and doing flips - I have personally decided to stop the flips just in case [for me] the hypoxic state does agitate the fetus - I know some of you continued doing them, - I admire you, but for me I can wait 9 months).

Thanks for your replies.

FlyQueen
November 29th, 2008, 02:29 PM
When my back was bothering about a year ago I tried to do open turns (I have decent open turns since I swim a lot of fly). The open turns drained me more than flip turns. If you really work your flip turn they are way more efficient. You need to build lung capacity and endurance for them. If open turns were faster or more efficient they'd be doing them in the Olympics.

It's taken me a LOOOONNG time to get my flip turn down so that I'm in and out of the wall fast and coming up past the flags without feeling like my lungs are going to burst. Like everything else in swimming if you keep doing them and working on them they will improve.

knelson
November 29th, 2008, 03:53 PM
If my heart rate rises and chest feels restricted then perhaps my blood pressure is rising too? - this could potentially lead to heart failure (?)

Your heart rate is supposed to rise when you exercise. I think you're being a little too cautious. I can understand this while you're pregnant, but otherwise don't sweat it.

Blackbeard's Peg
November 29th, 2008, 05:21 PM
I think that the only way an open turn is more efficient than a tumble/flip turn is if you are not good at tumbling. Like other say, it takes years of practice - especially at a high rate of speed - to get down pat. find a really short pool and do widths, where you're turning every 7-10 strokes max. also, practice your tumbles on a mat or bed (my parent's bed is how i learned years ago).

I understand the logic about breathing, but in my personal experience doing open turns due to injury, I've had the opposite oxygen depletion effect as you suggest. What I think is happening in my case is that since I am taking extra, shorter breaths, I'm also not exhaling properly (or enough) and therefore not getting full gulps of air, leading to the breathing issues.

don't give up on your flip turns just yet! Congrats on the pregnancy!

Typhoons Coach
November 29th, 2008, 05:38 PM
I have to disagree with the theory that open turns are faster/more efficient than flip turns. If both the turns are done as efficiently as possible by an experienced swimmer, I think (and this is my personal opinion) that a flip turn will be faster than an open turn almost every time.

What you are feeling, I think, is more of a comfort level than an efficiency level. Again, just my opinion.

Hoosier
November 29th, 2008, 06:56 PM
I am 49, started swimming 3 years ago, never had a swim lesson in my life. I dont do flip turns, only open...thats why God invented Open Water.:chug:

aquageek
November 29th, 2008, 07:02 PM
Bologna.

Swim next to a similar speed person and do your open turns compared to their flips. You will not be able to keep up or, if you do, will expend much more energy.

2fish&1whale
November 29th, 2008, 09:58 PM
My AG swimmer has struggled with the flip turn from the start and always complains that they make him dizzy and disoriented.
So the 1st meet of the season comes around and what does he do in all of his free events?
Open turns!
And he was faster than the kids doing flip turns in his heat.
Actually posted his personal best time in each event.:banana:

Typhoons Coach
November 29th, 2008, 10:41 PM
My AG swimmer has struggled with the flip turn from the start and always complains that they make him dizzy and disoriented.
So the 1st meet of the season comes around and what does he do in all of his free events?
Open turns!
And he was faster than the kids doing flip turns in his heat.
Actually posted his personal best time in each event.:banana:

No offense to the other AG swimmers, but that doesn't say too much about them! Keep striving for those flip turns and see what happens to the time (I'm sure as a coach you are doing that anyway). All the best!

swimshark
November 30th, 2008, 08:10 AM
(As to the pregnancy and doing flips - I have personally decided to stop the flips just in case [for me] the hypoxic state does agitate the fetus - I know some of you continued doing them, - I admire you, but for me I can wait 9 months).
.

AS one who swam until her doctor told her to stop 3 weeks before birth, I can tell you that doing flip turns will not harm your baby. There are only 2 reasons to stop them 1 - belly size and 2 - morning sickness. The heart rate can get up with a pregnancy. I think the doctor told me to keep mine under 130. That's still pretty high. So relax and keep working on those flip turns. The baby will be fine and will enjoy the change inside.

2fish&1whale
November 30th, 2008, 08:59 AM
No offense to the other AG swimmers, but that doesn't say too much about them! Keep striving for those flip turns and see what happens to the time (I'm sure as a coach you are doing that anyway). All the best!
Oops, should have mentioned that this is my kid-and believe me when I say-the sooner he drops the notion that he can be just as fast with an open turn the better!
He needs to work on improving the flip and it won't be easy, but I would argue that the flip was invented to make a turn more stream lined and thus more efficient.So why not try to perfect it?

Ripple
November 30th, 2008, 09:05 AM
I'm just starting to learn flip turns, with varying degrees of success. I feel that even the embarrassingly bad ones get me off the wall faster than my open turns. Definitely worth learning, although I don't do them when the pool is crowded, for the safety of my lane mates.

dolfinbabe
November 30th, 2008, 01:37 PM
Thanks again for great replies on this.

From what I have read here from those that have vastly more swimming experience than myself, I simply have to stick with those flip turns. I have actually come a long way with them since starting swimming this year, so I must be very happy with that improvement and build on it.

BUT...no flip turns when pregnant for me - I think that if I'm restricted for oxygen and uncomfortable on some flip turns, then baby inside is restricted for oxygen too and probably uncomfortable too. Now whether that is safe or not for baby inside is up for debate (as my pregnancy post into this question recently). I could not find much advice or backed up scientific evidence on the web, so I am just erring on the side of caution. GP didn't know and said "just do what you normally do and what you feel comfortable with" ...