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tomtopo
January 19th, 2011, 09:02 AM
When you want to improve your turns you’ll need to strenghten you hip and thigh flexor muscles or your Pectineus, Sartrorius muscles, Gastrocnemius and the Soleus (they’re crucial in jumping). There are a lot of plyometric exercises along with squats, lunges, and bounding exercises that will also help you. Here’s a list of other exercises that can help you get you or your swimmers off the wall faster and farther.

Don't do things that hurt. Pain and potential injury usually occurs when you do the exercises incorrectly. You don't have to do things that hurt you to get off the walls better. Find and exercise that you like and slowly increase stress to improve.

Bounding
Lunges
Deep Knee Bends
Deep Knee Bend Jumps
Toe Raises
Toe-Raise with Weights
Jumping Rope

The entire foot is on the wall so the swimmers can recruit as much muscle as possible.

Phelps entire foot on the wall.
YouTube - Michael Phelps turn

At :48 seconds, you'll clearly see Natalie Coughlin push-off the wall with flat feet.

YouTube - Natalie Coughlin Swim Tip #5: Flip Turn
Aaron Peirsol's collapses to a flat foot on his second backstroke turn (a little hard to see) but it happens.
YouTube - Aaron Peirsol 200m Backstroke
Breaststrokers like all swimmers collapse from the balls of their feet to a flat foot. YouTube - Brendan Hansen Men's 200m Breastroke

Good luck, Coach T.

orca1946
January 19th, 2011, 12:28 PM
Great reminders for all of us, thanx.
A question for you, how far apart do we place our feet?
Close or hip width apart for the best push off?

tomtopo
January 19th, 2011, 01:42 PM
Great reminders for all of us, thanx.
A question for you, how far apart do we place our feet?
Close or hip width apart for the best push off?

That is really an interesting question. I have not seen any world class swimmer turn with their legs together (that doesn't mean someone doesn't do it). When it comes to planting the feet, they're either staggered or not (I don't know which is better). Great question! In my opinion, shoulder width or slightly closer is a good distance and staggered (somewhat like a basketball player jumping for a jump-ball). Maybe it's about comfort and then again, timing them from the wall to the flags is a good way to find out which is better for an individual. Tell me what you think. Thanks, Coach T.

That Guy
January 19th, 2011, 10:37 PM
That is really an interesting question. I have not seen any world class swimmer turn with their legs together (that doesn't mean someone doesn't do it).

Phelps flipping with legs CROSSED:

YouTube - MICHAEL PHELPS back/breast turn

Now that that's out there, I'll flip my own argument (see what I did there?) and AGREE with you that the best pushoffs come after flipping very close to the wall so that the legs must be shoulder width apart to avoid hitting the wall and the heels touch the wall because they're so close. Most of us probably turn too far away from the wall most of the time. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to practice some dryland open turns: :bliss:

Lump
January 19th, 2011, 10:51 PM
Here is my take:

On a freestyle flipturn if you are planting flat feet on the wall and pushing off then you are losing time. I've always been taught (as a middle/dist swimmer) to "bounce" off the wall, that is I'm using the balls of my feet, just like in jumping. I've always thought of the wall as just a formality that gets in the way while swimming. I use it only to keep my momentum going, not a place to rest or try to do an "underwater vertical jump test".

Want to improve your flip turns (turns in general)? I tend to focus on box jumps, jump rope, doing sets from mid pool (for additional turn).....things like that. Some threads tend to "overthink" things IMHO.

pdjang
January 20th, 2011, 11:13 AM
Thanks for those reminders Coach Tom.

I do plyometric sets (box jumps, etc) and really like it. I like box jumping so much that I find myself looking at tables, chairs and other objects and wondering if I could jump on top of it! I'll never have a great vertical leap but it has improved since I started doing the box jumps. There are some great videos on youtube - search for vertical leap or box jump.

A really important tip for efficient turns is to tuck your chin on your chest (look at the bottom of the pool), cross your hands on top of each other, try to touch your shoulders to your ears and keep your core as straight as possible (think of a missile shape).

You can have a great vertical jump but it won't do you any good if your streamline off the wall isn't streamline!

tomtopo
January 20th, 2011, 02:05 PM
Here is my take:

On a freestyle flipturn if you are planting flat feet on the wall and pushing off then you are losing time. I've always been taught (as a middle/dist swimmer) to "bounce" off the wall, that is I'm using the balls of my feet, just like in jumping. I've always thought of the wall as just a formality that gets in the way while swimming. I use it only to keep my momentum going, not a place to rest or try to do an "underwater vertical jump test".

Want to improve your flip turns (turns in general)? I tend to focus on box jumps, jump rope, doing sets from mid pool (for additional turn).....things like that. Some threads tend to "overthink" things IMHO.

Jeff,
On post #27 "Balls of the feet, flat feet or clueless" shows four videos of Phelps, Coughlin, Hansen, Thorpe who have flat foot contact on the wall. Short course yards and meters are faster because of turns so it's more that a formality in my opinion. The vertical jump from the wall or floor is important to improve for all swimmers.

orca1946
January 22nd, 2011, 02:57 PM
I tried to keep my feet flat on the wall & feel it might be a bit slower for me. I find myself on the balls of my feet most of the time in flip turns.