View Full Version : Flip turns

October 28th, 2003, 05:54 PM
I am taking a swimming class and need some help with my flip turns. I have two major problems with my turn. One problem is that I regularly get water up my nose. The second problem is that by the time I get all the way over and push off the wall I am all out of air and need to pop up to the surface gasping for breath; which gets me totally out of rhythm.

I would appreciate any suggestions to my delema,

October 28th, 2003, 07:03 PM
Hi flipper-- try humming (breathe out through your nose) while tumbling, and come out of the turn on your side. This way you are more streamlined, and ready to take a breath with your first stroke.

Matt S
October 29th, 2003, 02:42 PM

The keys to a good turn are get in and out of it fast, so you don't waste time at the wall, and get a good streamline off of the wall so you glide farther and faster before you start swimming.

Most swimmers chose to use a flip turn because, when it is done well, it gets you turned around and off the wall quickly, and because it looks cool. Unfortunately, many swimmers will want to learn only a flip turn right off because it looks cool and everyone else is doing it. They will persist with a bad flip turn that is not helping them, when learning a good quick open turn would serve them much better, at least in the short run.

An open turn is: (1) lead hand touch or grab the wall, (2) swing your legs under your body, (3) before you plant your feet bring your lead arm (the one you grabbed the wall with) over the top towards the opposite end and get in a streamlined position (one hand over the other, squeeze your head between your arms), (4) plant you feet and push off in a tight streamline (as above, with your body as straight as you can make it, toes pointed back); stay rotated 45% or so from being flat on your stomach, (5) after you push off the wall, you will be traveling faster than your swimming speed (this is why the glide and streamline are so important); when you feel yourself slow to swimming speed, begin stroking with your lower arm. The real experts on turns may recommend modification, but that is the basic idea.

There are two excellent articles on turns, including flip turns at http://www.h2oustonswims.org/articles.html Look for the articles "Rowdyness and Ignominy" and "Passing the Oafs," both by Coach Emmett Hines.

I have been swimming for many years, and I still manage oxygen debt coming out of a flip turn. It is a big reason why I like LCM so much more than SCY events. The one thing I found to help this (especially in middle distance freestyle events, when it is the worst) is to kick less, or less vigorously, during the whole swim. Without going into details, kicking harder uses lots of oxygen without adding a lot of speed. This is fine in sprints when every 0.01 seconds matters, but for longer events, it can steal O2 away from more efficient parts of your stroke. If you 6-beat kick routinely, experiment with a 2-beat kick instead. If you use a vigorous 2-beat kick, try kicking a little easier. I stumbled over the latter technique last winter, and rediscovered my 500-yard freestyle. At a nothing special local meet, I swam my best 500 in over a decade, beating a time from 1991.

Good luck. Please let us know if you uncover anything interesting.