View Full Version : "new" backstroke flip turn

October 13th, 2005, 06:38 PM
So I'm back to swimming, 20 years later.

Swam backstroke when I was a kid and used what I'd call a "bucket turn" back in the days when you were DQ'd if you broke the plane and flipped over onto your stomach at any point.

I think they've since changed the rules. It seems I'm seeing people do what looks like a regluar freestyle flip turn. They just roll over on the last stroke, do a regular flip turn, and then push off on back.

Any tips on how to do this? Other than practice, practice, practice? I'm very comfortable doing freestyle flip turns, but combining it with back feels very ackward to me.

Guess I'm old world.

Michael Heather
October 14th, 2005, 12:55 AM
What you are encountering is the rules that caught up with reality. I swam in the bucket turn time in college, and many of the backstrokers at that time tried a style of flip turn, touching the wall on their back before trying the flip to keep it legal. This was very awkward to do and few swimmers could do it well.

The "new" turn, legalized in about 1988, does away with the need to touch the wall with your hand before rolling off your back and initiating the turn. Now you have only to make a "continuous motion" turning, which means that you cannot take a stroke (and some referees will not even allow kicking) while you are on your stomach, preparing to flip.

Jeff Commings
October 14th, 2005, 02:26 PM
Michael, the turn was legalized in 1991.

There are plenty of videos on the Web about this turn, if you desire to find them. But the turn is very, very simple and a lot easier on your body than the old bucket turn.

Just imagine turning onto your stomach one stroke from the wall and doing a somersault. That simple.

October 14th, 2005, 03:26 PM
Here's a drill that may help:

First I prefer to flip turning to my left: when you see the backstroke flags that signals the upcoming turn, for me I know I have one stroke rotation before I initiate the turn. When my left arm enters the water I rotate to my side, and with my right arm I do a finger tip drag up my right side.

When your hand is next to your right shoulder (and your elbow is high in the air) fully rotate unto your stomach, then your right hand enters the water, the left arm should be extended out and when you look at the T on the pool floor you should look like Superman. In one motion, kick, turn your forearms and hands up making an inverted "V" , grab a volume of water with your foremarms, and throw yourself through and over.

As with a free turn, lead with your heals and place the bottom of your feet on the wall. You should be on your back at this point looking up at the surface of the water. Now your arms should be close to the body and your hands next to your ears. While pushing off the wall, straighten out your arms, pinching your ear lobes back with your biceps and streamline off the wall.

Now the faster swimmers turn with a straight arm, take an underwater stroke, some throw a dolphin kick in, some throw a bent elbow into the motion, and so on. I hope this drill breaks it down in components. Remember it should be one continous motion. The DQ rule is pretty simple--one underwater stroke only--2 and your DQ'd, after that one stroke, kick into the wall.

Good Luck--practice, practice, .......

October 14th, 2005, 05:13 PM
It's basically cheating.

John Smith

October 14th, 2005, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
It's basically cheating.

FINA is still debating whether backstroke should now be called "back (most of the time) stroke."

Michael Heather
October 15th, 2005, 03:09 AM
It is not cheating because it is an established rule. It WAS cheating before 1991 and seemed to be common practice in workouts before that.

October 15th, 2005, 11:38 AM
The dorsal is how so many perople now refer to the backstroke.


I once heard our favorite coach, Mr. Quick, say that when someone is swimming the back stroke, you shouldn't be able to tell if they are swimming the back or free when they are breathing.