How to Flip Turn Part IV: The Breakout

There is nothing more frustrating for a coach than to see a swimmer initiate and perform a flip turn nearly flawlessly only to lose it all during the breakout. It is not hard to make mistakes during the breakout, when all a swimmer can think about is getting the next breath of air.

The two most common mistakes made during the breakout are: 1) lifting the head up and 2) losing the streamlined body position.

There is a great temptation to lift up your head and see where the surface is as you are nearing the breakout. As soon as you do, you begin to slow down. You simply have to trust that the surface is there and that when you initiate that first recovery stroke, your arm will find it. If you pushed off the wall straight that should not be a problem. The best thing to do with your head is to keep your chin tucked down to your chest in the same position it was during the streamline. If you are swimming anything less than a 200, you should never take a breath on the first stroke. Keeping that chin tucked down will enable you to explode forward, not upward, during the break out.

Second, don’t collapse or give up the streamline. As you initiate the first pull under your body, push the opposite arm forward, as if you were finishing in to the wall. Many swimmers tend to bend both elbows when starting to pull with one arm. The loss of the streamline will cause you to slow down considerably. Instead, push the lead arm straight forward, holding the line, transition from your dolphin to freestyle kick to sustain your speed and you will blast out of the breakout like a champion.

In summary, using the recommended tactics I have given you for the approach, the flip, the push off the wall and the breakout, coupled with a steady dose of improving your dolphin kick, will guarantee that you will smoke your competition on the turns. Now go out and practice those Race Club flip turns!

How to Flip Turn Series

  • Freestyle Flip Turn Part I: The Approach — PostVideo
  • Freestyle Flip Turn Part II: The Flip — PostVideo
  • Freestyle Flip Turn Part III: The Push Off —  PostVideo
  • Freestyle Flip Turn Part IV: The Breakout — PostVideo

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