Flip turn swimming is a skill every swimmer should master, as it allows for the fastest and most efficient turn when you reach the pool wall. Not only does a flip turn help to retain energy, but it maintains your momentum when you swim into the wall, allowing you to spring off of it as quickly as you touch it.
How to Do a Flip Turn
The body motion of a flip turn is fairly simple. As you approach the pool wall, following your last stroke and tilt your body weight forward. Then, bring your knees up to your chest. Tuck your chin and then use the momentum to somersault forward. Your arms should be at your sides and use your nose to exhale as you start to rotate. Remember that the tighter you tuck your body, the faster and more efficient your flip turn will be.
Another tip you can try in flip turn swimming is to accelerate as you reach the wall. The more speed you bring toward the wall when you reach it, the more power you’ll have to spring off of it when you complete your flip turn. Practice acceleration in addition to your flip turn swimming technique.
After you’ve somersaulted and your feet have reached the pool wall, unfold your upper body and extend your arms backward in the direction from which you just came. The upper body should be a straight line from torso to the tips of your fingers, you should be fully on your back (avoid rolling toward your belly), and your knees should still be bent at a 90 degree angle, ready to push off.
Next plant your feet firmly against the wall and push off hard, straightening your legs. Begin to rotate your body so that your back is toward the surface and the belly is toward the pool floor. Hands should be twisted in the direction of your rotation and the head should not move. This rotation should be quick and fluid.
Swimmers who wish to master flip turn swimming should practice each motion of the flip turn independently to ensure a compact body position in the somersault, strong push offs, and smooth rotations as you begin your swim strokes when you reach the surface.