The fastest swimming technique in the Individual Medley swimming race is to use the backstroke to breaststroke crossover transition. At The Race Club, we have developed an excellent way for swimmers of all ages to learn this fast but tricky at first technique. Learn the five steps we take our Swim Campers through that makes this seemingly difficult turn, easy!

What just happened?

If you try to learn how to do the crossover transition by watching the elite individual medley swimmers perform it in competition, good luck. All you will see is a big splash of water, and they are gone. Afterward, you will find yourself scratching your head, wondering what just happened?

Recommendation for Back to Breast Turn

Instead, I recommend you check out our latest Race Club video on 5 Easy Steps to Learn the Crossover Transition. We’ve made this video available to everyone. After years of teaching this technique, I have finally figured out the best way to teach the crossover transition. Any swimmer can learn to do it in 30 minutes or less.

Fast Swimming Technique Back to Breast Turn, More video coming up,

For those of you subscribing to Lanes 2, 3, or 4, you will also find another video breaking down the first step of learning this technique. In this video, we highlight some of the most common mistakes made in initiating the crossover transition.

Remember Rule of 100

Just remember our rule of 100. Once you get the crossover transition down legally, practice it 100 times before you perform it in competition. If you want to learn to do it well with both hands, you’ll need to practice it at least 500 times before you are ready. The non-dominant arm always takes longer to learn than the dominant arm.
If you want to swim a fast individual medley, learn the crossover transition today.
At what age do you think young swimmers can begin using the crossover turn?

Watch the rest of the Fast Swimming Technique Back to Breast Turn series here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5


  1. I found this video to be a great piece of coaching. The part about practicing 100 times before using the technique in a meet struck me as particularly important. I once heard another pretty good coach, Nick Saban, say “we don’t practice until we get it right, we practice until we can’t get it wrong.”
    Tim Delehanty