The flipturn is a crucial skill for competitive swimmers, as it allows them to efficiently change direction and maintain their speed and momentum in the pool. This turn is performed at the end of each lap and is an important part of every swimmer's race strategy. It requires precise timing, proper body positioning, and a strong push off the wall. By mastering the flipturn, swimmers can save precious time and gain an advantage over their competition.
In this article, we will break down the flipturn step by step, providing you with easy-to-follow instructions that will help you improve your technique. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced swimmer, these tips and guidelines will help you perform a flipturn that is fast, efficient, and effective. So, let's get started!
Learning the Movement
Before you begin practicing the flip against the wall, it’s important you learn and become comfortable with the flipping movement itself. To start, practice a standing somersault. Head over to relatively shallow water (around 4 feet deep) and push off the bottom of the pool with your arms extended above your head. Practice a somersault by tucking your chin into your chest and letting your body follow. Tuck your chin, then tuck your knees into your chest, try to turn as much as you can.
If you’re having trouble completing the flip, remember to use your momentum. Tucking your chin and knees into your chest are important for generating the momentum you need in order to complete the flip. Try to remain as tight as possible when flipping, the tighter you tuck, the faster your flip will be. Practice this movement until you can complete the flip on a consistent basis. Next, we’ll add the wall.
Adding the Wall
Now that you know how to initiate and carry out the actual flip, it’s time we learn how to add the wall in. To start, swim freestyle into the wall at a slow pace. Once you get about 1 arms length away from the wall, initiate the flip like we learned in the previous step. This time, you’ll want your feet to land on the wall. If done correctly, you should have swam towards the wall, flipped over by tucking your head and knees into your chest, and positioned your feet on to the wall. You should be on your back at this point.
Putting It Together
Now that you know how to flip and land with your feet against the wall, let’s learn the final step to completing a flipturn.
After you flip and your feet are on the wall, you’ll want to bring your arms back together into a streamline position. Once your arms are locked in tight, push off of the wall on your back and roll over while moving. By the time you get to the surface, you should be on your stomach again. From here, pull down with either arm to start swimming freestyle again. Congrats, you just did your first full flipturn!
It’s important to understand that butterfly is the most difficult to learn out of the 4 strokes. Consistent training and practice are the best ways to achieve mastery, it likely won't happen overnight.
Take it one step at a time, and always remember to allow time for recovery between training sessions.