Flip turn schooling - Part 1 (How to start a freestyle flip turn)

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Apr 8, 2006

Flip turn schooling - Part 1 (How to start a freestyle flip turn)

After a longer pause, here is another tip that you might find helpful. Most beginner swimmers find it quite challenging to perform a flip turn at each side of the pool. Your troubles are over, read on and then go to the pool and practice, practice, practice (as someone wise once said: practice makes perfect and with no pain, there is no gain - this is especially true of swimming)

When you get into the water, let's try flipping without the wall first. This way you can concentrate on perfecting the flip. We will add the wall later. So, what makes a good flip?

a.) chin tucked on your chest
b.) smooth motion
c.) knees brought to your chest
d.) breath holding

To start, you can imagine doing a somersault in the water. Give it a slow push off the bottom, tuck that chin to your chest, and slowly roll forward with your knees pressed to your chest. To help you with that, you can use two kickboards. Place them next to you (one on each side), place the palms of your hands on top of them and use them as levers when you are flipping. When starting the flip you can be ducked in the water, so only your head is showing and the push of the bottom should not be too strong, as Happy Gilmore said: "Just tap it in" :). When the flip is finished, you should end up in the same position you started (standing on the bottom).

Now that you can do it with a push off the bottom, let's try it starting from a freestyle floating position. So, you are floating forward on your stomach, eyes are on the bottom, arms are in front of you. Slowly move both arms toward your hips (like you are doing butterfly) at the same time roll your chin to your chest and then start adding the knees toward the chest as well. Once you manage to smoothly flip, you will end up floating on your back, just in the opposite way from what you started :).

You probably ask yourself, what do I do with my arms? Well, this is the tricky part. Your arms help you flip over, but then we need to get them above our head again, so when you are flipping in the tightly formed ball (chin and knees on chest) and you are almost on the position on your back, you slowly unroll the ball and move your arms and feet apart into a streamlined position.

In the next lesson we will add the wall and a few tricks to make your flip an efficient work of art. Have fun.
Be seen, keep your stuff dry and take a break when needed.


Anonymous said...

Is it possible to flip without a nose clip. Every time I try to do it without my nose clip , the water goes up my nose making me very uncomfortable

swimator said...

Yes, it is possible to flip without a nose clip. Try slowly letting bubbles out of your nose, in other words exhale through your nose. Keep practicing. You will get it eventually.

Anonymous said...

Thank you
I will try it.

Anonymous said...

Try humming, mouth closed...air will go out your nose and no water will go in.

Libor J said...

Thanks for the comment. You can also try this.