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How to Do a Flip Turn

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Learn how to perfect the flip turn while swimming backstroke

This advanced swimming technique is key for an efficient, interrupted swim.

The flip turn technique for backstroke differs slightly to when swimming front crawl and breaststroke so make sure you practice it to get right.

Carefree - Gilles B -
Coconut water - Gilles B -
Voice-over by volunteer: Carrie Briffett

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In this video, you will learn how to do a backstroke flip turn and glide. This is similar to a front crawl flip turn, however it is still important to practice as being on your back makes the turn more complex. A good flip turn can improve your speed and performance.

The backstroke flip turn can be split into 5 steps: the approach to the wall, the rotation, the push, the glide and back to the stroke.

Let's start with the approach to the wall.

As you approach the wall, the colour of the floats on the lane markers normally change to a different colour.

When you notice this change, make your final stroke and rotate your head and shoulders to bring yourself onto your front.

Make your last movement in front crawl.

After this, bring both arms down by your sides. You are now in the prone position.

Secondly, the rotation. This movement is similar to the one used in front crawl.

This movement starts with your head.

Tuck your chin in to your chest and curl your body in on itself, bending your legs in.

Keep your arms straight by your sides, hands level with your thighs.

As your feet and calves pass above the surface of the water, bring your arms out in front of you and extend them above your head.

The rotation finishes when you are once again on your back and both feet are touching the wall.

Thirdly: the push-off.

Using your feet for support, bend your legs and keep your body aligned.

Keep your arms straight and extended behind your head, aligned with your body, your hands and wrists on top of each other.

Push forcefully with your legs to set off again.

keep your chin tucked in to your chest

Step number four, the glide.

Keep your arms straight and parallel to the surface.

Glide along on your back underneath the surface of the water at a depth of about 50cm, thanks to the propulsion generated by your legs

The fifth and final step is returning to the backstroke.

Kick a few times with your legs.

Remember to exhale through your nose.

Once you reach the surface, begin your arm strokes again.

Remember that a good flip turn will allow you to glide for about 5 metres. Regular training will help make the links more natural without disrupting your swimming. Over to you!


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