Swimming is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels. When able to swim effectively and efficiently, you want to gradually increase your swim distance to build up your endurance. Swimming in pools limits swimmers from swimming longer distances without stopping. A way around this issue would be incorporating flip turns into the swim workouts.
Use a flip turn when swimming freestyle or backstroke towards a wall to reduce stopping by swinging the legs over to allow for a quick and immediate push off. In this new series, we will break down the steps to effectively learn to incorporate flip turns into your swims.
Learning somersaults in the water is the first step in mastering the flip turn. Though it seems like a simple skill, it’s an essential step to master as we progress further. The best way to get comfortable doing somersaults in the water is by starting on land on a soft or matted area. Once comfortable, the next step would be to do them in the water.
From a standing position, do a small jump to get started while engaging the core, tuck into a tight ball with the knees and chin to the chest and the heels to the butt. Don’t forget to blow bubbles as you’re in motion. After completing a full rotation, you want to stand back up and face the same direction and spot you started in.
Swimmers will commonly disengage their core when doing somersaults. A great way to get the core used to engaging is by doing exercises such as sit ups. This exercise will also help mimic the startup motion of going into the somersault.
Check out the previous tip series starting with Freestyle Breathing
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By Colyn Ma
Colyn is one of the Aquatic Programmers at MacEwan University Sport and Wellness. He has been with us for over six years and has over 10 years of competitive swimming and coaching experience.