How To Flip Turn | Freestyle Swimming Tips For Beginners


– The flip turn, or tumble
turn as some of us know it, has been causing frustration for swimmers and triatheletes for many years. – Yeah and it’s hardly surprising,
I mean you are flipping yourself upside down, under water. You can get disorientated,
water up your nose, misjudge your distance
from the wall, all sorts. So I think it’s about
time we helped you out. – Yeah, I mean doing a correct flip turn can seriously benefit your swimming so today we’re gonna be talking
about the advantages of it but more importantly
we’re gonna be showing you how to perform the perfect flip turn. (chill electronic music) (electronic whirring) – Okay so we want to break
the flip turn down into steps. So firstly we want to focus
on building our confidence. So for this we’re gonna
do this away from the wall and in the deep water and
that way we can practise and get used to doing
a 360 degree somersault without the worry of
colliding with anything. For this we’re going to lie horizontal in the water or as best as you can. To start the flip movement,
just pull forwards ever so slightly to give
yourself a little momentum. Then, draw your nose and
chin towards your chest and by doing this your
head will actually direct your body and begin that rotation. It’s at this point that
you should bring your knees into your chest as tight as possible. By being in this compact position, it will make the flip a lot
easier and a lot quicker. Once you’re at that point and
you’re feeling more brave, you can gradually begin
moving closer to the wall. You still don’t need to touch the wall but it’s a great way to increase your spacial awareness and
confidence of the skill. (chill electronic beats) – As you get closer to the wall, it does require an
element of timing because if you turn too soon
then you’re gonna miss it or if you’re too close
you’re going to collide. As a rough guide, when
you’re coming into the wall and your head passes the T
on the bottom of the pool, you’ve got one or two strokes before you have to initiate that flip turn. Obviously it does vary
depending on your stroke length, the speed that you’re
coming into the wall, and some pools can be
a little bit different, so it’s important you
practise it to dial it in. That’s where the handy T marker comes in. Most swimming pools will
have them, it’s that T shape you can see on the bottom of
the floor of the swimming pool as you’re approaching the wall. As you take your second from last stroke, finish your stroke and leave
your hand by your side. Now lead with the other arm
so you go into the turn. Tuck your head in, as we’ve
practised, and curl into a ball. If you’ve got your timing
right, you should plant your feet nicely on
the wall, side by side, with your legs bent as
those you’re sat in a chair. Do it correctly and your
face is going to be facing the ceiling, about a foot
below the surface of the water, so make sure you continue to
blow bubbles out of your nose and once you’re ready to progress, you can move your feet
to a 45 degree angle so you’re ready to push off that bit easier. – Now that our feet are on the wall, to start preparing for
that push off the wall. So start by bringing your hands together in a streamlined position above your head. If you’ve managed to lead with one arm whilst keeping the other by your side, you should just be able to slide the trailing arm up to
meet that leading hand. Now, push yourself off of the wall and begin turning yourself to face the bottom of the pool, face down. It’s important you maintain
that streamline position to make yourself as
hydrodynamic as possible through the water whilst breaking into a butterfly or freestyle leg
kick to maintain your momentum. As your head breaks the
surface, this is the point that you should take your first stroke and obviously you’ll be wanting to take a breath at this point but to really hold your
speed off of the wall and off of that turn, you
should maybe consider trying to hold your breath for one
or two strokes off the wall. Now this does take a bit of practise, so just build up to this with time. – Now if you’re a
triathlete watching this, you might be wondering
whether it’s worth using your valuable time to
actually perfect the flip turn and it’s something that
we get asked all the time cause obviously in an open
water race, you don’t need it. – Yeah but flip turns can be really useful for training, I mean a touch turn is, well you’re basically
braking, you’re slowing down, and interrupting the flow of your session whereas with a flip turn,
well it keeps that flow going and also helps to improve
your breath control. – Yeah and then, again, if
you want to swim with swimmers who actually do good flip turns, you’ll find that you’ll get left behind. So it does make quite a big difference. We’re gonna prove this. Mark and I are gonna do a little versus. Mark’s gonna do a touch turn,
I’m gonna do a flip turn, and we’re gonna see who’s quicker. – Okay, we’re gonna start
10 metres out from the wall. We’re going to approach,
or try to approach at the same speed and see
who comes out quicker. Let’s go then. (upbeat rock music) – Right, well, for fairness, I think we should flip this round now so– (Heather sighing) I’m gonna do a flip turn and Heather’s going to do a touch turn. – Oh god. (upbeat rock music) Well, that was pretty conclusive and whether you want to learn
a flip turn for performance or purely because it’s something
you’ve always wanted to do, it’s obvious that it is quicker. – Yeah and I’d actually say that flip turn is actually easier
once you’ve got the hang of it. – Oh, massively. – Yeah, well if you like this video, hit that thumbs up button and if you’d like to see more videos from GTN, just click on the globe and subscribe. And if you’d like to
see our how to breathe while swimming video,
just click down here. – And if you want to see our top five essential swim skills to
master, that’s just here.

96 comments

  1. When i tried tuck in my head, the water went into my nose, it felt so bad and terrible. Any suggest? Hehe thankyou

  2. Does anyone else have problems with water going into your ears? As a kid l never had any problems, but now in my 40's l can't swim without earplugs. When practicing for a specific distance race, should l add more lengths because of the push off giving me a little extra help on how far l don't have to use my stroke? Thanks for the excellent tips Heather and Mark and thanks to the crew who always do an excellent job. Your channel is my number one for all things triathlon. When are you going to start selling tri suits with the GTN logo by the way?😁

  3. Thank you so much for showing this video this is my second year on a swim team my first year I couldn’t dive or do a flip turn, but this year which is my second year I can dive now, but still no flip turn. Even though I’m on a swim team I still like triathlons better.

  4. You don't say anything about the breathing coming into the turn! This is where I mainly struggle….I can flip turn when swimming easy pace, but at full pelt I need to breath, so how do i do it? Do I just need to sacrifice that last breath and get used to it?

  5. Have look 2 time's…. Didn't hear a think the first time…
    Damm Heather you look fine 😍

    Good video's 👍 and nice to see Mark is working for a chance 😉

  6. I can do tumbles on my own but when i train with groups i cant or dont tumble as there is always someone behind me that i wll push off into. How do you solve this problem?

  7. Should the swimmer finish the flip facing the ceiling, or should they be rolled about the head-to-toe axis in anticipation of completing the roll into a face-down swimming position?
    When I do a flip turn, I usually finish the flip with a roll angle of about 45 degrees rather than facing the ceiling. This might be a good thing because it reduces the angle through which I need to roll to get into a face-down swimming position; however, all the step-by-step videos of flip turns that I've seen show the swimmer facing the ceiling after the flip. This seems to be the case for the step-by-step portion of your video, but the portions of the video that show you two swimming in earnest show your bodies rolled about 45 degrees after the flip.

  8. I feel very dizzy when flipturning in the water. I could literally vomit into the pool, honest. Is there a way to train the equilibrium?

  9. after I flip I turn right back to face down position. Having my head up and seeing surface of the water makes me dizzy and I cannot judge how deep under the surface I am. Sometimes I dive deeper after flip and when I think I am just under the surface I try to pull my arm for catch and there is nothing to catch just deep water  🙂 . I think it takes practice and practice and practice.

  10. I actually beat a lot of local triathletes in races and i don't use the flipturn.. dont need it for open water.. we are not swimmers, cyclists nor runners we are triathletes

  11. Thanks to both of you, for another great video. I will see if I can master this in the next few months. I suppose its the best time of year to try this. last time I tried I gave up, as I was going to deep after turning. Was I doing something wrong?

  12. I can't go upside down in the water without feeling extremely nauseous – so will stick with my touch turns. I am never going to be an expert pool swimmer.

  13. for a beginner your feet should be slightly separated and more advanced swimmers they will be almost shoulder width

  14. I have just looked for a video to get some tips on how to improve my flip turns a couple of days ago! You GTN read in my mind!!

  15. I actually don't like rotating when planting my feet. You get far greater stability and a stronger push by remainig totally parallel with the floor and then rolling over after the push off (don't do this in IM swimming thoug, you'll be DQ'd)

  16. Hi, swimming junkie here. I just wanted to say you're missing a few steps to explain, like your butterfly kick before you do your somersault at around 1:10. And starting with your arms in front is counter productive towards the motion you set with your butterfly kick.

  17. Hello, guys! Thank you for another nice video! I love your way of teaching and generally the atmosphere in your videos, have seen almost all of those about swimming. Keep up the great work and have great races!

  18. How advanced should I be before trying it. I only know how to swim chest, freestyle and back. Can I start practicing the flip turn?

  19. Thanks guys !! I always wanted to do it. Will try it today. Though have failed miserably plenty of times before ! Of all the other reasons I believe flip turn looks very stylish as a swimmer 😎

  20. Anyone else have issues with getting dizzy whilst practising flip turn? After trying a few I start to feel dizzy and sick. Any tips to overcome this…such as where to focus etc?

  21. I cant do this for nothing in the world. I always end up on a bad angle, scape floor, shoot water up my nose..lol Seems like my legs get suck or something.

  22. you missed the biggest issue people have is taking a breathe before initiating the turn and blow air out through the nose

  23. Appreciate the video. I swim as part of my fitness routine- a mile at minimum and have been trying to figure out the flip turn because of its efficiency. I’ve watched other videos and made many failed attempts. I appreciate the tidbit about feet at a 45 degree angle. That is what was happening and I shoot off face down. Many videos have swimmers staying face up and that was where I struggled. The pool is shallow at the ends and I’d crash I to the bottom. This works for me! It does take time to get the breathing, but worth it. Thanks.

  24. You don't comment about the bicep curl you do before your feet hit the wall… Just about every one does it, and it does help accelerate you through the flip. Also, I have yet to see any one talk about 'getting under the backwash' which is all the water that you drag/pull into the wall with you before you turn. Phelps is a master of this and he goes down a meter or so below the surface of the water…

  25. I am on swim team and I've had the hardest time learning the flip turn. But the most part of this I kind of panic and then breath up and then i flip…and i actually ended up choking really really really bad. and i couldn't breathe

  26. This is good one… But all pools doesn't have those T marks. How to figure when to flip turn in pools not having T marks?

  27. I was once good at these,but last week I tried one,I'm guessing I went into it too fast and got pretty bad vertigo and left the pool shortly after,any tips to avoid the vertigo?

  28. My phobia is I'm SO SCARED I'm going to hit the wall with my head! Also when I do the flip I feel like i'm almost out of breath…Even if I've just breathed!!

  29. You didn't stress on the importance of breathing out while doing the turn, else most beginners would just load a bagful of water in their lungs ! 😂

  30. Thanks for the Videos! I've been training for my first TRI and I'm so excited! Thank you for all ya'll do!

  31. You know what i always wonder? That i know how to do a flip and a handstand in the water but not on land…..

  32. how do you guys recommend avoiding that nasty, stinging sensation of getting water in your nose while turning? Seems every time I flip underwater and I'm inverted, I get a ton of water in my nose. Is there a technique to avoid this?

  33. I use to compete as a kid and learned to do them at a very young age. Now, decades later, I swim laps for fitness and stopped doing them as I never got the breathing right. Water always go up my nose 🙁

  34. i would suggest u do a bow on dry land wif your chin touching yur chest for a start…then go to the water and do the same…don't look anywhere else

  35. I love the way how every single flip turn video or swimming forum or swimming coach simply refuses to talk about THE MOST IMPORTANT ability regarding flip turns and swimming itself: balancing air pressure in the nose… (no water goes in, no air comes out) The only thing that grants you be comfortable underwater… If you cannot shrink your nostrils / roll up your upper lip / OR closing the soft palate + pushing your tounge against the palatum durum doesn't generate enough pressure to keep water out, then blowing bubbles suck as due to the pressure difference water can slip into your nasal cavity and throat if your bubble stream is not strong enough. Yet if it is strong enough, you tend to waste off your air very fast… I cannot believe and it makes me go through the roof how ignorant everybody is about the importance of the equalization of the nose underwater. Without it, you are definitely fucked…….. It should be taught from the earliest stages of swimming as a little kid or baby develops this skill much easier and faster than an adult due to the improving neural system and if it is learnt once, the ability becomes a reflex and stays with the person all his/her life and they never have to worry about getting water up their noses as it becomes fully automatic that the pressure gets evened out in every possible position underwater… Which means flips turns and inverted underwater SDKs become a piece of cake as one doesn't have to worry about getting water up his/her nose… This ability has nothing to do with anatomy, as the human nose keeps changing in structure inside-out ALL your life, and it changes the most till the age of 16-18… This ability is central neural system based and if not taught during childhood, there is a possibility that one can NEVER develop this skill as an adult. I am freaking 29 years old, learnt to swim as a child and my idiot swimming instructor taught me to blow bubbles instead of balancing air pressure FFS. And I've been practicing this crap for 6 months now etc, yet still cannot do it! The lack of this ability brings too much misery into a person's life who loves being underwater that it is absolutely unacceptable that there are no discussions going on about this etc….

  36. When I do the turn my head hurts really bad and I feel dizzy. Do you know why ? And how to fix this problem? Thanks!

  37. This is actually helpful, as a swimmer myself I find this very helpful cause I’m not the greatest at flip turns 😅, and watching how you guys do it definitely helps, THXSSS

  38. This is actually helpful, as a swimmer myself I find this very helpful cause I’m not the greatest at flip turns 😅, and watching how you guys do it definitely helps, THXSSS

  39. The one thing I never hear on any of the flip turn videos is about any exhaling during the turn. I find if I don't breath out of my nose during the flip, the water pushes into my sinuses, which hurts.

  40. I always end up twisting my body near the ending of the turn, and I never get to completely roll over and push myself off the wall. My legs move to the side, and I twist my body. 🙁

  41. i used to be on a swim team as a teen and used to do these like its nothing i still can but have a fear of slamming my head into the wall so i keep getting my distance wrong

  42. Freakish! I was wondering to do this and low and behold you upload this gem once again thanks. I will of cause endeavour to do this and learn this in my next session

  43. I have one question I've been wondering ever since I went to the pool for the first time!
    Question: HOW THE FLIP DO YOU GUYS SYNCHRONIZE THE MOVEMENTS WHEN Y'ALL SWIM?? AND HOW CAN Y'ALL SWIM AND HOLD YOUR BREATH WHILE MAKING BIG MOVEMENTS??

    Pls reply 🙂

  44. The most important thing in flip turn is that there is a last dolphin kick to help in a powerful rotation. It may be subconscious for some but its there

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