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It’s difficult trying to figure out how to flip turn on your own. Most people who begin swimming as an adult will never learn the correct way to flip turn simply because they never get taught. They go through trial and error but never seem to be able to ‘nail’ the freestyle turn correctly. There is one big mistake 90% of swimmers make when doing a turn.

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Most swimmers will use their arms to help them flip over in their turn. As they approach the wall they put their arms in front of their head and ‘scoop’ the water in a circular motion to initiate the flip. This not only slows down their momentum but it places their arms in the wrong position before pushing off the wall. A swimmer will need to overcome a lot of resistance to get their arms into the streamline position before pushing off.

The correct way to do a freestyle turn is to bring both arms to your side after taking your last stroke. Your arms will then remain by your side as you drop your head and put your chin to your chest and perform a dolphin kick to help initiate the ‘flip’ motion. As your body is performing the flip motion, your arms will stay in the same position as when you begun the flip motion and they will go into streamline position. As your feet hit the wall shoulder width apart, your upper body will be straight and streamlined with the hands together, and your legs will be bent at the knees ready to push off. At this stage you should be on your back or slightly rotated to a maximum of 45 degrees. As you push off the wall begin your rotation to your front as you perform dolphin kick off the wall or go back into your freestyle stroke.

The most important thing is to avoid using your arms to flip over, instead keep your arms by your side as your body flips. Your arms should then remain where they were when you begun your flip, and then they will be able to go straight into streamline position as you hit the wall

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