In swimming, stamina and technique are highly important. But for the longer swims, like a 100m race, the tumble turn can lose or gain seconds off your time, as it can maintain speed and momentum. So, we’ve laid out a few tips to help perfect your tumble turn to knock a few seconds off.
Speed up, not down
A common fear is hitting the wall when performing a tumble turn, so many swimmers slow down. But the real trick is to speed up before the last stroke so there’s plenty of momentum when you glide into the wall.
Timing the turn
This part is personal according to your height and speed, so it may take a few times to perfect. Most swimmers start to somersault once they have passed the ‘T’ line on the pool floor. Before you see your mark, hold out your lead hand out and keep your chin down to stay streamline through the glide.
Tuck and roll
As you finish gliding, your back hand stays by your side, then bring down your lead hand and tuck your body into a small ball-like shape. Your knees should almost be touching your chin here.
As you flip yourself over, your hips will slightly come out of the water, and the momentum will carry the rest of your body over.
Spring off the wall
This part can give you a good boost as you can use the wall for extra power. So, it’s crucial to make sure your feet are in full contact with the wall.
Your knees should be bent right up, and your arms should shoot back up above your head, then spring forward, like a horizontal jump. While pushing off the wall, your body will also naturally twist around (unless you’re doing backstroke).
Glide and kick
Before you start to lose power through the glide, perform around 3-5 strong butterfly kicks while you’re still under the water to propel you forward. It is important to keep your body streamline here.
Break through the water
Then you’ll start to float upwards, and here you want to break through the water with your first stroke of the lap. If possible, avoid breathing on the first stroke to maintain speed. Then continue with your race rhythm.
If you’re a beginner, practice tumble turns as a drill by themselves, then as you become confident develop your timing and momentum during multiple laps. You’ll start to get the hang of them, and soon enough you’ll be able to apply more power each time.
To learn more skills, have a look at a swimming camp for the school holidays!