This post is courtesy of Abbie Fish of RITTER Sports Performance. From qualifying for the Olympic Trials to working at USA Swimming’s headquarters, Abbie has been on all sides of swimming. Abbie is a stroke mechanics guru and believes anyone with the heart to train can benefit from technical advice! [CLICK HERE] for a FREE stroke technique lesson from Coach Abbie!

Perfecting your open turns is a definite must for all swimmers. Whether you’re at the developmental level, an IMer, and/or performing kick sets with a board at practice—knowing how to get your body into an optimum position, after finishing with a hand touch is crucial to fast swimming. In our next series, we will breaking down the Open Turn very similar to our Flipturn Series to help you improve your turn!

Let’s get started

Just like the Flipturn, the Open Turn has 3 parts:

  1. The Setup
  2. The Crunch
  3. The Push-Off

All of these movements must be performed well and sequentially, or swimmers will significantly slow down.

Open Turn versus FlipTurn

The main difference between an Open Turn and FlipTurn is that the swimmer’s speed goes to zero sooner during an Open Turn than a Flipturn.

In a Flipturn, the swimmers perform a somersault, which if done correctly—they carry their (swim) speed through the flip and their speed doesn’t hit zero until their feet plant on the wall. An Open Turn is completely opposite.

During an Open Turn, a swimmers speed will hit zero at the hand touch—which is a lot SOONER than a Flipturn. While some of the swimmer’s speed may help carry the rest of their body towards the wall (after the hand touch), they are no longer progressing forward in the pool and forward velocity has stopped.

With knowing this main difference, it’s really important for swimmers to set up their Open Turns well and here’s how you do that:

Know Your Stroke Count

When approaching the wall for an Open Turn, swimmers should have an idea of their stroke count from the flags in. Just like a Backstroke turn, it’s important for a swimmer to feel confident they can hit they wall with an arm’s distance away—instead of jamming, diving under, or gliding into the turn.

Knowing your stroke count takes practice and practice of all different speed levels. So when they’re in a meet environment, they know how to adjust their stroke to hit the wall perfectly—every time.

Don’t Breathe on Your Last Stroke

How many times have you heard your coach say this? Probably way too many—and that’s because it matters!

By keeping your head down, you’re keeping your speed up as high as possible into the wall and keep your body alignment at a better angle.

If you lift your head right before the wall, your hips drop down towards the bottom. This causes you to pull the legs up and forward—instead of just forward when the hands hit. The result of this causes a much higher increase in drag!


Learn more from A3 Performance Partners Abbie Fish and Ritter Sports Performance on Social Media:

Open Turns The Approach @Abbie Fish & @Ritter Sports Performance
Open Turns The Approach  @afish1 & @rittersp
Open Turns The Approach  @theafish1 & @rittersp
Open Turns The Approach Open Turns The Approach Open Turns The Approach
July 05, 2018 — A3 Performance

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