Turns - Open Turn Sequence Step #2

Jan 25, 2008
Turns - Open Turn Sequence Step #2

Here's Step #2 in our 4-step sequence for learning a fast and efficient open turn. Even if you already know how to do open turns and flip turns, this drill is fun and will help improve your breaststroke and butterfly turns.

Why Do It:

In Step #1, you worked on staying low and horizontal as you approached the wall. You learned to fold all the way IN to the wall, rather than use your hand to pull you in and UP.

In Step #2, you'll learn how to get comfortable with falling back and LETTING GO as you turn.

Here's what you're aiming for in an actual open turn.

When we slow it down and freeze-frame it right HERE, you can see that there's one moment in the turn cycle where NOTHING is touching the wall.

Step #2 in our open-turn sequence will help you get comfortable with falling back and letting go.

How to Do It:

Kick gently into the wall with both arms extended. Touch just below the edge, on the flat part of the wall, and collapse IN to the wall, just as you did in Step #1. But this time, as your head is moving toward your hands, draw your legs up and get your feet on the wall.

If you do this correctly, you'll automatically push back with your hands, and there will be a brief moment when NOTHING is touching the wall.

When your feet reach the wall, push off gently on your back with your arms at your sides.

Try this a few times, working on falling directly back and drawing your knees right up to your chest. Stay in a tight ball, and your momentum will carry your feet into the wall.

Once you get the hang of it, try doing the same thing, but with one arm extended and the other arm trailing by your side. Don't fall back into your old habit of spinning to the SIDE. Fall directly back and push off on your back, with both hands at your sides and with your eyes looking directly UP.

Try it with your good arm

Then try it with your less comfortable arm.

Try it until you're totally comfortable with the weightless feeling of spinning, then planting your feet for a solid pushoff on your back.


If you are popping up or your feet are landing on the bottom of the pool rather than on the wall.

it's probably because you are pushing away from the wall as soon as you touch.

Go back to Step #1 and make sure you are collapsing all the way into the wall, so that your head actually touches the wall.

This puts your arms in a good position to push AWAY from the wall, and you will travel directly BACK rather than UP.

If you are collapsing into the wall but are still popping up, try rounding your back as you push away from the wall. You want to feel as if you are curling your shoulders and then unrolling your back one vertebra at a time.

Keep practicing, and stay tuned for Step #3.

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