Turns - Plant Your Feet

Apr 21, 2009
Turns - Plant Your Feet

Turns can make or break any race, so having REALLY fast turns is extremely important to competitive swimmers. Some swimmers, however, focus so much on spinning around QUICKLY, that they sometimes place their feet too high -- or too low -- on the wall. When they plant the feet too low, it's usually because they can't WAIT to push off and start swimming again. Indeed, planting the feet too low causes the push-off to be too shallow and they HAVE to start swimming right away. But this isn't the most effective use of the wall and turn.

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 - Better have great turns if you're as fast as Jason Lezak!!!

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Other swimmers concentrate SO hard on getting a big, strong, LONG push-off, that they spin around too far, land their feet too high on the wall, and push off too deep. Again, this isn't the most effective use of the wall.

Practicing turns is something that should be done at a specific time in practice, or after practice. Although you'll have plenty of opportunity to work on turns during practice, you can focus more completely if you take a few minutes and do just turns.

Where you plant your feet on the wall is a very important aspect of having great turns, and practicing this early in your career will make proper foot placement instinctual later on.


Why Do It:
Planting your feet in the right spot on the wall allows you to drive off the wall in a direct line toward the other end.   It gives you the greatest speed possible off the wall.

How To Do It:
1. Approach the wall in a smooth swimming fashion, or simply hang on to the wall in a face-down position.

2. Do a regular turn as fast as you can; however, when you feel your feet on the wall...

3. STOP!!! DO NOT PUSH OFF! Look back to see where your feet landed on the wall. Are they too high, or too low for a good pushoff? How will you know? After this slight hesitation to check where they are, push off and see where you go. If you head DOWN, your feet are too high. If you head UP, your feet are too low.

How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Try to spin as quickly as you can, and try not to slow down to concentrate on planting your feet perfectly when you first start this exercise. Thinking too much prior to attempting this the first few times can slow down your rotation. The goal of this drill is to get you used to perfect foot placement at the highest rates of rotation from your body.

Be aggressive as you rotate, and get your feet solidly on the wall to prepare for a solid drive off the wall. Make sure you use your eyes during this drill, because simply feeling it isn't quite enough. Give yourself some "data" by looking at the exact spot at which your feet land on the wall.

Of course, this entire process is explained COMPLETELY on Go Swim Breaststroke Turns & Pullouts DVD

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