Slamming ankles on pool gutter when flip turning

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michaelmarshall5030
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Slamming ankles on pool gutter when flip turning

Postby michaelmarshall5030 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:11 pm

Within the last 3 months I started to swim laps for exercise. Initially, I was doing touch turns but within the last month or so I have tried flip turning to keep momentum when doing freestyle. Unfortunately, I have slammed my ankles on the pool gutter multiple times, so tried various drills and approach speeds. With those "tools" I have either continued to slam my ankles or totally missed the wall altogether. I am using the "T" as my reference point but have not had success getting it right. Any insight/advice is appreciated.

Sprinter
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Re: Slamming ankles on pool gutter when flip turning

Postby Sprinter » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:20 pm

I guess the problem is that you are doing the flip turn in an old-fashioned way: keeping the upper body and the legs rather straight, starting the turn at a rather large distance from the wall, and throwing the whole body around. This is not only considered today as relatively slow, but the main point here is the big risk of injury --- in the worst case you ram your shinbones against the edge.

The modern style is the opposite: you turn into a rotating ball, as small as possible, with the knees pressed against the chest, and this really close to the wall. Nothing can happen now to your ankles. You can see this in
http://theraceclub.com/videos/fast-swim ... urns-flip/
which is Part 2 of a four-parts series on the flip-turn (though from a very advanced point of view).

michaelmarshall5030
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Re: Slamming ankles on pool gutter when flip turning

Postby michaelmarshall5030 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:48 pm

Thank you, Ducky and Sprinter for your help. I'll pay attention to what I'm doing to see how I can improve, and I'll update...

michaelmarshall5030
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Re: Slamming ankles on pool gutter when flip turning

Postby michaelmarshall5030 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:38 pm

I thought I could analyze what I was doing while thinking about doing a flip turn, which apparently is not possible; so I asked someone else at the pool to watch what I was doing, then tell me what was not right. I apparently am starting my flip in a tight tuck with my arms straight like a proper flip turn needs to be initiated (shoulders being a point of rotation) but THEN opening up my tuck too early. Instead of making the rotation where my feet are below the surface before touching the wall, I only get 2/3 to 3/4 the way around when I open my tuck. So I knew I needed to go back to the drills that address the tuck position; one drill being doing consecutive somersaults while holding onto a water noodle. We shall see where things go from here.

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Mike A
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Re: Slamming ankles on pool gutter when flip turning

Postby Mike A » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:14 pm

One piece of advice I saw for beginners was to carefully plant both feet flat on the wall before pushing off (rather than rushing into the push-off). I get that this phase is actually after your problem phase, but maybe thinking about a more cautious push-off will reduce the inclination to open up too soon? You shouldn't really open up much until you push off the wall; you will probably find you naturally open up enough to achieve the desired "sitting position" without even think about it.

I must say, I had the opposite problem from you when I first tried flip-turns - I always wanted to turn too far from the wall, and ended up stretching my legs out in search of a wall that wasn't there - resulting on one occasion in very painful cramp in the calves! :lol:
Why not join your SwimSmooth Forum friends at swim.palstani.com

michaelmarshall5030
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Re: Slamming ankles on pool gutter when flip turning

Postby michaelmarshall5030 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:46 pm

Mike A wrote:I must say, I had the opposite problem from you when I first tried flip-turns - I always wanted to turn too far from the wall, and ended up stretching my legs out in search of a wall that wasn't there - resulting on one occasion in very painful cramp in the calves! :lol:


That had part of my struggle as well, because I was overcompensating regarding distance from the wall to some degree to avoid hitting the gutter, even when swimming at different speeds - trying to figure out the ideal speed to approach the wall.

After so many attempts of finding the right distance, I finally figured out that I am to initiate my flip when my eyes are directly over the "T"... It is just a matter of staying in the tuck until the right time, which then the "ah ha" came to me this morning. If I am using the "T" as a reference point, then there has to be a secondary reference point for knowing when to complete the rest of the flip turn. Granted well executed flip turns happen so quickly, finding that reference point every time is going to take practice. I figured out that if I am looking straight up at the surface of the water, I know I am at the right spot to open and push off. Once I figured that out, I nailed a majority of my turns.


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