Butterfly Turn

The butterfly turn can make or break your race, especially in short course swimming.  We have seen butterflyers spank the others in the pool only to end up losing the race because their turns were lacking.  So pay attention and practice! 

The turn can be broken down into the following components:

The Approach.  A swimmer's turn does not begin on the wall.  It starts yards before reaching the wall when the swimmer begins to site the wall.  This is where the swimmer is focusing on the wall.  This is also where laziness can really hurt you, because as you are looking at the wall, your mind should start recalculating your stroke length to bring you into the wall at just the right amount of strokes.  If you forget to concentrate on the distance to the wall you may be stuck short-stroking the last stroke or trying to stretch out the last stroke too far--in other words, you'll be caught in between strokes.  And, that is where a huge portion of races are lost. So, to prevent this, site the wall from far away.  

On your last stroke you want to get your body completely stretched out to hit the wall.  You do not, however, want to be gliding into the wall.  Keep your head down to decrease drag and increase reach.  At the end of your stretch you should nail the wall.

The Turn.  Both of your hands should be outstretched in front of you in a streamlined position as you hit the wall.  Do not GRAB the side!  You should place your hands flat on the side of the wall at water level.  You say, "how can I hold on?"  Well, it will take some getting used to, but your your hands should stick due to the forward momentum of your body keeping pressure on your hands and the wall.  As you turn you will continue the pushing with your hands to retain that pressure.

As you touch the wall you will begin tucking your legs to your chest and pulling one of your hands down and back.  Your body should also be pivoting to a 90% angle.  The arm you drop below the surface will be used to rotate and prep your body for the push-off.  Using a sculling motion with your hand and a bicep curl motion with your arm should get you in the right position.  Your upper body should move away from the wall and your lower body toward it, with knees tucked.  Your feet should plant on the wall just below where your hand was.  Your hand that was on the wall should begin passing over your head to get you into a streamlined push-off  position.

At the end of your maneuvering, you should have both feet on the wall (mostly on their toes) and your arms locked in above your head in a streamlined position.  Your overall body position should be at a 90 degree angle with the bottom of the pool.  This means that one of your sides is facing the bottom of the pool and your stomach is facing the side of the pool.  

The Push & Glide.  This is by far the most important area of the breaststroke turn!  As your body gets into the final position, your legs should already be initiating the push-off.  You will push like hell while on your side.  Your body should corkscrew slightly as you glide, getting you closer to your normal swimming position.  Maintain a tight streamline as you begin your dolphin kick.  Make sure to get propulsion from your up and down kick and start your kick with your upper body.

Initiate the first pull to break the surface.  Do not breathe on your first stroke!  



Butterfly Turn 1.8 Kb