Kick turns?...

Discussion in 'Cyclocross (CX), Duathlon and Triathlon' started by Maylian, 12 Aug 2012.

  1. Maylian

    Maylian Senior Member

    Location:
    Southampton
    Now I know these aren't really part of triathlons and most pool based swims don't allow them. However as I swim on a daily basis and think I'm a very able swimmer this is the last thing that I really would like to do.

    So do people have any tips on how to do them? I occasionally get the lane to myself and sometimes only a few people in the pool and have practised floundering around doing them. Is it just a case of keep practising or are there any tips people can offer?
     
  2. fimm

    fimm Veteran

    Location:
    Edinburgh
    Do you mean tumble turns, like elite swimmers do? If you go on YouTube there's a series of videos showing steps in learning how to do one. (I can't access YouTube at work so can't find them for you right now.) Or do you mean the sort of turns they do when they don't tumble?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Maylian

    Maylian Senior Member

    Location:
    Southampton
    Yeah tumble turns, I just always called them kick turns. Thanks will have a little look now
     
  4. Tumble turns. Yes - see youtube.
    They are well worth learning, and simpler than they used to be and simpler than they look. Get it right and you will knock a second (at least) off each length.
    The key is to roll straight over, and save the twist onto your front for the kick from the wall.
    As you approach, one arm stays back by the side. The other arm reaches forward and you judge just when to make the last big pull.
    The last arm to pull comes down, and as the body goes over the top, the arms are already pointing where you are going.
    Drop the head onto the chest and, as it were, roll over the top. Use a big dolphin kick to throw the legs over the top. When you get better the legs as high as the thighs will be over the top. To begin with not so much.
    As you begin, come out on your back, and twist back on to your front as you can.
    As you get better you will be able to incorporate the twist earlier.
    The best kick from the wall comes from kicking with the legs already part extended. At first people always turn too close to the wall. You are almost better, at first, getting everything right but hitting the wall. You need to give yourself the space.
    The real speed comes from being properly aligned to bounce straight off the wall.
    Go in fast. Drop your head tight onto the chest. Big dolphin kick over, Get straight before you kick.
    When you are hitting the wall right, you get a lot of free momentum. Make the most of it by best streamlining off the wall, and good kicks before you come to the surface.
    It is all anaerobic. It hurts.
     
    Maylian likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    Maylian

    Maylian Senior Member

    Location:
    Southampton
    Thanks for the hints, I watch the triathlon guys, swim club and some of the more pro looking swimmers busting them out and I've always wanted to learn them
     
  6. Arsen Gere

    Arsen Gere Über Member

    Location:
    North East, UK
    Watch out for the juniors being taught too. They often practice their turns in the middle of the lane so there is no push off, just a change in direction. You can use this yourself when you are stuck behind a slow swimmer, you move across the lane, tumble and carry on ahead of them while they grab the wall, take a breath and push off.
     
  7. That makes sense.
    Another initial drill is to take a pull buoy in each hand. Well away from the wall, swim a stroke or two, kicking hard - do not worry what it looks like - you just need to be moving forward. One arm goes back, and stays there by the thigh, the other arm follows it. Keep them both straight. Now suddenly pull your head down and into your chest very tight, do a big dolphin kick, and roll straight over the top. As you get better you will be able almost to throw the legs over.

    Your arms, hands still holding the buoys, are already pointing in the right direction, and extended. Imagine jumping off the wall.
    The buoys do a couple of things. They demonstrate that arms need play little part in the tumble turn. Finishing the stroke with each arm is all that they do. Second, they keep the arms high in the water so that the push off is in the right direction.
    This will feel quite uncomfortable at first, but you get the logic right. Once you take away the buoys, you can go in with greater speed - easing the throwing over of the legs, and the landing of your feet on the wall allows you to impart some twist off the wall, minimising your time on your back and underwater (water up the nose).

    Good luck, and say how you get on.
     
    Maylian likes this.
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