Simplify the Back to Breast Turn

Often, we think of the back to breast turn as the most difficult open turn.  It can be very simple.

ALWAYS practice "sink touch push" each time you leave the wall. It is a fundamental technique that will help with every turn.

ALWAYS count your backstroke pulls from the flags to the wall.  When you see the flags directly above your head, you should automatically start counting.

  1. Swim backstroke to the wall (count your strokes) and finish on your side. ("Backstroke Position")  Eyes look up at ceiling.  
  2. Once your hand touches the wall, bring your feet under your body to place them on the wall. ("Sink touch push" position) Eyes should still be looking up.
  3. Sink, touch, and push off the wall into your breaststroke pullout.
You may want to practice at the wall switching from "Backstroke Position" to "Sink Touch Push" position until it feels natural.  When you are ready to speed up, do the following:
  • Kick aggressively into the wall while maintaining high tempo arm pulls.
  • Tighten up your abdominal muscles to drive your feet to the wall as quickly as possible.
  • Ask your coach to time your turn.  We often time kids from the moment the hand touches the wall, until the feet leave the wall.  Many of our swimmers can complete the turn in under one second.