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Problem with Backstroke Flip Turn

QUESTION:

Hi Gary,  I need help with my backstroke flip turn, I normally swim a good backstroke but my problem with this stroke is the flip turn, once I perform it I lose momentum and speed and I end up messing my remaining laps of the set I am doing.

My problem is getting water after I perform the flip turn, I blow bubbles from my nose when I perform the flip turn with no issues but once I am on my back and ready to push off, I get water in my nose and I just can’t continue blowing bubbles and the rest of my transition is affected by this.

I would really appreciate you giving me a good advice for my backstroke flip turn.

Thanks Oscar

ANSWER:

Hi Oscar,

Your problem with water going up your nose as you push off the wall after a backstroke turn is not uncommon.  In fact it was one of the only problems I had when I swam competitively.

I have two possible solutions for you.  The first is to take in a deeper breath as you take the last stroke before the backstroke flip turn and then blow out very slowly, only through your nose, as you do the flip turn and push off.  There should still be a lot of air in your lungs as you begin your dolphin kicks underwater and you can gradually blow air out of your nose a little bit harder as you begin the dolphin kicks.  This takes practice in training and can be very affective as you get better at it.

Secondly, some backstroke swimmers train with a nose clip which ensures that no water gets up your nose when doing a backstroke turn and fly kick underwater on your back.  I tried this for a number of years and while it worked really well in training, I found the nose clip to restrictive for my breathing in a race and subsequently raced without a nose clip and at times ended up with water up my nose!

Regards

Gary

The Swimming Expert



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