Flip turn

From Openwaterpedia
(Redirected from Tumble turn)
A freestyle flip turn
Michael Phelps breakout after a flip turn

noun - A flip turn (or tumble turn) is a technique of turning at the walls in a swimming pool. The technique is used to reverse the direction in an efficient and quick manner while using the backstroke or freestyle strokes. It is done when the swimmer reaches the end of the swimming pool but still has one or more lengths to swim.

The technique's development is credited by the International Swimming Hall of Fame to University of Texas swim coach Tex Robertson while he was training Adolph Kiefer for the 1936 Olympics. In competition, flip turns are only permitted during the freestyle and backstroke races.

Other strokes

In contrast, open turns are used in the butterfly and breaststroke races where rules require swimmers to touch the end of the pool with both hands simultaneously before turning back for another length.

Ice Swimming

Flip turns and dive starts are prohibited in ice swimming and winter swimming events for safety reasons. Open turns are mandatory in ice swimming and winter swimming competitions.


tumble turn, turn


open turn


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