To flip or not to flip...

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Jwolf
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To flip or not to flip...

Postby Jwolf » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:01 pm

Here's another swimming question, but one a bit more relevant than watch or no watch-

Do you do flip turns?

Do you feel they are beneficial in training, even for a triathlete who races mostly in open water?

I can understand doing them if you already know how, but is it worth it for someone who doesn't know how to learn?

I've heard both sides of the coin-- some people say: learn to swim like a swimmer, especially if you are doing group swims/masters groups. Flip turns make you faster and more smooth in the pool, don't give you the benefit of holding on to the wall, so when you go to open water you'll be stronger overall. Other people say since you can't flip turn in open water, you're better off spending your time on your stroke and your swimming.

I've tried learning and failed miserably. I've heard it's sort of like snow-boarding in the learning style--- steep learning curve, but once you get it you just get it. Not sure I should try again. But I think the group I want to join in Sunday will teach them-- it's a group of mostly triathletes, so not everyone does them.
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Re: To flip or not to flip...

Postby Mark.AU » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:14 pm

Jwolf wrote:Do you do flip turns?
Do you feel they are beneficial in training, even for a triathlete who races mostly in open water?
I can understand doing them if you already know how, but is it worth it for someone who doesn't know how to learn?

Strictly in terms of triathlon training;
No.
No, not really.
No, but it's a good thing to know how to do as it improves your "craft".

Flip turns very definitely give as much benefit as holding on to the wall as there's an even more effective push off at the end of the flip.

It's a circle argument; purists will always argue for flip turns and pragmatists will argue it doesn't really matter. I'm a pragmatist.
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marymac442
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Re: To flip or not to flip...

Postby marymac442 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:40 pm

Jwolf wrote:Here's another swimming question, but one a bit more relevant than watch or no watch-

Do you do flip turns?

Do you feel they are beneficial in training, even for a triathlete who races mostly in open water?

I can understand doing them if you already know how, but is it worth it for someone who doesn't know how to learn?

I've heard both sides of the coin-- some people say: learn to swim like a swimmer, especially if you are doing group swims/masters groups. Flip turns make you faster and more smooth in the pool, don't give you the benefit of holding on to the wall, so when you go to open water you'll be stronger overall. Other people say since you can't flip turn in open water, you're better off spending your time on your stroke and your swimming.

I've tried learning and failed miserably. I've heard it's sort of like snow-boarding in the learning style--- steep learning curve, but once you get it you just get it. Not sure I should try again. But I think the group I want to join in Sunday will teach them-- it's a group of mostly triathletes, so not everyone does them.


I don't do flip turns and I don't remember anyone in any of the clinics doing them either.

My few feeble attempts at learning flip turns back in ancient history when I swam with a masters club were so painful that I have no desire to repeat the experience. I have enough problems with maintaining my breathing during swimming, I don't need to add a head full of water to the mix.

I just do a touch - turn, no hanging on the wall unless there is a break prescribed, as Mark said there is a definite benefit from the push off the wall. Of course, with a badly timed flip turn that benefit can be lost (ie missing the wall :) ).
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Re: To flip or not to flip...

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:37 pm

My coach teaches them and encourages them, but I don't use them in practice. In the faster lanes of our masters group, I'd say the majority use them. In the middle lanes, some do, most don't. In the slowest lanes, no one does. To note, the faster lanes have the most true swimmers in them, more triathletes as you move down the lanes.
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Re: To flip or not to flip...

Postby carm » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:28 pm

I don't flip but do an open turn and then push off. It's a pretty quick turn-over but obviously not as fast as a flip. During a quiet weekend group swim, Coach taught a few of us. I kind of figured it out but took a sinus blow from the chlorinated water during my first attempt. Phew! I think that better gains can be made by improving the mechanics of your stroke and swimming more. I swam my best (1:55/100m) when I swam 3 quality swims a week. At 1 quality swim now (sigh!), I'm down to a 2:15/100m.
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La
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Re: To flip or not to flip...

Postby La » Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:12 pm

I used to do them when I was in masters swim, but could only do them if I was wearing a nose plug (which I wore because I found that if I didn't I'd be stuffed up and sneezing all day due to the chlorine, but that's a different discussion). I continued doing them for a time after I left masters, but after I had a run-in with another swimmer* I stopped doing them during public swim. And since I haven't done masters since then, I no longer do flip turns.

*She was wearing fins, obviously going much faster than I was, and when she tried to pass me at the wall (she was not doing flip turns) I came up after my flip and she was right on top of me (my head hit her in the stomach).

Personally, I only see benefit in doing them if you're in a situation where everyone else in your lane is also doing them. As others described, I'm pretty efficient at making a turn at the wall without flipping. I don't hold on - just touch, turn, push off.
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To flip or not to flip...

Postby Jwolf » Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:40 pm

Thanks everyone.

To be clear I don't hold on and stop either- and I think I turn and push off pretty efficiently. But one of the arguments I read in favour of learning flip turns was that even if you don't stop you are still getting some benefit from touching the wall.

I guess I don't really buy it either (unless I were to get really efficient at flip-turning).

I know at least one triathlete who posts here is in favour of learning flip turns, but he hasn't answered. So so far 5-0. :)
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Re: To flip or not to flip...

Postby eme » Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:05 pm

I don't flip, even though I know how.

Not worth my effort, especially when I am sharing lanes at the Base pool as the skill level varies greatly.

A quick touch/push off works just fine for me.

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Re: To flip or not to flip...

Postby MINITEE » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:29 am

Another vote for touch/push off camp.

I "tried" to learn how to do flip turns a few summers ago, but after the multiple sinus cavities full of chlorinated water and my lack of ability to time it just right so I actually flip so I can push off of the wall, I gave up.

It's just as easy and more efficient for me to touch quickly and push off.
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Re: To flip or not to flip...

Postby Wu wei » Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:05 pm

Jwolf wrote:I know at least one triathlete who posts here is in favour of learning flip turns, but he hasn't answered. So so far 5-0. :)


Who would that be? 8)
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Re: To flip or not to flip...

Postby turd ferguson » Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:42 pm

Swimming with flip turns make you a stronger swimmer the same way that running with the wind makes you a stronger runner
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Re: To flip or not to flip...

Postby Wu wei » Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:45 pm

turd ferguson wrote:Swimming with flip turns make you a stronger swimmer the same way that running with the wind makes you a stronger runner


Swimming with flip turns is like running 400m on a track vs running 200m, turning around and running 200m back.
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Re: To flip or not to flip...

Postby turd ferguson » Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:50 pm

Wu wei wrote:
turd ferguson wrote:Swimming with flip turns make you a stronger swimmer the same way that running with the wind makes you a stronger runner


Swimming with flip turns is like running 400m on a track vs running 200m, turning around and running 200m back.


Are there starting blocks at the turnaround?
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Re: To flip or not to flip...

Postby Wu wei » Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:55 pm

turd ferguson wrote:
Wu wei wrote:
turd ferguson wrote:Swimming with flip turns make you a stronger swimmer the same way that running with the wind makes you a stronger runner


Swimming with flip turns is like running 400m on a track vs running 200m, turning around and running 200m back.


Are there starting blocks at the turnaround?


Let's go with a pylon. Or witches hat if you're in Australia.
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Re: To flip or not to flip...

Postby Jwolf » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:44 am

Wu wei wrote:
turd ferguson wrote:Swimming with flip turns make you a stronger swimmer the same way that running with the wind makes you a stronger runner


Swimming with flip turns is like running 400m on a track vs running 200m, turning around and running 200m back.


And it will make me a stronger swimmer because....??

Please, convince me! :)

I don't agree that open turns are as abrupt a change as stopping after 200m of running and turning around.

And I don't REALLY buy your analogy-- doing flip turns in the pool is sort of like running 200m, then doing a somersault in the air to turn around before running back. It's not as if the flip-turning motion is the same motion as regular swimming, right?

So you're going to need to do better than that! ;)
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