How to Do a Flip Turn


Lap swimming is one of the best forms of exercise because it combines cardio with water resistance. Plus, it’s easier on the joints. A key component of swimming laps is the flip turn, which allows you to keep moving continuously. We put together a short flip turn tutorial so you can maximize your effectiveness in the water!

Flip Turn Tutorial

If you’ve ever observed competitive swimmers, they have to race against time and, therefore, need to keep moving through the water as quickly as possible. To accomplish this, they perform what is called a flip turn at the end of the lane. They utilize their body’s momentum to push off the wall and get a short burst of speed to move into their next length. Timing and body positioning are key to execute an effective flip turn. So how exactly do you perform a flip turn? Watch our short video tutorial for proper technique on a flip turn for the freestyle swimming stroke.

The general rule is to stop your stroke as you reach the end of the black line. Depending on your height and how long your legs are, the distance between the swimmer and the wall may vary. With lots of practice, you’ll be able to determine where to begin your flip turn approach.

Do you have to be a competitive swimmer to use the flip turn? Absolutely not. Even for a recreational swimmer, the flip turn is an additional way to keep your body moving and your heart pumping. You’ll also get a nice burst of speed off the wall, which will shorten each length considerably.

Note: Every swimming stroke has its own version of turn. Backstroke and freestyle are the only strokes that have flip turns, which vary slightly. Breaststroke and butterfly require swimmers to touch both hands simultaneously on the edge of the pool before turning.

Swimming Pools and Swimming Instructors

If you are looking for a new place to practice your flip turn, visit the experts at Elite Sports Clubs. We have a popular swim club, and our experienced swim instructors welcome all levels to enjoy swim lessons. Check out our swim lessons FAQs or contact an expert at Elite Sports Culbs to learn more about our swim offerings. Enjoy the pool this summer and perfect your flip turn with the Elite Sports Clubs swim lessons.