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    Ulrich Ringleb 11.09.2021 14:13
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Turns are either your friend or enemy. Many swimmers have dismal turns and think flipping faster and pushing off faster are the answer. Contrary to popular belief, a longer contact time improves push-off speed (Tourny-Chollet 2002). By longer contact time, we're not talking about taking 3 breaths of air at the end of a 200 fly turn, but properly absorbing and transferring energy through the turn. Too often swimmers concentrate on pushing off the wall fast, inadequately absorbing the force into the turn.

Similar to a start, reaction time is a minimal piece of the turn equation. Each turn is like a plyometric squat jump. If a swimmer attempts to push-off the wall once their feet hit their wall, it is unlikely they are using their stretch-shortening cycle to enhance the speed of the push-off. Sure, pushing off fast will improve turning time, but what you do off the wall is most important. Make sure you aren't stiff legging your turns, absorb the shock, and transfer energy in the opposite direction.

References Tourny-Chollet C, Chollet D, Hogie S, Papparodopoulos C.  Kinematic analysis of butterfly turns of international and national swimmers. J Sports Sci. 2002 May;20(5):383-90.

By G. John Mullen founder of the Center of Optimal Restoration, head strength coach at Santa Clara Swim Club, and creator the Swimmer's Shoulder System.

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