How to Flip Turn While Circle Swimming

Flip turning while circle swimming is a bit of an art, requiring a modest amount of awareness of your lanemates, in addition to an understanding of how to do a proper flip turn. When you are sharing the lane with only one or two other swimmers, circle-swimming flip turns are typically less complicated than, say, when you’re sharing the lane with 20 other swimmers in a warm-up pool. In a crowded pool, timing becomes very important. Here’s how you can stay collision-free while practicing your flip turns even when you have to circle swim.


Move to the Middle

As you approach the wall, move over so that you are swimming over the black line.


Hot Tip: Last-Minute Moves

 You’ll have to wait until the last second to move over if your lane is swimming on short “go” intervals (5 seconds, for example), if you are catching up with the swimmer ahead of you, or if the pool is super-crowded. Regardless, DO move to the middle of the lane as you approach the turn, even if it’s in the last instant before your somersault.


This is where the “art” is made: Move over too much and too early, you risk colliding with the swimmer ahead of you who is pushing off the wall. Move over not at all, and you risk running into the swimmer behind you when you are pushing off the wall.

Land Your Feet on the Cross

Once you are in the middle of the lane, execute your flip as you normally would: tuck small, throw your feet straight over the top (Make your feet land on the cross!), and push off on your back as soon as your feet hit the wall.

Push off at an Angle

Finish your turn by pushing off ever-so-slightly at an angle so that you are not swimming back in the middle of the lane.

Here too, there’s a bit of “art” involved: depending on how fast the swimmer in front of you is, you may not be able to blast of the wall at full power. That said, linger on the wall too long, and the swimmer behind you might turn on top of you.

Keep Practicing

Circle swimming and flip turns are completely compatible, and if you can master the art, you’ll actually get more out of swimming in a crowded lane. In the end, it comes down to this: Be aware, move predictably, and turn in the middle of the lane. Practice this consistently and you will be swimming in circles like a pro!

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