As a Professional Triathlon Coach and Swim Coach for Vizsla Swim Team, I am often asked why I encourage athletes to perform flip turns when they don’t do them in a triathlon. There are three reasons why flip turns are beneficial for triathletes. First of all, athletes will build endurance. Secondly, athletes will build lung capacity. Third, athletes will swim like swimmers!
When executing flip turns in the pool, athletes are not taking the break at the wall. Flip turns resemble continuous swimming, like in a triathlon, and athletes will build endurance.
Swimmers will take fewer breaths as they are performing flip turns. When swimmers take fewer breaths, they are building lung capacity.
Ask yourself this question: Have you have been swimming in a triathlon, you turn your head to breathe and you cannot take that breath? The reason might be because either water is in your face from a wave or someone is right on top of you. When you build lung capacity, you will be confident enough to put your face back in the water and breathe at a later time without panicking.
I once heard someone say, "If you want to be a better swimmer, you should swim like a swimmer!" I thought that simple statement made a lot of sense. Swimmers do flip turns!
If you are not sure how to execute a flip turn, click here and take a look at this video. It does an excellent job of breaking it down.
I want to encourage all triathletes to practice flip turns in the pool! If you are just starting to practice flip turns, just let your lane-mates know what you are doing and I'm sure they will be understanding and even encouraging!