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Here’s where we’re headed in teaching the Back-to-Breast Open Turn.

This is the simplest of the back-to-breast turns, and I like to teach it with a 5-step progression.

Step #1: Approach and Touch
Step #1 is The Approach and Touch. Approach the wall like you would for a backstroke finish except that when you touch the wall... you should place the hand palm down on the gutter.

Touch and freeze with your hand palm down. The other arm is extended and by the side. Your head is straight and lined up and your eyes are looking at the shoulder that’s away from the wall.

Here it is at normal speed, and we’ll stop it at the touch.

Step #2: Touch and Ready Position
At the touch, your palm is down and you actually grasp the lip of the pool.

Without moving your shoulders, go into ready position, like this.

Do this by tucking the legs, drawing up the knees, and placing your feet on the wall.

Right after the knees begin to tuck, spin your head... from looking at one shoulder... to looking at the shoulder near the wall. As you spin your head, think chin. Simply move your chin from one shoulder to the other, without moving your shoulders or changing their alignment to the wall.

Plant your feet on the wall with legs, knees, and feet parallel and toes pointed to the side and slightly up.

Your free arm, which was back at the hip when you touched the wall, bends at90 degrees and points toward the other wall as you scull upward with the palm. You are now in the official ready position.

Step #3: Ready Position and Go!
After you touch the wall and get to the ready position, check your position. Are your head, shoulders, hands, legs, knees, and feet in the correct position?

Make your adjustments, then go. Simply push off from the ready position. Use your free hand to push up on the water. This helps you to drop the upper body and head under water for push-off.

The hands meet under water and above your head, and match up for streamline. Extend your arms to a complete streamline right before your feet leave the wall.

Step #4: Back-to-Breast Open Turn without Pausing
In Step #4, try the back-to-breast open turn without pausing. Go right through the ready position but with one major difference: Let go of the wall before your feet touch the wall.

Step #5: The Other Hand
Once you can do the back-to-breast open turn on one side, practice all the steps on the other side. You never know arm will take the last stroke, so you need to be comfortable on both sides.