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Teaching Progressions for Back-to-Breast Turns - Crossover Turns
This swimmer is demonstrating the back-to-breast crossover turn.
This is the most advanced of the back-to-breast turns, so let’s slow it down and look at how how we can learn it with a step-by-step progression.
Step #1: Mid-Pool “Touch”
Start by kicking away from the wall. Kick on your back with one arm extended and pressed against your head and the other arm by your side.
Without changing your arm position, roll toward the arm at your side and stop your roll when you’re looking under water straight across the pool. Balance and kick in this position without rolling past vertical.
Here’s the same move from under water. Roll toward the arm at your side and stop when you’re looking straight across the pool.
Step #2: Mid-Pool Roll
In Step #2, you’re still kicking away from the wall. Once you can balance and kick in the crossover position, continue to roll toward the arm at your side and then immediately do a front flip. As your legs come over, angle your feet to the same side as the extended arm -- the arm that will touch the wall during the actual turn.
Here it is again. Roll... flip... and as the legs come over, angle your feet to the side.
Step #3: Kick to the Wall, Touch, and Flip
In Step #3, you kick toward the wall, with one arm up and one arm at your side.
As you roll to start the crossover, make sure you don’t roll past vertical before your hand touches the wall.
At the touch, put your palm flat on the wall and continue to roll toward the stomach and immediately into your somersault.
Step #4: The Hands
In Step #4, let’s focus on the hands. As you begin to flip, turn the non-contact hand palm down, and push toward the bottom of the pool. This helps bring your head up and into alignment with the body for the push-off.
Watch again for the hand to turn palm down and to push toward the bottom of the pool.
In this next clip, watch the hand that touches the wall. Notice how the swimmer brings it forward to a position above the head as the roll is completed, and in time for a streamline push-off.
Step #5: Swimming Approach and Turn
In Step #5, as you put all the steps together, remember the rule for back-to-breast transition turns: You cannot roll past vertical before your hand touches the wall.
Swim into the wall. As you cross over and reach behind your head with the right arm, you’ll be facing the lane line that was on your left side when you swimming.
When you push off for breaststroke, that lane line will be on your left side.
Step #6: Turn on Each Hand
It’s important to practice this turn on each hand. In a race or during practice, you never know which arm will take the last stroke. So be prepared!