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One of the best ways to improve your turning speed for open turns is the Tuck-and-Back-Spin Drill. Here’s the entire drill at full speed.

In slow motion it looks like this... and now let’s break it down into steps.

Step #1: Mid-Pool Float
Start by floating face down with arms extended and shoulder-width apart. Keep your legs straight and together. Balance in this position to get ready for the move.

Step #2: Knees to Chest, Small Ball, Chin Down, Hand to Knees
For Step #2, start by floating face down. Draw your knees quickly up to the chest. At the same time, bring your hands to your knees and keep your chin down.

Round the back, and get into a really tight ball. If you stay nice and tight, momentum will take care of the rest.

Let’s watch it from under water. Float face down. Quickly draw your knees up and send your hands to your knees. Tuck the chin, stay small... and let momentum carry you around.

Step #3: Keep Rolling
Let your momentum carry you back into a complete back somersault. Come all the way around and complete at least one revolution.

Keep your chin down, and stay in a tight tuck all the way through the move.

Step #4: Alternate Spin Drill and Open Turn
In Step #4, you’ll do the Spin Drill once more, right near the flags.

Then start close to the wall and do an open turn at the wall. The muscle memory of a tight, quick tuck -- and of rolling back and not to the side -- will transfer over to your turn at the wall.

In slow motion, notice that the body should be horizontal with eyes down at the touch. The knees come UP, the chin stays tucked, and the body rolls back in a very efficient and fast turn.

Just attempting this drill will help you avoid turns that look like this -- with the swimmer lifting up after touching the wall.

When you first try the drill, you may not get much of a roll back, but that’s OK.

Even if you look more like this...

... than this...

... you’ve trained your brain and your muscles to fall back during the actual turn.

And you’ll gain valuable time -- even seconds -- on your butterfly and breaststroke turns.