Watch this video to see a demonstration of our Olympian Jemma Lowe doing Butterfly turns.
Turns are extremely important in a race, they can make a massive improvement to times and can be the difference between winning and losing a race. A touch turn is used for the butterfly stroke, here you can see Jemma practising the turns across a width of a pool. This is a great way to practise fast turns and reinforce the correct turning action, as well as the under water kick. An important factor of a fast turn is getting the timing into the wall right, the swimmer needs to hit the wall with the arms slightly bent as the arms enter the water after the recovery phase. At this point the momentum from the swim into the wall will carry through into the turn, if the swimmer hits the turn too close or too far away from the wall a lot of speed will be lost. The head is kept low and looking forward, there should be no lifting or twisting of the head as this wastes time and energy. The knees tuck up tight and the body rotates in a backward somersault action, followed by the feet being placed onto the wall to allow a strong push off.
The best way to improve your turns is to practise them everyday in training! Very important for short course racing!