SwimmingWorld.com - Online home of the International Swimming Hall of Fame JOIN ISHOF!

9/1/04 The FAST Tuck
by Glenn Mills
Demonstrated by Dave Denniston
Premium Members - Click Here to Download Bonus Video Clip (Quick Time Format - 2MB)

In order to learn the fastest turns possible for butterfly and breaststroke, you're going to have to learn how to spin your body as quickly as possible. This is not just any spin. Itís a spin towards your back.

Usually, when swimmers work on this aspect of the turn, you'll watch them depend on using their hands to push their body into a spin. However, when you think about it, you won't be able to do this, nor have the time when you're trying to have a really fast turn during a race... or practice, for that matter.

As I do with other aspects of swimming, I like to show people how to tap into other parts of their body to help them accomplish the goal set in front of them. So, when Dave showed me how he practices fast turns, I almost had to rewrite everything that I had been teaching for the past many years. Those of you whom I coached... whoops... sorry 'bout that. I was doing the best I knew at the time.

There are many aspects that go into producing fast turns. But all the other aspects of the turns will be for naught, if you don't get your body into a tight tuck to make the spin happen FAST.

Why Do It:

The FAST Tuck teaches you do use your body and your legs to initiate the tight rotation required to complete WORLD CLASS TURNS!

How To Do It:

1. Swim to the middle of the pool.

2. Start with your body completely laid out on the surface of the water. Make sure you're comfortable and balanced.

3. Stretch your arms out in front of you as you would if you were approaching a wall. Look directly at the bottom.
4. When you feel very balanced, quickly draw your knees up towards your chest, which will make your torso, shoulders, head, and arms drawn BACK.

5. Continue to draw your legs up until you've created a ball of your body. Keep your head looking directly down at the bottom, and don't lift it at any point.
6. Roll baby, ROLL. Without using your hands to scull, or push you over, how many rotations can you do in this position? Continue spinning until you either stop or if you are really good, until you run out of air.
How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):

This extra rotation is indeed, over learning, as you'd never go that far on a real turn. But it does teach you how to really get your body into a tight ball which you can use in your butterfly and breaststroke turns.

Personally, I think the biggest aspect of this drill is having your legs draw your body BACK. That's the feeling you're going to want to focus on the most. Instinct will have you thinking about getting into that final ball position, and you'll lift your head, or push with your arms. By focusing your attention of having the initial move pull your body, head and arms BACK, you'll relax them, and allow them to stay in a better line with the body.