Arms Into Streamline

Video Transcription: The other part of a somersault that’s less talked about is the arms. So when you’re completing the actual somersault of the Flip Turn, you’ve got to get your arms into a Streamline. In addition to making a small ball with your body, somehow you end up on your back in a Streamline. And the reality is, is you have two ways to get it there. One, you can either throw your arms up over your head straight, or two, you can bend the elbows above your head and extend them into a Streamline. Both of these styles are extremely time dependent. If you are slower with your arms, you should bend them. If you can complete the arm throw and be in a locked Streamline position before the feet hit the wall, then you definitely want to use a straight arm.

Another way to think about this is it’s kind of like the Freestyle pull. If you pull with a straight arm Freestyle pull, it technically is faster, but it has more drag. And so the same argument applies to this part of the Flip Turn. Straighter arms is faster, more powerful, but has a lot more drag. Whereas bent arms are slower, not as powerful, but it also has less drag. So the more common style between the two of these is to bend at your elbows and then go into a Streamline versus throwing the arms straight. But the way that you determine which style works for you is to see if you can keep your arms straight and beat your feet hitting the wall while doing that. So your feet haven’t planted and you’ve secured a Streamline first. If for some reason you can’t beat your feet, then you would do a bent arm where if you bend your arms, you will most likely beat your feet planting on the wall because it’s just a quicker way with a shorter distance to get to a Streamline.

Reminder that a swimmer’s speed always hits zero when they plant their feet. So we want to use our swim speed to help us move our arms and do that flip as long as we can. So making sure that we tuck and we are tight because as soon as we flip around, plant your feet on the wall, boom, speed’s at zero. We’re switching directions.

We have to take all the momentum that we’ve carried into the wall and basically start fresh and new as we push off. The goal with the Streamline was to make sure that whatever way you get to a Streamline, your hands are not ending up like this girl in the photo here where she doesn’t have her hands locked, but her feet are on the wall. If you’re going to be doing the test that I was telling you, what you want is your hands in a Streamline before the feet touch. And either way you get there.

She’s not secured, which means she’s got one of two options. She either pushes off and finishes securing the Streamline or she waits to secure the Streamline and then she pushes off. Both of those two realities will add time to her race. So ideally we want to not be trying to pick the best out of those two potential issues and have our hands already in a Streamline. When our feet are ready and ready to push off, we are ready to push off.