Trouble with Tumble Turns


I'm having trouble with my tumble turns. It's not the turn itself, it is my right leg. After the push off of the wall and when I stretch myself out under water, my right calf keeps going into spasm, it is really painful and goes rock solid.
I spent last night massaging Deep Heat in to it. Does anyone else get this problem? This is the third time it has happend. Any feed back would be good.


  • i dont do tumble turns... problem solved :)
  • It could be from the way you stretch out after pushing off the wall, and point your toes too tight...sometimes happens to me (but spasm only in my foot).
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    I just want to know how I can stop hitting the floor of the pool when I tumble turn ... (-:

    Actually, it could be a cramp induced by dehydration or something ... does it happen more towards the end of a session? Is it worth taking some sort of electrolyte drink to the pool with you and sipping some every few lengths?
  • Lol Lizzy, do you wear your bike helmet in the poot jusnt in case you hit your head.

    Seriously - I dont do tumble turns but want to learn, whats the best way i.e. are there any websites, books etc.
  • do open water i say... then you don't need to :)
  • Coincidentally we did flip turns (as opposed to tumble turns) in our club session on tuesday. Apparently flip turns are the new "Black" and tumble turns are old hat. Buggered if I know the difference - but I think it has got to do with pushing off the wall whilst on your back as opposed to turning and twisting whilst pushing off - it will save you .0006543 nanoseconds per length which all add up - but this assumes you dont push off into the next door lane, which a number of my club mates did.

    For the record, the coach thought I did them brilliantly, what he didnt take into consideration was the fact that I had to do 20 metres doggy paddle after the turn just to get my breathe back whilst spluttering my guts out as a result of the gallon of water that had just rushed up my nose from the push off.

    Not that any of this has got anything to do with the initial question to which I have no answer but I am sure you all feel a lot happier for me having told you what I did on Tuesday.
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    But but but....! That's how I tumble turn anyway (or should I say flip turn)! Pushing off backwards!

    And there was me thinking I was doing it all wrong ...

  • Thanks for the feed back. It might be dehydration. I'm off for some sports massage tonight, so I'll ask him to check out my legs.
    Carl, the best way to learn tumble turns is to get a coach. You can't see what your doing wronge if you try and learn from a web-site or book. Most clubs have either adult swimming lessons or Master Classes. If you contact your local pool, there will be someone there who can teach you.
    When I first learnt to tumble turn (and we still do this as a warm up exercise prior to tumble turns), we had to swim just four lengths of the pool front crawl, but on every 5th stroke do a forward roll and then keep on swimming. You just have to remember to breathe out of your nose, other wise the experience isn't very nice. But being able to tumble turn is well worth it especially in time-trials and for building up pool endurance (you don't get any time to rest between lengths so you have to push your body harder and think more about your swimming technique).
    Talking of technique, I'm going to invest in flippers next week, can't wait!
  • ...Well, done Little Fat Welshman, sounds like you had a good laugh.
  • I think anyone watching would have had a good laugh - but from where I was stood it was no laughing matter.

    On a serious note - the idea of learning flip/tumble turns out of a book is ridiculous - surely the book would get very wet. The only way to do it is with a coach on the side and to break the whole thing down. Very roughly, when we did this on Tues it broke down into about 5 sections before we broke our ankles on the wall. I think there is merit in perservering and over the next few weeks I will confirm or otherwise whether this is true.
  • most importantly, practise them. If you train in between session 2 or 3 times a week, and do 80 lengths each time, them you can do 79 tumble turns (assuming all crawl/ backstroke)
  • E.T, I have got that a few times when swimming and I absolutely hate it! I do think the suggestions made are good ones, I have certainly noticed it more when pushing myself at the end of a session, and since I now deliberately bring water to the poolside with me, I haven't had any problems.

    I also have a theory about runners swimming - we have developed our legs to cope with repetitive and prolonged running, and the sudden movement of 'jumping' causes them to spasm. The reason I say this is that the last time I got that sort of pain was when playing football (after a break of many years), and I was jumping to head a ball - the action is similar to pushing off in the pool.

    Last point, I read that potassium is good for avoiding cramps, so bananas might help too.
  • Thanks Karl, all good points. I think a bit of experimentally may be in order.
  • btw, squash + pinch of lo-salt much better than water for the extra glucose, potassium, and sodium that you lose through sweat.Will esp. help in endurance sessions.
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