Researched, produced, and prepared by Brent S. Rushall, Ph.D., R.Psy.

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The turn described in this article is appropriate for both breaststroke and butterfly racing. The athlete shown is Michael Andrew, arguably the greatest age-group swimmer in US swimming history. The name Short-radius Turn" was prescribed by Coach Roy Chaney of Colorado.

This turn was developed because of the need to improve Michael's turns in the two symmetrical stroke forms. Although there are some descriptions of symmetrical-stroke turns in the popular literature, there is no consensus as to how best they should be done. This turn was designed from scratch. Several features had to be incorporated to make it the fastest turn possible.

  1. The turn should be simple and require the fewest movements possible.
  2. It should minimize vertical movement components.
  3. It should be completed away from the wall so that the distance covered in a race is shortened as much as possible.
  4. The principles of biomechanics should be employed where they are appropriate.

This stroke analysis includes a moving sequence in real time, a moving sequence where each frame is displayed for .5 of a second, and still frames.

The following image sequence is in real time. It will play through 10 times and then stop. To repeat the sequence, click the browser's "refresh" or "reload" button.

The following image sequence shows each frame for half a second. It will play through 10 times and then stop. To repeat the sequence, click the browser's "refresh" or "reload" button.

At the end of the following narrative, each frame is illustrated in detail in a sequential collage.

Notable Features

Michael Andrew provides a very good model of this simple new turn for breaststroke and butterfly stroke. His turn has achieved that for which it was designed. It is simple, there are no extraneous movements, all the actions occur underwater and in tight deliberate fashion. The precision of the swimmer's streamline in and out of the turn is a marvelous model for emulation.

At practices, Michael Andrew's times for using this turn when compared to his old turn are markedly shorter. The turn achieves that for which it was designed.

Breaststroke and butterfly Stroke Turn

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