The tumble-turn is easiest to understand when broken into two parts: “tumble” and “turn.” The first is a somersault where you go from lying on your stomach on top of the water to being underwater on your back. The second part is a half-twist as the swimmer pushes off the wall and returns to freestyle position.
1. Maintain speed when approaching the wall. Keep arms at sides after the last two strokes.
2. Tuck head to chest. Rotate hands and push down with palms while using a small dolphin kick to engage the core.
3. Flip feet over surface of the water.
4. Plant feet on the wall, shoulder- width apart, with knees bent. Stretch arms above head into streamline position and push off the wall facing the surface of the water.
5. During streamline, use core strength to rotate upper torso then lower torso to return to facing the bottom of the pool.
Start by getting comfortable with the tumble. Swim a few strokes and then somersault onto your back. Try this a few times in the middle of the pool before approaching the wall. Practise the timing of the flip by swimming closer to the wall each time until your feet land correctly. Remember to finish the tumble before starting the turn to avoid disorientation.