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2238 Views 1 Reply Latest reply: Oct 18, 2012 8:54 AM by MicheleSwim
luya Rookie 3 posts since
Feb 3, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 6, 2012 9:55 PM

How to master butterfly stroke

Hi Guys,


I want to get advice on how to master butterfly stroke which I have been strugling over several months. I watched video tutorial from youtube and read other related documentation but still I found my self far from it. Please share your expertise with me.

  • MicheleSwim Rookie 4 posts since
    Oct 16, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Oct 18, 2012 8:54 AM (in response to luya)
    How to master butterfly stroke

    Hi hopefully I'm not too late, I just joined. Anyway butterfly is definitely the hardes stroke to really get but once you do it is 10 times easier.

    I swam competitively 14 years including 4 years in D1 college swimming. I have been teaching lessons and swim camps for about 8 years. So I have been around it all. Some of the most common mistakes in Butterfly that I see all the time are the following:

    1. wrong head possition

         -your body follows your head

              -when you lift your head and chin forward (when on stomach) your hips and feet will go down (causes drag when not done at correct time)

              -when you drop your head and chin your hips and feet will come up towards the surface

         *proper head position on Butterfly: head is down and chin is tucked when not breathing, when breathing lift chin up slightly just enough to get air

    2. trying to breath while your arms are out of the water

         -this causes your hips and feet to drop too low and is very difficult to get your arms out of the water correctly and all the way forward (also causes drag)

         *proper breathing= breath while hands are pulling under the water

              -start lifting chin forward at the top of the stroke (when your hands are both in front of you extended)

                   -do this by pushing the water down with bent elbows for leverage

              -as soon as your hands reach your hips your head should be almost down and then completely down with chin tucked when hands flick out of the water past hips and start the next stroke out of the water

    3. pulling straight back (for underwater portion)

         -this causes you to not have enough time to breath before your hands reach your hips

         -doesn't allow you to pull as much water

         *proper underwater pull= "S" pull with both arms simultaneously

              -from top of stroke:

                   1. face palms down and toward yourself as you start the pull

                   2. push water out away from body and down at the same time with bent elbows and hands facing down and back still

                   3. once you get slightly past shoulder width start to bring the hands/pull back towards each other

                   4. then your hands will come close together under your body right below your bellybutton

                   5. hands then separate and push back right past your hips and flick your fingers out of the water

    4. kicking in wrong sequence:

         -this causes everything to be out of time and doesn't allow you to really lift your arms and head out at the right times

         *proper kick= for every complete pull (under water portion and over water portion) there should be two kicks

              -1st kick occurs when your hands are at the very top of the stroke

              -2nd kick occurs when your hands are pushing past your hips (typically stronger because you are pushing your hands out of the water and arms out and over the surface

              -make sure to use hips with each kick for power


    -make sure you pay attention to your timing of the overall stroke by doing the things i mentioned above

    -if you can don't breath every stroke (saves a lot of energy)

    -order everything happens:

         1. hands out front, start pull, head coming out of water, first kick

         2. "s" pull and start to drop head

         3. push hands out past hips, 2nd kick, while tucking chin into chest to get your head down and bring your hips up

         4. get your hands out of the water next to your hips

         5. bring arms around keeping them pretty straight and just so they clear the surface of the water, palms of hands face up and to the side (back of hand skims the water)

         6. hands come together in front, slightly closer than shoulder width apart

         7. re-enter water and start again at step 1


    I know you said you looked at youtube videos but if you haven't seen these 2 they are great! The second one does have one of the breathing to the side with you can do but I don't recomend that untill you become very comfortable with forward breathing.



    So I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other swim questions because I love to help!!


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