OK, so we’ve worked on backstroke and breast stroke so now is the time for everyone’s favourite – Butterfly.  Yes, this is the hardest stroke to learn and get right but like many challenges it can be incredibly satisfying when you learn to swim it well.  And swimming Butterfly comes with three key benefits, in my view:

  • It takes the most effort so is a great addition to a swim set to make it a tough workout
  • It really works your core muscles
  • It has a similar catch to front crawl – so is good for practising that strong, hand-lead catch with high elbows

Swimming good Butterfly starts with good timing and using that timing to get an undulating, dolphin-style stroke.  A good way to get the timing right is do single-arm Butterfly, which we will do, and make sure you do two kicks to every arm stroke.  The first kick is when your arm enters the water and the second kick (and bigger one) is at the end of the pull and helps you get your arms out of the water.  Practising this rhythm is really useful and the basis for good Butterfly.

Once we have the timing of the arms and legs together we will work on getting that nice undulating body position.  The best way to do this, in my view, is to think about diving down under the water as your arms enter the water, just as you would when diving in the pool.  Diving down, and throwing your head down quickly if you have just breathed, will bring your hips up (helped by your second leg kick) and make it much easier to get your arms out of the water.  Watch the following video for a really good example of both the two-beat kick as well as the effect of diving under on each stroke:

The alternating left-arm, right-arm, full-stroke drill you see in this video is something we will try out during the Saturday session so take careful note of how it should look.  However, in our version we will do 3 strokes each of left-arm, right-arm and full stroke to give you more time to think about it.

See you all Saturday!