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Swimfit Training Camp: From shy to super-fly

Swimfit Training Camp: From shy to super-fly

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With its dramatic double arm pull and the undulating motion of the body, butterfly can be a daunting prospect to newcomers to the stroke.

But while you may not want to practise it in a busy pool – it can be a bit ‘splashy’ – the stroke uses a huge range of muscles and provides a thorough workout.

So we asked Commonwealth medallist and Loughborough University coach Matt Bowe for three handy technique hints to help every butterfly wannabe on their way.

KEEP YOUR ELBOWS HIGH

  • One of the simplest tweaks to improving your butterfly technique is remembering to keep your form throughout the pull.
  • During the pull stage, there is a tendency to drop your elbows and pull your hands through lower in the water.
  • Try not to do this. Keeping your elbows high throughout the pull is a more efficient and effective technique.

UNDULATE YOUR BODY

  • While elite swimmers tend to swim fairly flat butterfly, it is easier and safer to learn the stroke by undulating your body.
  • At elite level a flat stroke means momentum is always aimed at propelling the body forward rather than up and down.
  • Instead, exaggerate the natural undulations of the stroke as much as possible. Feel the undulation through your hips and chest and use them to encourage motion.

KICK... THEN KICK AGAIN!

  • While it may seem easier to put in one large kick every arm cycle, it’s more beneficial to kick twice per cycle.
  • Try to kick once when your hands enter the water and once when they exit.
  • One large kick is more likely to flatten your stroke. Think of two smaller kicks as part of the undulation through your body, carrying on your momentum.

Further Reading

  1. Head to Beginning Butterfly for basics on how to add butterfly to your repertoire.
  2. Head to Advanced Butterfly for more technical tips on taking your butterfly to the next level.
  3. Leave a comment below or head to Ask an Expert with a specific question about your butterfly technique.

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Go Swimming has everything you need to know about swimming. If you are a parent, a non swimmer or just want to improve your technique this is the section for you.

In British Swimming you will find information about the world of high performance sport, including the disciplines of Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Para-Swimming.

The ASA is the governing body for the sport in England. In this section you will find all you need to know about joining a club or competing in England and becoming a swimming teacher or coach.

The IoS delivers the ASA’s courses and is a member organisation. Whether you are a teacher, coach, employer or club you will find everything you need to know about qualifications or educating your workforce.

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