How to Swim the Butterfly - A Quick How-To Guide For the Most Difficult Swimming Stroke

by Pool Builders on 02-04-2010 in Articles

The butterfly has a reputation as the hardest competitive swimming stroke. Though it is incredibly difficult to learn proper form quickly, swimming butterfly is fun for many newcomers to the pool. The reason it's so difficult is that new swimmers have difficulty synchronizing the movements of the whole body, which is integral for this stroke.

To start, try just kicking with your legs. To do the butterfly you need to master the dolphin kick. Practice in the pool doing 1 small kick, then 2 medium sized dolphin kicks, then a final thrust where you kick as hard as you can, bending knees. This same cadence is used in the full stroke. At first you will find yourself kicking low in the pool. Work your way towards the top with each kick. Once you've broken the surface, you're ready to add your arms. The arms move at the same time in a circular motion. When done correctly, the arms will add an extra boost of power to push your body forward.

Begin by scooping the water away from your torso as you do in the front crawl, but with both arms moving simultaneously. Once your hands are outstretched along your sides, break the surface for your breath. Towards the end of your inhale, rotate your arms forward and bring them back into the water. Remember to exhale as you scoop! Your reentry is when you do the smaller dolphin kick, and your exit from the water is when you use your bent knee dolphin kick, to really propel yourself out of the water.

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