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How to Learn Butterfly Stroke - The Arm Movement Drill

The Arm Movement Drill of How to Learn Butterfly Stroke

So now that you know all the technical stuff about the Butterfly Arm Action, it's time to figure out a way to learn in the arm action. So here is my drill:

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

Begin in a torpedo position.

You are going to do this drill initially out of the water.
After a few practices out of the water you will then go into the water and practice.

Now lets begin by sweeping your hands in a big arch,

all the way down to under your hips and clap your hands under your hips, maintaining straight arms the whole time (below).

Image of a swimmer sweeping his arms down in a wings action : This article is about How to Learn Butterfly Stroke - The Arm Movement Drill
Sweep The Arms Down

Image of a swimmer claping his hands at the bottom of the sweeping action
Clap Your Hands Below

Keeping your arms straight push your hands to the surface beside your hips

Image of swimmer bringing his hands to the front ofter clapping them together
Bring your Hands To The Front

Now bring your hands to the front. That is, over your head.

Initially it Does Not Matter How Your Hands Get There

Initially it does not matter how you get your hands to the front, in fact you will find it a bit of a struggle to do anything else but drag them to the front through the water. But as you get better at the drill you are going to find it easier to take your hands over the water to return to the catch entry position.

The important thing here is that you get used to your arms doing an exaggerated stroke.

Once you start doing this in the water do it for about a week. Basically, do it every time you go into the water.

After you have done this drill for a while you can give it away and try to do the standard butterfly stroke. Start without the dolphin kick then add in the kick. You should find that the kick will come quite naturally. you should also find that your arms a doing a much smaller version of the drill and becoming much more like the correct (what is called) the keyhole action of the stroke.

The Keyhole Action First

I have found that if you work on the keyhole action first, you end up with a stronger and more correct butterfly arm action and consequently more efficient butterfly stroke.

By the way your arms are suppose to skim the top of the water so don't try to lift them higher out of the water. This is a common mistake that makes people think they can't do butterfly. They should be out of the water but not high out of the water. You don't have to be superman to do this stroke.

Also don't be afraid to go back to the drill if your butterfly is not working for you when you first try it. good practice always results in improvement. And besides it will take some time to build the endurance to do this stroke.

Next time we will talk about the timing of the butterfly stroke.


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