Swim Drill – Butterfly



Butterfly is a Short Axis Stroke and the Power  comes from Rhythm especially Rhythm in Front. We must first establish The Line by making our spine as long as possible.  We then manipulate Posture, Line and Balance slightly above and slightly below the line, manipulating the extended spine by flexing. Caution must be taken to ensure that the manipulation is happening Forward and never up and down. Up and down amplitude is caused by Recovering above the body line, and then diving down below the surface of the water.  We want to manipulate our Buoyancy by Loading (Pressing the lungs down below the line), setting Anchors to re-direct the lungs forward above the line, and Sliding the Hips forward into the position previously occupied by the lungs.  When we Load  and manipulate buoyancy down, the water “wants” to send buoyancy straight up.  By Anchoring the arms, we can re-direct at an angle and move forward instead of up.  Recovery is Curvilinear and close to the surface of the water.

Butterfly is: a Curvilinear stroke, a re-balancing stroke, posture is critical, rhythm is the heart and soul


Start on The Line (same line as Freestyle) with palms down or slightly out, then Sweep Out  to the Corners. As you Sweep Out  to the Corners, you Load,  or Press  the face and chest forward and slightly down into the water.  Turn palms in and begin the Inward Sweep  high on the neck.  Then arms flair out, exit the water around the waist, Recover at or below the body line in a curvilinear pattern, and re-enter out in front as face and chest land and press below the line. Common mistake is Sweeping in under the chest instead of under the neck.  If you Sweep in under the chest, then flair out by hips or legs the arms tend to get trapped causing a pause which interrupts the Rhythm of the stroke.  Another common mistakeis Recovering above the body line.  This immediately causes too much up and down amplitude, and more importantly can lead to shoulder injury.


As you Sweep In high on the neck, breathe within The Line.  Use the shoulders and back to breathe, do not move the head independently. The Inward Sweep is the highest point for the shoulders during the stroke, therefore it is the easiest point at which to breathe without interrupting the Rhythm of the stroke.


Don’t  think of kicking, think of body undulation with energy running through the legs. Pressing the lungs down brings the hips up. Let the energy or Rhythm run through the legs. The splash coming off the feet should be light and going backwards.  If the splash is heavy and goes straight up the swimmer is probably getting stuck by the hips with the arms, causing them to “kick” to get the hands out.



Better swimming.
Download FREE tools.

Download a free preview of our Premium Lesson Plans & unique SwimSheets.

Stay on our newsletter to enjoy more benefits like further free downloads, guides, and tools to make your swimming program better, easier, and more FUN!

Related Articles

Swim Lesson Toys and Games to play

The toys to buy for your swimming lesson program:
These are the best swimming lesson toys that you can get for your swim lessons or swim lesson program. If you use American Red Cross, Starfish Aquatics, or Swim America, you’ll benefit from any or all of these swim lesson toys. Every game, song, or activity is possible, or made better by using these toys.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.