Beginners Technique Workouts

Butterfly swimming is a more difficult stroke that requires good technique

Butterfly swimming is a more difficult stroke that requires good technique
Image Source :-

The butterfly is a swimming stroke swum on the breast, with both arms moving simultaneously, accompanied by the butterfly kick. While other styles like the breaststroke, front crawl, or backstroke can be swum adequately by beginners, Conquer Your Fear Of Butterfly Swimming with these Coaching tips.

“The Only Difference between Try and Triumph is a Little UMPH”

Requirements needed

  • Core body strength
  • Good hip and pelvis flexibility
  • Good ankle plantar flexion

Butterfly swimming Arms entry

Entry into the water thumb with your elbow slightly bent Make sure your arms are in line with your shoulders.
Arms catch:-
Is just below the surface of the water It is also outside your shoulder line.

Arms propulsion

you have four main hand sweeps which are out, down, in, up or out. The pitch of your hand will change to accommodate the sweeps.

  • Your elbow should remain high at the end of the downsweep.
  • Your arms make a shape of a key hole when under the water.
  • The arms of the butterfly are similar to breaststroke and front crawl to look at when you release the water when beginning the over arm recovery it is released past your thigh.

Arms recovery

Your elbow will be slightly bent on the exit with your little finger exiting first on your hand A low sweeping recovery Your elbow bend will increase readily for the entry

Breathing for butterfly

You can either slightly lift your head to breathe or turn your head to the side Breathing in will take place during the up/out sweep of your arms You should return your head to the water as your hands recover Explosive breathing is the most beneficial method of breathing

Butterfly swimming kicks co-ordination

You should kick two beats per arm cycle. The first kick should take place as your hands enter the outsweep then the second as your hands are on the outsweep.

Another way to remember is to kick your arms into the water then kick your arms out Breathing can either take place every one or two arm cycles.

Body position in butterfly swimming

The first butterfly drill you can try a push and glide then undulate in a prone position with your arms out in front of you. A push and glide are what it suggests, you simply you hold the side of the pool and push off and glide without swimming full stroke until you run out of momentum.

Try to relax in the water as you are doing this drill, get a feel for the water and the undulation of the whole body. You should flow through the water. Try imagining that you are submerging under a floating log and emerging back up from under it again.

Butterfly swimming drill with pull buoys

You are Familiar with Pull Buoy but If you are not familiar with pull buoys then click onto this link to look at my page about swimming equipment which includes floats Put the pull buoy between your legs above the knees then holding your legs together swim concentrating on your butterfly arms without thinking about your legs. This is a very good drill to practice to perfect your arm stroke for butterfly or any other stroke.

This butterfly drill will help you to concentrate on your entry and pull, your head flows with the arms. It also improves your body position in the water.

The last butterfly swimming drill is a pattern swim this involves three right pulls with the arms along with the normal butterfly leg kick then three left arm pulls and finally three full stroke pulls and then start again across the pool. When you are pulling with the one arm the opposite arm will be held straight in front of you gliding through the water.

Also Read:-9 Basic Swimming Skills That Count


The next progression is similar to underwater recovery drill but this time, the swimmer does  4 streamlined dolphin kicks and then the push back to the thighs with a breath.  The swimmer recovers the hands towards the front underwater and drives the head in on the first dolphin kick.  Make sure the swimmer does not go too deep on this drill. Some part of the back must be dry at all times.   There is some undulation in the butterfly stroke but you do not want the swimmers to submerge too deeply.  The swimmer needs to be as horizontal as possible.

  • Next progression is to do 2 x Biondi drill followed by 4 dolphin kicks and a normal over the water butterfly arm stroke.
  • 1 x Biondi drill followed by 4 dolphin kicks and a normal over the surface arm stroke.

You can progress with as many variations to this as you want to get the correct movements required.

You can do:-

  •   25m with or without fins using a variety of kicks and arm movements.
  • 6  streamlined dolphin kicks + 1 butterfly arm stroke landing the arms out in front for the next 6 kicks or  4 dolphin  kicks + 1 normal butterfly arm pull land in front.
  • Once they can do the 4 kicks one pull they must try and get 2 arm pulls into the 4 kicks.  Normal butterfly, in other words, breathing on the 2nd pull only.


Always aim for great technique at all times.  Hips must ride the surface.  You need a strong leg drive to swim a great Butterfly stroke.  Emphasize that the arms must be relaxed during the recovery.  Enter the water softly with the fingers first, not the thumbs, about shoulder width.

You’ll also enjoy:

 Core Training Adds To The Power

The abdominal muscles play a huge part in the undulating wave action and more specifically in the powerful hip movement.

Be sure to train the core muscles using crunches and twists, and ensure they are balanced out with appropriate lower back exercises to strengthen the erector spinal muscles, such as frontal raises.

Gain Power From Plyometrics

As far as land-based training goes, increasing power in the legs can be achieved with some plyometric training. As a personal trainer, you do not need me to explain the science and techniques behind plyometric training.

Plyometric squats and any kind of two-footed jumping will help increase power in the quads and hamstrings. Plyometric lunges and bounding will be useful but as butterfly leg kick is a simultaneous leg kick, two-footed exercises will be more specific and relevant.

Watch this Butterfly Technique video by Speedo:-

Follow us on:-

And please please Don’t forget to subscribe us on youtube!


About the author

Sanuj Srivastava

Hello everyone ! myself Sanuj Srivastava, I'm a National swimmer and Computer Olympiad winner. I'm working on writing articles for competitive swimming. If you have some problem in swimming that needs some creative injection then that’s where I come in!
My aim is to bring across your message and identity in the most creative way.

1 Comment

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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