Butterfly, getting the right rhythm

Are you able to do a legal fly but it not smooth or easy? Here are some hints on how to fix your butterfly timing:

  • Two kicks, but only one dolphin. The most common error is trying to do two dolphin kicks. There should be one dolphin and one smaller kick. The dolphin needs to come from the upper chest, while the kick is smaller and only uses the legs.To fix your timing try this exaggeration: Make your dolphin bigger, feel like you are diving to the bottom, then make your supporting kick smaller and mostly from the knees. So you are making one kick bigger and one smaller to help differentiate them from each other. Once you are making each kick distinctly smaller and larger, try reducing the size of your dolphin back to normal while keeping the small supporting kick small.
  • Don’t stop! When the swimmer stops the hands out front and just kicks or glides, often referred to as survival butterfly, they lose the ability to use the dolphin to generate speed. Keep the arms moving and work the dolphin motion for momentum.
  • Breathe every other stroke. Breathing every stroke is tempting when you are tired, but it represents a large energy drain. Here is the problem, you have to lift an eight-pound weight (the head) out of the water with every breathe. This takes a lot of strength and is more tiring. Instead emphasize your exhale during the nonbreathing stroke to help you be able to breathe every other stroke.

Try these ideas to help correct your butterfly timing.

Up Next: Compressing the middle

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