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isobel
September 1st, 2008, 10:13 AM
I have been working hard to have wide, low arms and soft hands on top of the water (rather than diving them in) in my fly. I've also been watching slo-mo videos of Olympic flyers. It seems like they put their heads down briefly, with their arms still at surface of water, and the rest of their body is arched like a canoe.

Seems most awkward when practiced in mirror. Also hard on the back.

Does the head go out of alignment with those barrel chests briefly right before the pull?

bud
September 8th, 2008, 09:23 PM
i don't think the head goes out of alignment as much as it sets up the beginning of the stroke. from what i've learned the head leads the stroke.

great flexibility, especially in the shoulders, seems to be pretty important too. i'm guessing this is what you are seeing on the Olympian vids. they keep the arms up as the head drives forward (and down) to begin the next sine wave form of the next stroke. good flexibility in the spine and hips seems to help a lot too.

like yoga, swimming is a lot about relaxing the muscles you don't need, and activating the muscles you do need. this seems to be especially true for butterfly.

i believe everyone needs to find their own stroke. there are a few basic fundamentals that need to be observed, but after that it is simply finding what works best for you.

in fly i find it is more important to focus on going forward (as opposed to 'up'... for air). as for the recovery i reckon there is some leeway on that.

i've heard a lot about 'pressing the chest' during the earlier phase of each stroke... again, this is the wave action taking place. the head leads this motion. these articles are a good place to start.
Slip-Slidíní Away (http://h2oustonswims.org/articles/slip_sliding_away.html)
Vive le Papillon! (http://h2oustonswims.org/articles/vive_le_papillon.html)

fly is not really a natural stroke for most folks. it takes a lot of study and practice. but i find that to be fun. the rewards are great.

have fun!

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