PDA

View Full Version : Please, help my butterfly stroke!!!



Easy
October 23rd, 2009, 04:30 AM
Hy swimmers and coaches,

I need of your help…this is my last competition, the time, isn’t my best, but I want ask to you what you think about and how I can improve this stroke and swim faster (suggestions, corrections of mistake, etc... will be appreciated):agree:

White swimming cap and long blue suit.
I’m not ex agonist, M40.

YouTube - 50 butterfly EMC Cadiz

Thankyou very much!!!

Easy

funkyfish
October 23rd, 2009, 08:56 AM
Some observations:
1) Looks like your body is very rigid throughout the whole swim.
2) Your lower back looks very rigid, seems like it should flex/bend more easily.
3) Arm recovery looks stiff as well, and it seems that they are coming out of the water way too high. If you can lower the arms to just barely clear the surface it should result in less energy being spent.
4) Undulation looks a bit excessive, if you can flatten your body dolphin out more (think of sending your body forward, not up and down), that should help smooth out your stroke.

Looks like you've got the timing down fairly well, and this seems to be the biggest sticking point for butterfly. My overall summary might be to say your swim should look "more relaxed," it should look more fluid. Faster posters will probably offer up a better analysis. Good luck.
:banana:

Speedo
October 23rd, 2009, 09:37 AM
You have a nice butterfly. The 2 big problems I see are that you are not extending your arms enough on entry, and you are not getting any benefit from your kick. You have a very similar stroke to mine, so these 2 issues jumped out at me. Work on a stronger, deeper kick and extend your arms out in front of you- you are losing speed every time your arms re-enter the water.

I hope this helps- there are many good butterflyers on this site that should be able to provide more info.

tomtopo
October 23rd, 2009, 12:09 PM
Can't tell much, other than you're too vertical and arms are too high. We need some under water video. Good luck

SolarEnergy
October 23rd, 2009, 01:38 PM
Nice rhythm. Breathing seems ok (although little late timing-wise). 33 something for your age group is very good.

First thing that strikes me is that you seem to have tried to exit little further than some of your competitors (by extending the underwater dolphin kick) but some still managed to end up in front of you at first 12.5

Make sure by testing all this with your coach that your underwater dolphin kick is actually faster than your swim pace over 50m. If it's not the case then you should exit earlier and start swimming right away. I (myself) am not as fast underwater (at this point) than I am when swimming. I can lower the 25m under 15s swimming, but not underwater kicking. So I will make no attempt to mimic Micheal Phelps. Soon after the dive you see me exiting to get to my race pace as early as possible.

The second thing that strikes me is that your first kick doesn't seem very strong. Like Speedo smartly pointed out, upon your arm entry, you'd benefit from a more powerful first kick.

Speaking of arm entry, you seem to be generating little more drag than you should. I know, during a 50m, it's impossible not to splash or create drag but in your case, I donno, this phase seem to be your weakest. Poor first kick along with no glide forward and a lot of drag.... I am unsure as to which of these 3 problems is giving me the impression that you're loose speed there, probably a combination of the 3.

Note that your training slower pace stroke might not reveal these weaknesses as well as your 50m race pace. If you want to correct these aspects, practice them slow but don't forget to practice and test them at full speed too (we often make the mistake of not swimming at full race pace often enough)

Easy
October 23rd, 2009, 05:40 PM
Ok, thank you very much, to everybody ... your replies make me very happy.

I think everyone has found some real flaws swim, the recovery is high, the forward extension is limited and thus the attack is not very advanced and I haven't a good legs moviment (sure not power).

So I think understand my big problem:
many times in training when swim butterfly I start with one lateral arm on one side and then resumes with 2 arms, in this case I feel the weight shifted forward, the arms entry and extended immediately and note a lowest recovery and a legs more responsive.

When I start to the block, I dont know why, but the stroke becomes more relaxed and less effective.

Why??? Can be a problem of exit alignment (streamline), posture or body strong (abdominal)???

Thank
Easy

SolarEnergy
October 23rd, 2009, 09:14 PM
Why??? Can be a problem of exit alignment (streamline), posture or body strong (abdominal)??? I am not entirely sure, and it's a combination of few things (like it's often the case), but to me, the dominant issue may be a timing issue. Timing of the arm entry relative to first kick (or vice versa).

Look closely at these guys here also performing a 50m butterfly (short course meter I think). Look especially for the swimmer in first lane:
YouTube - butterfly 50 swimming technique performance 25 seconds

You may notice that when the **hands** enter the water, his body is already in a diving position. He already went over the wave and is therefore swimming downhill upon the arm entry. This combined with a powerful first kick gives this impression that he achieves great speed at this point in the stroke.

Also, this guy is probably booking the 50 in 25s, and he is creating less splash than you (less drag as well).

Now back to you. I isolated 3 pictures to better illustrate my comment. The image quality is very poor therefore I did draw a red line over your body so that you could better see what I mean.
http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1290/4581967/13217567/376583032.jpg
http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1290/4581967/13217567/376583031.jpg
http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1290/4581967/13217567/376583031.jpg

Notice how these red lines are always oriented upward. Upon hand entry, your body should be at least parallel to the surface, or even getting into a downward (swimming downhill) position. If the body is aligned upward upon hand entry, you fall flat and make splash and drag.

You should try to feel that you *fly over* this wave. Right now, you fall flat on it instead of moving over it to dive upon arm entry. So it could be a timing issue (arm entry relative to first kick) or your second kick isn't propulsive enough to allow you to fly over the wave, or a combination.

Look at our model for today (picture link below). His body is parallel to the surface and the hands are not entered yet (no splash in the front) although lower arm are entering at that point. He is completing first kick, very deep and powerful. Body parallel is moving over the wave. He's touching it with his belly of course but upon entry, he's going to be in a downhill position and he'll still benefit from forward thrust provided by the first kick (deep and powerful).
http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1290/4581967/13217567/376583786.jpg

Our model isn't the only BF swimmer doing this. We all have the mental image of good butterfly swimmers, underwater view. These guys have their head deep (after hands entry). Their nose/head/upper body is really pointing down steep angle and the hands are still catching. The hands are higher than the head. Think about it. Breathing must be real quick. You have to breathe over the wave then dive immediately. Recovery (and what follows including hand entry) should be tiny bit late relative to this.

Anyway, you understand what I mean. Fly over the wave because if you fall flat on it (body sometimes aligned upward), you splash and loose some forward momentum.

Hope that helps.

Easy
October 24th, 2009, 06:29 AM
Uau, great analisys… all that help me... I know this video, is one of my prefered…but I have a double age and more of this young swimmer, I have begin to swim 4 years ago, I’m not so strong and I have a limitated flexibiliti of this swimmers, but... I want improve my butterfly.

I have understand what you mean and I think is the really mistake that consequently causes other mistakes.


I want repeat that, when I start to swim in training with one first single lateral arm and after double, I feel a exact body position and coordination :

The recovery single arm and after double is low
the body position is flat near the surface of the water and the first kick down my body and push forward the body
at the same time I cick, the arms expand
the catch is very high, at the high of neck and not at the lower of the body and prepare the second kick
the arms make a “S” underwater, in race go staright
the recovery is relaxed with palm turned down
fall in the water is better and so the body position is not vertical

But in race I feel that this is delayed and do not understand how to improve...

The problem may be the first strokes after the breakdown, exactly the first catch???
Often I make the drill to feel the water, I paddle with arm in front...

There are a drill or all other thing to do to correct this defect???

Sorry my no good english.

Thank.
Easy

SolarEnergy
October 24th, 2009, 09:18 AM
There are a drill or all other thing to do to correct this defect??? Well there's a drill that may help you performing better at race pace, and it's to do more swim at this intensity.

Doing too little work at race pace is a mistake we often commit. Make sure you include more 12.5 / 25m at full speed. Time this, count the number of strokes, and ideally get filmed (clip) once in a while.

Your problem seems to be simple after all. Do more swim at race pace and your technique will improve at this speed.

Easy
October 25th, 2009, 06:47 PM
Ok Solarenergy, I think it is a great truth!!!

I have the same problem in freestyle, but this morning I did a race in 50 free and I tried several times in heating the start plus 12'5/25 meters full speed, or flip turn, and 12,5 full speed, etc ... The race was a good swim, (well for me...29,10)

Thankyou for the suggestions!!!

Easy

SolarEnergy
October 26th, 2009, 08:52 AM
29.3 FreeStyle suggests a time under 32.0 for your 50m Butterfly. Keep nailing until you get there!!

Easy
October 26th, 2009, 10:29 AM
29.3 FreeStyle suggests a time under 32.0 for your 50m Butterfly. Keep nailing until you get there!!

My best (are not olympic times):

50 freestyle - 29.10 short course, 29.80 long,
100 freestyle - 1.07.50 in long,
200 freestyle - 2.28.50 in short,
400 freestyle - 5.19.00
50 butterfly - 32.35 in short and 32.20 in long,
100 butterfly - 1.16.00 in short,
50 backstroke - 36.05 in short
100 backstroke - 1.25 in long
100 medley - 1.17.20 in short
50 breaststroke - 42.00 in short
3000 open water - 44.50

In order my prefered stroke to swim is, butterfly, backstroke, freestyle, individual medley and...breaststroke...
I have yet to understand if I am a sprinter, a distance runner, butterflyers or freestyler or other but this year I would focus on a few specific races... what do you advise to do???

Thanks,
I hope to not take too much of your patience and kindness.

Easy :chug:

SolarEnergy
October 26th, 2009, 09:28 PM
These times are good, congrats.

If I was you (and if you are given the choice), I'd focus on improving the 12.5 for for all strokes. That - like I said earlier - includes making choices in how long you *dolphin kick* after butterfly dive. Bare in mind that if you want to give the crowd a *dolphin* show "a la Phelps", better make sure your kick is faster than your full stroke. Otherwise, you put yourself into a o2 deficit for no valid reason (especially during a 100). Test these matters over 12.5

Then, your 100s are a bit on the slow side. That suggests (maybe) that there's some room for improvement on the endurance side. Try to bring the 400 under 5, the 200 under 2:20, the 100fly near or under 1:15. You can all do that given that you pay enough attention to sets that put you out of breathe.

All your event would benefit from a better ability to finish harder.

Enjoy your swim Italian Fellow!

Ciao

Easy
October 27th, 2009, 06:24 AM
Thanks guys, thanks SolarEnergy,thanks U.S.A. (I have "learn" to swim with Richard Quicks dvds)

soon I will try to implement your advice, I will keep you informed if I get improvements.

Good swimming and good races at all.

Ciao,
Easy

slowfish
October 27th, 2009, 02:33 PM
I have a question for those of us trying to just to increase their distance in the fly. i'd really like to put together a decent 50 fly so that i could eventually try and race a 200 IM.

I have no problem making a 25, but once i have to make that turn, I can do a few decent strokes it all goes to pot so that i end up having to muscle most of the 2nd 25.

I'm not sure if the best way to improve on this is just to:

1) continue muscling the second 25
2) go to 1-arm when i start falling apart,
3) work on 50s with fins or a pull bouy
4) do 25s with rest with enough rest so i can finish the 2nd 25.

anyone been there and done that? :confused:

thanks.

funkyfish
October 27th, 2009, 03:01 PM
I have a question for those of us trying to just to increase their distance in the fly. i'd really like to put together a decent 50 fly so that i could eventually try and race a 200 IM.

I have no problem making a 25, but once i have to make that turn, I can do a few decent strokes it all goes to pot so that i end up having to muscle most of the 2nd 25.

I'm not sure if the best way to improve on this is just to:

1) continue muscling the second 25
2) go to 1-arm when i start falling apart,
3) work on 50s with fins or a pull bouy
4) do 25s with rest with enough rest so i can finish the 2nd 25.

anyone been there and done that? :confused:

thanks.
I have a similar problem except my fall-off point is after 50yds/m. Things I have done in the past include:
1) sets of 50s with first 25 fly, second 25 free, working the dolphin kick off the turn.
2) sets of 50s with first 25 free, second 25 fly, trying to keep the first 25 solid but not race pace, then focus on maintaining good fly form on the 2nd 25.
3) swimming sets of 25 fly (4-20), start out with lots of rest for the first 2-6? (depends on conditioning), then reduce the rest incrementally. When form starts to break down, rest more and repeat when you're ready.
4) swimming lengths of 25s focusing on a relaxed easy glide to help pace longer swims. I don't have the guts to swim a 200 fly yet, but I can swim a nice slow one by gliding through the stroke.
5) swim sets of 25s just dolphin kicking, gradually work up to 50s, 75s then 100s. When I wear out it's usually my legs first, then that results in poor body position, which results in my arms and shoulders wearing out. Training my kick has helped reduce my times in both the 50 and 100 fly events.
6) screwy stuff - while swimming 100s & 200s free every so often I'll swim the last 25 fly to get a feel of swimming it while worn down. I'll push within reason, but do my best to maintain good form.

I'm not a stroke purist in that I think a little bit of effort in the "sloppy zone" can be beneficial just to help conditioning for swimming whatever distance you want. Kind of like 2 steps forward, 1 step back. For me, achieving distance on fly is an incremental process.

My :2cents::2cents: for what it's worth.

slowfish
October 27th, 2009, 03:10 PM
I have a similar problem except my fall-off point is after 50yds/m. Things I have done in the past include:
1) sets of 50s with first 25 fly, second 25 free, working the dolphin kick off the turn.
2) sets of 50s with first 25 free, second 25 fly, trying to keep the first 25 solid but not race pace, then focus on maintaining good fly form on the 2nd 25.
3) swimming sets of 25 fly (4-20), start out with lots of rest for the first 2-6? (depends on conditioning), then reduce the rest incrementally. When form starts to break down, rest more and repeat when you're ready.
4) swimming lengths of 25s focusing on a relaxed easy glide to help pace longer swims. I don't have the guts to swim a 200 fly yet, but I can swim a nice slow one by gliding through the stroke.
5) swim sets of 25s just dolphin kicking, gradually work up to 50s, 75s then 100s. When I wear out it's usually my legs first, then that results in poor body position, which results in my arms and shoulders wearing out. Training my kick has helped reduce my times in both the 50 and 100 fly events.
6) screwy stuff - while swimming 100s & 200s free every so often I'll swim the last 25 fly to get a feel of swimming it while worn down. I'll push within reason, but do my best to maintain good form.




thanks funky. i think it is my kick that is killing me. even with fins, i'm a pretty pathetic fly kicker so that is a great suggestion. working the dolphin kick off of the wall is also something to work on. the pushoff sends me into the red zone where my sole focus becomes taking the next breath.

i've never been opposed to muscling but i've critics of the practice say that it teaches you bad form.

Easy
October 29th, 2009, 01:38 PM
3) Arm recovery looks stiff as well, and it seems that they are coming out of the water way too high. If you can lower the arms to just barely clear the surface it should result in less energy being spent.




Can't tell much, other than you're too vertical and arms are too high. We need some under water video. Good luck


Hi guys,
I have just returned from a swim training, I tried again the butterfly and I would ask one thing that has to do with the recovery too high.
I have the sensation that the problem may be that I go too deep in the part after the catch ... not near the body, and when I recovery my arms fly too high, may be it?

In the underwater phase, when the hands are near, in front of the chin, at what distance must pass close to the body? ... and I get to touch the thighs with the thumbs or exit earlier??


Thanks again and sorry for the inconvenience...:blush:

SolarEnergy
October 29th, 2009, 09:27 PM
I have a question for those of us trying to just to increase their distance in the fly. i'd really like to put together a decent 50 fly so that i could eventually try and race a 200 IM.

Interesting question. My only solution to this is to do all it takes to stop being feared by the distance. For me, it's the 200bf I prepare for. My solution was to develop a technique that is slow enough to use it to build a decent endurance base - at butterfly that is.

And so, for few months, all I was doing in a pool was: 5x200 butterfly, no warm up no cool down nothing else.

Now, I am not afraid at all by longish butterfly sets.

The key is to cut down on energy expenditure. You have to accept though that endurance butterfly isn't a fast stroke. It's often better to start last swimmer in the lane on *specialty* (or at your choice) sets. I usually let the breaststrokers go first if I am to commit in a 400-1000m set.

This approach is controversial though. A lot of folks think that if you practice slow butterfly, you will endup being slow even if you want to go fast. I disagree but I may be wrong.

slowfish
October 30th, 2009, 07:00 PM
The key is to cut down on energy expenditure. You have to accept though that endurance butterfly isn't a fast stroke.

This approach is controversial though. A lot of folks think that if you practice slow butterfly, you will endup being slow even if you want to go fast. I disagree but I may be wrong.


I'd love to be able to cut down on my energy expenditure. I'd be happy to swim a slow 50 fly. I think to swim a distance fast, you first have to be able to complete the distance. But, the stroke feels smoother when you swim it fast.

Regardless of the speed, I've got good rhythm for the first 25 but the minute i make the turn, i'm so spent that no matter how hard i focus, i am thrashing about.

Funky suggested doing lots of fly kick and i'm trying this along with doing lots of 1-arm.

Red60
October 30th, 2009, 07:32 PM
I've been enjoying this thread. Last spring I managed my first 100 fly SCY, if slowly. I have been finding that the key for me is to lock my elbows on the stroke, lead with my face (into the water after a breath) and to breathe every other stroke. For me, butterfly has gone from seeming like a battle to becoming much more fluid. My endurance has improved, and I simply enjoy the act of swimming the stroke a great deal more. When done properly, it feels and looks like the most beautiful stroke of the four.

People often talk about swimming the stroke "downhill", which resonates with me. Chest down as the arms sweep over. Vastly more efficient than trying to climb over the water with two arms as your butt sinks. Gruesome.

Kaptain SDK!
October 30th, 2009, 10:16 PM
Easy and all others confused about swimming butterfly,

In the short axis strokes (fly and breast), the legs are as important as the arms, sometimes moreso. Kick hard and completely every stroke, and you will find yourself swimming downhill, as some have described it. In order to improve your kick, you must do core exercises, sit ups, crunches, and back lifts. Kick in workout, do these dryland exercises, and everything else will come together.

Easy, in your video, you are swimming uphill for two reasons. 1. you are not kicking enough or at all, and 2. your arm recovery is too pronounced. It is good that you have shoulder flexibility, but don't use it in that manner, it makes your hands slap the water on entry, rather than knifing into it (thumbs first, sweep out, pull back and in).

Easy
October 31st, 2009, 09:43 AM
Thank Captain SDK, your comments are right!

A few days ago I read in this forum the discussion on Strong Core, (lower torso, right???...is that correct???)

Yesterday on evening I tried a workout focusing ONLY on core strong ALWAYS,... abdomianl strong, keep the posture, navel towards the spine, kick starts from the abdominal... Well, in all strokes, first in the underwater DK I noticed a great improvement, swimming near of the surface, more responsive and effective, the recovery of the arms is more relaxed, body strong, legs loose but more effective, differnt fall into the water and weight shift forward (not I agree that the leg must kick too hard, for me to be ripple,a whip...)

I've undestand that the core strong and the posture is the soul of the swim...I think it could be the solution to my problem...please correct me...!!!

Easy

SolarEnergy
October 31st, 2009, 10:12 AM
This Thread is fun. Keep it Easy -- but not too easy ;-)

Easy
October 31st, 2009, 10:21 AM
This Thread is fun. Keep it Easy -- but not too easy ;-)

Sorry Solar Energy, but I dont understand all the words or significated, what you mean???

Excuse me, what I have write is correct?

Easy

Michael Heather
October 31st, 2009, 11:07 AM
He is making a play on words using your forum name - Easy.

Your English is far more understandable than most Italian you would find here.

Robert Strand
October 31st, 2009, 01:04 PM
I am not surre if I would pick Michael Heather to give butterfly instruction, but, I sure would pick him to help me get out of a bar fight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

slowfish
October 31st, 2009, 01:18 PM
I simply enjoy the act of swimming the stroke a great deal more. When done properly, it feels and looks like the most beautiful stroke of the four.



Exactly where my obsession is coming from. i love the feel of fly when it clicks. I think what kaptain and funky say about the kicking and core are my key weakness. i'm a triathlete who likes to swim and run more than cycle (which doesn't make me a great triathlete) so my ankle flexibitly is bad and to top it off i have pretty small feet. I know my kick is the weakest link of both my fly and my free. gotta fix this.

SolarEnergy
October 31st, 2009, 09:27 PM
For me, butterfly has gone from seeming like a battle to becoming much more fluid. My endurance has improved, and I simply enjoy the act of swimming the stroke a great deal more. When done properly, it feels and looks like the most beautiful stroke of the four. Funny because I approach this stroke the same way as you do. And I also think that it is (by far) the most fascinating to experiment and look at.

A lot of folks miss this as they are put too much energy to it. When done at endurance pace, Butterfly is a slow stroke. If you want to book sets of 100s or 200s, better let the breaststrokers go first.

Tonight main set was (to a stroke of our choice)
200 fast
some longish cool down
4x50 fast
some longish cool down
4x50 fast

I couldn't wait but committing to the first 200. Since it was the first time I was increasing the pace a bit this year (I'd usually book my 200s easy in 3:40 roughly) I was very conservative. No kick. But the undulation was still there and the first 100 was very easy. Anyway long story short I saved too much because I was able to sprint the last 50. Finished in 3:05 - I was pleased, and ready for the bunch of 50s.

- - -
Easy, your English is great already. "Take it easy" means... well. I should I put this. Be cool, stay on the relaxed side. Anyway, your thread is very fun.

Taru
October 31st, 2009, 10:11 PM
1) Ur muscling every inch / Molecule crusher
2) No Kick...timing wrong
3) utilize the laws of motion / inertia/ action reaction principle
4) Your hands are too deep out front/ soft out front/ near topwater quadrant
5) Your head should enter water slightly before or at same time as your hands/ UNIT MOVEMENT
6) Hand extension in back with a release at same time...hands release outward and almost recover by theirselves / medial rotation out front
7) Prediction: Shoulder Pain eventually

Suggestion...Force Kick to work...kick hands back..kick hands forward. Swim a few 1000 yd fly's and exagerate the glide out front letting your hands return to the surface or top water quad before u pull.Think..Hands forward and hips up......Head...enter with hands unit movement....Good Luck :)

Easy[/quote]

ande
October 31st, 2009, 10:57 PM
you took 24 strokes in your race
looked really tired on your last 4
figure out how to take fewer strokes

SDK further

take it out a little easier

watch YouTube - 100 LCM Butterfly - World Record

Easy
November 1st, 2009, 03:25 AM
Excellent video Ande!
Now I think I still have much work to do to improve my butterfly...
Your advice will certainly help me.

Thanks to everybody. :chug:

"Easy"