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new
July 20th, 2011, 08:09 PM
hello

I have been swimming fly for 5 years, but just a week ago somebody told that my stroke is wrong.

When I first learned butterfly I used to focus a lot on my kick, so my stroke was very slow. Then my coach told me to focus on my arms, get them fast and my kick would eventually catch up with the speed.

Then I kept on doing fly but wihout a coach, I eventually got faster, but here is why my stroke is wrong: I don't kick two times every stroke, I only do it once, and anybody ever told me!

So, my time for a 50 fly SCM is 32" high, and for 100 SCM is 1' 13"

I started to do 2 kicks every stroke, but my times are x10 slower, like 40" for a 50 SCM fly :cane:(the only positive thing is that I get a lot less tired than
with the other stroke)

Here is a video of me from 6 months ago:

‪50 fly SCM‬‏ - YouTube

There you can clearly see that I only kick once every stroke.

So, my question is, how do I correct my stroke without losing too much speed in the process?

Because with the current speed of my arms, there is no way to kick two times, so I have to slow down and let them still infront of me for a moment so I kick a second time.

Thanks

knelson
July 20th, 2011, 08:29 PM
I think you are trying to force a kick rather than letting it be a natural part of the undulation of your stroke. The one big kick you're using probably gives you some propulsion, but at the same time you are really bending your knees and I'm sure it's causing lots of drag. Essentially you've got a flat stroke. Check out this video of Mary T. Meagher if you want to see what I'm talking about re undulation: ‪Mary T. Meagher‬‏ - YouTube I think watching this can describe it better than any words can.

Another comment I'd make is what's with the Superman position off the start and turn? You really need to lock your hands and put your forearms against your ears on the streamlines.

You could have a really fast fly if you can get these things down. Not everyone can turn it over like you do, and you seem to be turning it over AND have an effective catch. Keep working on it!

Allen Stark
July 20th, 2011, 08:33 PM
It looks to me like you are bending at the knees too much with your kick.This is making your kick slow.If you kick more from the chest and hips and less from the knees you can kick faster and get the kicks timed with your pull.

gdanner
July 20th, 2011, 08:53 PM
I think you are trying to force a kick rather than letting it be a natural part of the undulation of your stroke.

Exactly what Kirk said.

Check out this video at USA Swimming:

http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=1891&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en&mid=9432&ItemId=5161

...and note this specific phrase: "Press down with the hips and it's more of a pulse with the body than a kick." I would recommend trying this drill.

Based on your video, you need to bend at the hips more and less at the knees. The power from a kick comes from the core of the body.

You're probably lucky to be doing fly for just 5 years and be where you're at. Good luck!

SolarEnergy
July 21st, 2011, 03:12 PM
Wow, that's one of the best faulty butterfly I've seen. Future looks good!

You're a good candidate for my no-arm fly drill...

Fast version:
‪Butterfly Kick - NAD (No Arm Drill) Fast‬‏ - YouTube

Slow version:
‪Fly DrillSide‬‏ - YouTube

In all cases, it teaches you both kicks. That's the main difference between this kicking drill and any other fly kicking drills. This one makes a clear distinction between first and second kick.

So it's one kick when you dive, one kick when you breathe.

Now, your goal is to get to accelerate this as much as you can. You have a naturally high stroke rate at fly (by not giving the 2nd kick at all). If you decide to tackle on my no-arm drill, the goal is to get as close as possible to your naturally high full swim stroke rate.

That's what I try during the fast execution (shown above) which resulted in a total 50meter done in 41sec I think... And that's another cool feature of this drill. When you master it, you can automatically perform most kicking mileage at this, leading your lane most of the time, cause it's fast. Bloooody fast. I'm faster at this than say, at free style kicking with a board. And it gets you to work very specific to your fly.

moodyrichardson
July 22nd, 2011, 11:25 AM
Thanks so much for these drills!! I've been having trouble on my fly, and I think this will help so much!


Wow, that's one of the best faulty butterfly I've seen. Future looks good!

You're a good candidate for my no-arm fly drill...

Fast version:
‪Butterfly Kick - NAD (No Arm Drill) Fast‬‏ - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnxvdnu3Bn0)

Slow version:
‪Fly DrillSide‬‏ - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-p15jmC95ZI)

In all cases, it teaches you both kicks. That's the main difference between this kicking drill and any other fly kicking drills. This one makes a clear distinction between first and second kick.

So it's one kick when you dive, one kick when you breathe.

Now, your goal is to get to accelerate this as much as you can. You have a naturally high stroke rate at fly (by not giving the 2nd kick at all). If you decide to tackle on my no-arm drill, the goal is to get as close as possible to your naturally high full swim stroke rate.

That's what I try during the fast execution (shown above) which resulted in a total 50meter done in 41sec I think... And that's another cool feature of this drill. When you master it, you can automatically perform most kicking mileage at this, leading your lane most of the time, cause it's fast. Bloooody fast. I'm faster at this than say, at free style kicking with a board. And it gets you to work very specific to your fly.

funkyfish
July 22nd, 2011, 06:40 PM
From what I can see, the timing of the kick and stroke look off. By this I mean you're "stroking and kicking at the same time," it's kinda hard to explain but what happens is that the "ideal" rhythm is broken by this type of fly. You might try some one-arm fly with the non-stroking arm either at your side or in front. Also think of bringing your arms, head and torso up and over, diving down into the water. Then when your arms are close to finishing the propulsive part of the stroke (close to your stomach or hips), bring your kick down. This can help rework the rhythm to what you'd see with stronger butterfliers. Also, even though there are two kicks, you might think of it as having a big kick and a smaller kick. In your video you're emphasizing the small kick. I think the big kick should occur when your at or near the end of the propulsive phase of the arm stroke (again, when your hands are about to leave the water for the recovery phase.

It's pretty hard to explain via posting, at least for me, but I gave it a shot. The times you posted are pretty good for "doing it wrong," and I think once your rhythm is adjusted you'll see a fairly dramatic time drop with minimal amount of effort. :D

SolarEnergy
July 23rd, 2011, 11:43 AM
Also, even though there are two kicks, you might think of it as having a big kick and a smaller kick. In your video you're emphasizing the small kick. I think the big kick should occur when your at or near the end of the propulsive phase of the arm stroke (again, when your hands are about to leave the water for the recovery phase. That, although it may be hard to believe, largely varies from person to person. Ernest Maglischo even went as far as qualifying the first kick as being the most propulsive one for most swimmers. His rational here, and it is certainly a valid one, is that the first kick occurs during a dead phase upper body wise. Until you take a solid catch, you're left solely with the propulsion provided by this first kick. On the other hand, the second kick occurs in the same time as the final arm/hand push. That probably explains why some fly swimmers have a lot of success going big on first, and small on second. You see it more often with longer distance specialists (ie, 200m), 400m IM etc...

Therefore I wouldn't qualify the two fly kicks as a big and a small one, or a small followed by a big one (because it varies). Qualifying them as being the first and second kick is clear and leaves no room for mistake.

I think the reason why we came to believe that the second kick is generally bigger than the first is that the second normally splashes much more.


From what I can see, the timing of the kick and stroke look off. By this I mean you're "stroking and kicking at the same time," it's kinda hard to explain but what happens is that the "ideal" rhythm is broken by this type of fly. In fact, he's displaying an arm stroke rate that is a bit too fast compared to his undulation rate. Therefore he's on time (timing wise) for the first kick which occurs pretty much when it should (upon hand entry) but his high arm stroke rate leaves no room for the second kick to occur. In short, he needs to learn to undulate at high velocity in order to be able to sneak the second kick in.


Thanks so much for these drills!! I've been having trouble on my fly, and I think this will help so much! It's a fun and relaxing drill. Try it slow at first and come back if you have any question (or complaint?) :)

Here's another execution (a slow one) of the same drill as recorded by Lindsay (a member on this site). May be little cleaner than my older slow execution. Near the end, I add a few full fly cycles just to show the similarity (in timing). Maybe one last thing, obviously the fact that this drill uses the same exact timing as if you were swimming the full fly opens the door to creative combinations (e.g. doing 15m drill / 10m fly, or 4 cycles drill 4 cycles fly, could be 4 cycles drill breathing every cycle then 4 cycles fly not breathing at all etc....). Could also intergrate the SDK, e.g. 15m SDK followed by 10m drill etc... endless possibilities; so much so that it even allows for increasing the volume done at fly considerably. Just try the 15m drill /10m full combination. You'll end up putting together sets in excess of 200m without getting challenged that much. All that time working on timing, breathing, kicking(with first kick vs second kick distinction), undulation and streamlining.

‪Charles demonstrates no-arm butterfly‬‏ - YouTube

@funkyfish, if you looked at the execution, since it's a streamlining exercise you can actually clearly see the impact on forward propulsion of the first vs the second kick. The first one has it's importance as it's the one allowing for maintaining the speed upon hand/arm entry.

bud
July 25th, 2011, 09:56 AM
You certainly have the right idea, Fly is all about the kick. It is more of a full body motion however, which can take some time to understand.

Try these for improving your fly:

From the USMS site:
Teaching Masters to Master the Butterfly: West Side Fly Progression (https://www.usms.org/articles/articledisplay.php?a=236)

From Coach Emmett Hines (h2oustonswims.org (http://h2oustonswims.org/)):

Slip-Slid'n' Away (http://h2oustonswims.org/articles/slip_sliding_away.html)

Vive le Papillon! (http://h2oustonswims.org/articles/vive_le_papillon.html)

Looks like you may not need to do all of what is suggested... but if you read those through, you will likely get some additional good ideas that will help you improve better towards your goal.

Sometimes it can be helpful to slow down at first, and increase the amplitude of your stroke, to get the timing right... then work on speeding it up, and flattening it out. This can be a long process, but it seems you've been at it a while anyway. If you try this "slow down approach", try working a glide into your stroke. The "no-arm fly drill" suggestion looks really good for helping with this.

Think "Forward"... not "Up"... while focusing on always keeping the hips as high as possible. Good flexibility helps on this... a lot.

Occasionally when you practice, try letting the legs kind of drag behind you, while still giving kicks. The REAL power of the kick comes from the core, not the legs. One really pleasing side effect of this is a kick a** set of abs. ;)

You will know when you hit the sweet spot... and when you do, you will want more.

There is a remarkable collection of articles at http://www.svl.ch/svlimmat_ratind.html ... you may find something useful there as well.

There are some excellent comments, suggestions, and links in this thread! Special thanks to knelson for the Mary T. Meagher vid link... what a beautiful example. She really drives forward with such graceful power.

Have Fun!

:)

Fenella
July 25th, 2011, 10:06 AM
This may not be a solution to your problem but my experience may be relevant to others.... and something to try

Earlier this year my fly just seemed to be going backwards - more effort needed, less speed , hauling myself out of the water etc etc and I could not pinpoint what was wrong.

A coach suggested I put on my fins ( which didnt seem to help at this time) and kick keeping my knees as straight as possible - it felt completely bizarre but I went like a rocket !

It turned out I had subconsciously weakened my kick by bending my knees more than before - I am now kicking with straighter legs and have a much better position in the water again :bliss:

SolarEnergy
July 25th, 2011, 04:34 PM
Vive le Papillon! (http://h2oustonswims.org/articles/vive_le_papillon.html)
Here's a quote from this text above...


That Guy

But, over in lane 5 is That Guy. That Guy frustrates the hell out of you. He's no great swimmer. He's 15 years older than you. You can beat him soundly in any freestyle event under 500 yards. You've never seen him swim the 50 fly. Yet there he is, finishing the 200 fly.

That Guy? Is he talking about *our* That Guy?

My bad That Guy, you're everywhere!

That Guy
July 25th, 2011, 04:55 PM
That Guy, you're everywhere!

I approve this message.

Thrashing Slug
July 25th, 2011, 08:47 PM
It turned out I had subconsciously weakened my kick by bending my knees more than before - I am now kicking with straighter legs and have a much better position in the water again :bliss:

I think this is true. The more you try to consciously use your legs to kick fly, the less effective it is. Fly kick seems to come from the stomach and the hips. The legs are just big long fins that flop around.

Galmag
July 28th, 2011, 10:46 AM
I think this is true. The more you try to consciously use your legs to kick fly, the less effective it is. Fly kick seems to come from the stomach and the hips. The legs are just big long fins that flop around.

I agree.

Plus, one sure thing about swimming, is that you don't have shortcuts in this sport. However, I felt like I hit paydirt when I started stretching my hands before I pull.

I now try to reach farther with my palms before I pull and as a result, I streamline better and my kick feels a lot stronger. Stretching out also helps keeping your knees straight(er) like Fenella suggested.

I wonder if I'm the only one who does that?

philoswimmer
July 28th, 2011, 12:48 PM
I agree.

Plus, one sure thing about swimming, is that you don't have shortcuts in this sport. However, I felt like I hit paydirt when I started stretching my hands before I pull.

I now try to reach farther with my palms before I pull and as a result, I streamline better and my kick feels a lot stronger. Stretching out also helps keeping your knees straight(er) like Fenella suggested.

I wonder if I'm the only one who does that?

I was told recently that I needed to reach farther forward with my arms. I believe that the suggestion was that I incorporate a short glide. Now I have to figure out how to do that with a reasonable turnover rate.

I also don't think about my kick too much, but I do try to think about undulation.

Fenella
July 29th, 2011, 05:22 AM
This may be moving towards the Butterfly Lane thread but on this glide point - did anyone else see Ida Marko- Varga of Sweden in the womens 200m semi? She had the longest glide I have ever seen with enough time for a coffee and cigarette between each stroke

Quite extraordinary. If someone can glide that much and reach the semis then perhaps I can glide and survive a 200 ....................

philoswimmer
July 29th, 2011, 11:48 AM
This may be moving towards the Butterfly Lane thread but on this glide point - did anyone else see Ida Marko- Varga of Sweden in the womens 200m semi? She had the longest glide I have ever seen with enough time for a coffee and cigarette between each stroke

Quite extraordinary. If someone can glide that much and reach the semis then perhaps I can glide and survive a 200 ....................

Does anyone have a video?

thewookiee
July 29th, 2011, 12:27 PM
This isn't a video of the WC swim but here is some practice footage of her swimming all strokes


‪DreamDraft.com - Ida Marko-Varga - The Chosen One‬‏ - YouTube

That Guy
July 29th, 2011, 01:02 PM
I'd be interested to know her stroke counts versus the rest of the field. I've counted some swimmers' strokes before who appeared to have incredible DPS and usually they weren't markedly different from other swimmers. Maybe one or two strokes better per 25. Which is good, of course, but not phenomenal.

bud
July 29th, 2011, 01:18 PM
... I wonder if I'm the only one who does that?
Nope... based on my experience, this is a spot-on description.

I find that the longer I make myself in the water, the easier it is to do fly.

:)

philoswimmer
July 29th, 2011, 03:16 PM
This isn't a video of the WC swim but here is some practice footage of her swimming all strokes


‪DreamDraft.com - Ida Marko-Varga - The Chosen One‬‏ - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-XZr5XxuJE)

Thanks for that. I'm not seeing much of a glide in her fly, though, are you?

(By the way, it strikes me that although it seems like we've gotten off topic, we really haven't. I think fly is somewhat "holistic" -- to kick right, you have to do most of the rest of the stroke right).

couldbebetterfly
July 29th, 2011, 03:35 PM
This may be moving towards the Butterfly Lane thread but on this glide point - did anyone else see Ida Marko- Varga of Sweden in the womens 200m semi? She had the longest glide I have ever seen with enough time for a coffee and cigarette between each stroke

Quite extraordinary. If someone can glide that much and reach the semis then perhaps I can glide and survive a 200 ....................

Love the description! I did my 1st 200 fly in 8 years last month on a glide-based approach. I was very slow, but I finished it legally also noting that my fly-arm muscles are not as strong as they used to be so I'm working on that now.

Another vote for using fins though - it really highlighted to me that my timing was a little off and I could feel the deceleration in stroke much more than without them. You've got to keep that forward momentum.

Fenella
August 2nd, 2011, 08:28 AM
‪Marko-Varga-Fly glid.mov‬‏ - YouTube


I went back onto Eurosport and counted strokes in the race

In the first 50 of the 200 butterfly, Ida did 15 strokes compared to Ellen Gandy's 20 ......... huge difference

It seems surprising that someone gliding so much can be competitive - there is hope for me !

That Guy
August 2nd, 2011, 09:55 AM
‪Marko-Varga-Fly glid.mov‬‏ - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8z1LNV1fkw&feature=related)


I went back onto Eurosport and counted strokes in the race

In the first 50 of the 200 butterfly, Ida did 15 strokes compared to Ellen Gandy's 20 ......... huge difference

It seems surprising that someone gliding so much can be competitive - there is hope for me !

15 strokes for 50 LCM at race pace is pretty good.

Fenella
August 2nd, 2011, 10:11 AM
I have made my training decision - glide - glide- glide - its a coffee :coffee:, cigarette :blush: and two macaroons :drool: between each stroke

philoswimmer
August 2nd, 2011, 03:23 PM
‪Marko-Varga-Fly glid.mov‬‏ - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8z1LNV1fkw&feature=related)


I went back onto Eurosport and counted strokes in the race

In the first 50 of the 200 butterfly, Ida did 15 strokes compared to Ellen Gandy's 20 ......... huge difference

It seems surprising that someone gliding so much can be competitive - there is hope for me !

Ah, you can clearly see her glide in that video. Thank you!

thewookiee
August 2nd, 2011, 04:42 PM
It would be good to see her whole 200 instead of just a few seconds. Becareful trying to glide like her. I see people trying to swim fly easy that have too much up and down motion.

I would think that one would want to glide forward with just a little up/down movement.

geochuck
August 25th, 2011, 08:56 AM
For you drill addicts, http://www.sportplan.net/drills/Swimming/Butterfly-Drills/Butterfly-Drills-Dril25n.jsp?s=&utm_source=aweber&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Swimming2011-08-25basic&scId=1003&sd=8-25-2011

ande
August 25th, 2011, 04:58 PM
hello
I have been swimming fly for 5 years, but just a week ago somebody told that my stroke is wrong.
When I first learned butterfly I used to focus a lot on my kick, so my stroke was very slow. Then my coach told me to focus on my arms, get them fast and my kick would eventually catch up with the speed.
Then I kept on doing fly but wihout a coach, I eventually got faster, but here is why my stroke is wrong: I don't kick two times every stroke, I only do it once, and anybody ever told me!
So, my time for a 50 fly SCM is 32" high, and for 100 SCM is 1' 13"
I started to do 2 kicks every stroke, but my times are x10 slower, like 40" for a 50 SCM fly :cane:(the only positive thing is that I get a lot less tired than
with the other stroke)
Here is a video of me from 6 months ago:
‪50 fly SCM‬‏ - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnvrBCEF7S4)
There you can clearly see that I only kick once every stroke.
So, my question is, how do I correct my stroke without losing too much speed in the process?
Because with the current speed of my arms, there is no way to kick two times, so I have to slow down and let them still infront of me for a moment so I kick a second time.
Thanks

when you swim butterfly, you go faster when kicking once per cycle rather than 2x per cycle

you asked:
"how do I correct my stroke without losing too much speed in the process?"
I say, GO FASTER, do what works for you
Some flyers don't benefit much from their kick and actually wind up going slower trying to swim fly "right"


a few years ago I did a swim faster faster session SFF focused on fly.

at first glance, when she swam fly her timing was off, she got mucked up with when to kick and pull.

ON SFF sessions I do a before and an after timed swim

Before:
25 fly, went 17.0
she stayed under too long on her dive,
bent her knees too much when she tried to kick and
moved her arms too slow trying to tie her kick and pull together

I had her swim an easy 75
then she rested another 1:00


AFTER:
I didn't tell her what she did wrong, it does no GOOD.
I gave her the following instructions for her next 25 fly

You are doing another FAST 25 fly for time,
but this time I want you to

GET PSYCHED and be fierce to crank that 25
Dive shallow,
do small SDKs,
don't breathe,
Move your arms as fast as you can until you touch the wall,
do small dolphin kicks while you're swimming, barely bend your knees

I asked her "What did I just say?"

she ran through the list.

Get up on the blocks

Take Your MARK

GO

She did and she went 15.3!


here's what each instruction did

"GET PSYCHED and be fierce to crank that 25"
It's possible to go faster
Put your self in Ideal Performance State, IPS
get ready to and really attack your swim


Dive shallow,
don't go too deep and waste time struggling to the surface
breakout with speed and moment up

do small SDKs,
your dolphin kick is messed up, you bend you knees too much
it slows you down

Don't breathe
keeps your head down which keeps your hips up

Move your arms as fast as you can until you touch the wall
This is key, if you crank your arms as fast as you can you'll move your body faster

do small dolphin kicks while you're swimming, barely bend your knees
poor kickers should stay streamlined and keep their legs out of the way

I think the other thing that played a factor was I was watching her, timing her, and she was motivated to swim faster.

I'm not sure how much each tip contributed to her improvement but she was thrilled she swam faster.

Ande

geochuck
August 25th, 2011, 05:15 PM
Ande I was at a meet the other day and noticed the kids were clenching their teeth during the butterfly heats of a 100 Fly. I took one of the youngsters aside and told him to swim with a loose jaw. He came back after the final and said I took three seconds off my best time.

Woofus B. Loofus
August 25th, 2011, 07:33 PM
The most interesting video I've seen of Ida's butterglide technique is here in a 200 SCM race:

Fjäril 200m - YouTube

What's noteworthy is how she SDKs the full 15M in the opening length, then uses 7 strokes. On the second length, she SDKs about 12M and does 9 strokes. Then for the remaining five middle lengths, she SDKs about the same, but uses 7 strokes only, noticeably changing into her up-and-down butterglide technique. For the final length, she revs up again into a higher turnover. The video ends before she touches, but it appears she closed with at least 10 strokes.

philoswimmer
August 25th, 2011, 08:01 PM
The most interesting video I've seen of Ida's butterglide technique is here in a 200 SCM race:

Fjäril 200m - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FW7FriePvQ&feature=related)

What's noteworthy is how she SDKs the full 15M in the opening length, then uses 7 strokes. On the second length, she SDKs about 12M and does 9 strokes. Then for the remaining five middle lengths, she SDKs about the same, but uses 7 strokes only, noticeably changing into her up-and-down butterglide technique. For the final length, she revs up again into a higher turnover. The video ends before she touches, but it appears she closed with at least 10 strokes.

Whoa, that's amazing -- there was such a huge difference between the beginning, middle, and end. Is the thought there that the butterglide in the middle gives you good speed for the effort, allowing you to go out really fast and come home fast?

Woofus B. Loofus
August 25th, 2011, 09:07 PM
Guesstimating her split times using the youtube ticker, she opened with a 7 stroke, 14sec length; her second length (9 strokes) took about 16sec. Very uniform pace over the first 50.

Then she downshifts into butterglide, and her five middle butterglide lengths (7 strokes) go about 17, 17, 17.5, 18 and 18 seconds. It appears she lost about one second per length, in return for doing two less strokes.

Eerily efficient. Shades of Sun Yang.

new
October 13th, 2011, 11:54 AM
UPDATE

Thank you all for the feedback, I took note of everything, mostly the drills

So last saturday (altmost 2 months since I started to change my stroke) I sawm 200 IM in LCM

This is 20 seconds of my fly at the beggining of the race, I can see my kick improvement very clear.

I'm still swimming a slower fly, but the stroke is much better, and it will kick the old stroke ass in 6 months :)

Here is the short video:

Start of 200 IM LCM.wmv - YouTube

I'm in lane 6 on top......the guy with the latest start



BTW: Maybe somebody can figure out this video problem:
I couldn't upload the full 200 IM because somehow the video got broken. It was filmed with a dvd camera, when I put the disk in the computer is a file with extension file.vro, I changed the extension to file.avi so I can play it, but somehow a 3 minute vid turns into a 20 seconds vid, when I watch it on windows media player even though it says 20s it plays for 3 minutes, how is that possible? like 1 second = 10 seconds and so on

orca1946
October 13th, 2011, 12:28 PM
I keep a constant 7 - 8 stroke count on 200 fly that works for me. Now the 50 is another story with 10 down & 14 back for speed.