View Full Version : beginner fly problem

October 30th, 2011, 01:16 PM
Hi everyone

Been learning proper fly technique recently, and can get through 25M with reasonable proficiency. But after around the 15M mark I struggle to catch a breath because of the increasing splash I'm creating, I can only think that it's my head position causing this problem because at this point my arms are just finishing the pull.Can anyone relate to this and give me some tips?



October 30th, 2011, 03:47 PM
There is something wrong if you struggle after 15m. Best suggestion is to get video and post, then tons of good comments will pour in.

October 30th, 2011, 11:50 PM
Without seeing a video my first thought is that you are not pulling your hands/arms in under your body enough. If you concentrate on making the S shape you should be able to lift the head/push head & shoulders out of the water when the hands are close under the body. Then push your palms out, recover your arms and drop your head before the hands re-enter.

October 31st, 2011, 03:46 AM
Come to think about it I think I do neglect the push phase of my arm stroke and am maybe exiting my arms a little early, will get to work on this. Also would a stronger kick make the breathing phase easier?



October 31st, 2011, 12:22 PM
All true comments. If you are not finishing/pushing hard to the end the you do not have to forward motion to keep your head up. Do yu go to the gym to work on your arms for this?

November 1st, 2011, 09:42 AM
No, just ab work on dry land, think it's more of a technique problem rather than a strength issue. What arm exercises do you think would be benificial, my guess would be mainly tricep work, overhead barbell extensions and cable pull extensions etc.

November 1st, 2011, 11:19 AM
think it's more of a technique problem rather than a strength issue.

Almost certainly. Michael Phelps never touched a weight until he was at least 18, probably older. You don't need to work out in a gym to be a fast swimmer.

November 1st, 2011, 04:02 PM
If you want to clean up the breathing aspect of this stroke, you may want to give a try at the following drill. It's fly without the arms, breathing every stroke. The remaining is identical as if you were swimming the full stroke.

I call this 0-arm fly.

Fly DrillSide - YouTube

November 1st, 2011, 11:20 PM
I'm a beginner too, just keep working on it. I need to do the same

November 2nd, 2011, 03:54 PM
The first really useful thing I learned about fly is that it is all in the kick... and the kick is more of a whole body motion. Until you get a good kick and body undulation thing going, you are probably going to become an expert at butter-struggle.

How I developed into being able to do a 200 fly and 400 IM in competition (at age 40, never really did fly before that), was to do a lot of "body dolphin" kick drills on my back... and it is the fly drill that I still do the most. When you get where you can body dolphin for 50-100 yds, you should be able to do a 25 fly easy.

The next really important thing I learned was to "think forward, not up".

And the next big breakthrough for me was when I finally figured out that you want to breathe as early and quickly as possible.

Learn to keep the hips up, and the body as flat as possible. In other words, you can do fly with a long "wave" that has a lot of amplitude. But shortening the sine-wave pattern in fly is where you get the speed... and the power and the grace.

There are a bunch of fly drills out there. I'm not a die-hard believer in drills, but to develop a good fly stroke you almost have to do them.

I saw and age-group team doing something the coach called "rocket fly" once. As I recall they would do one fly stroke and then roll over and body dolphin on their back to the end of the pool. On the next length is was 2 fly strokes, then kick... next length 3 strokes, then kick, etc., until they did one full length of fly... then they would do the reverse, until they finished with all kicks. It is a long drill, but very effective (as long as you can keep your form).

I resisted doing "one-arm fly" for a really long time. But I got to say, it really is a good thing to help in the timing. It feels really awkward at first, but it helps. I do one-arm fly with my static arm out front... others will tell you different.

Do some web searches on various key words... it is a good way to find cool articles, etc.

The video above looks like something I've heard called a "caterpillar drill". It is a good thing to try.

You will know you are getting it down when you can start doing fly from a dead stop while floating on your stomach.

Here is one page of drills I just found:

Check out this post/thread for more info:
butterfly kick - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums
... there are some really good links there.

Talk to folks you see doing fly... sooner or later you will find someone who will talk your ear off.


November 2nd, 2011, 04:11 PM
Almost certainly. Michael Phelps never touched a weight until he was at least 18, probably older. You don't need to work out in a gym to be a fast swimmer.

Really? WHOA! I do think that for most of us having strong arms and shoulders would help in the butterfly.

My problem with my fly is that I think that taking a breath after every stroke is really slowing me down. But I feel like when I try a breath every two strokes my second stroke is too weak.

November 2nd, 2011, 04:38 PM
Get in better shape, train for the 1, 2, & 5 free

Put more rest before fast fly swims

consider and apply what I wrote in this Ask Ande Reply

November 2nd, 2011, 05:40 PM
Cheers Bud
Top reply and thanks for the links

November 2nd, 2011, 05:51 PM
Head down brings the hips up & head up too far brings the hips down too far. YES! try to stay flat WITH a good dolphin kick.