View Full Version : How about workouts for the 200 fly?

August 4th, 2002, 08:12 PM
How about 200 butterfly LCM workout suggestions?

Would like to hear suggestions. Not sure if it is better to swim 100 repeats or 300s. Also, have people tried to swim sets underwater?

Here is a nice example in a LCM pool:

600 w.u.

4x200 free on 2:50

8x100 fly on 1:50

8x50 free on :45

6x50 fly kick on 1:00


August 27th, 2002, 11:48 AM
Just browsing thru some old posts and saw yours. I myself am a 200 flyer. In my more younger years I always found that doing sets of 250's or 300's better than repeating 100's. Felt it was better for endurance and able to bring home that second hundred without much pain :-)

For the sets underwater, well, again in my younger yrs, when I swam the 200 fly at Nationals, half my race was actually underwater, which has its pros and cons. First, you need to have strong kick to be able to keep up underwater as others are swimming. Good thing is that is saves your shoulders for the last 50 :-) Bad thing is if you do not practice underwater, you will be going into ogyen debt.

For Underwater sets, I like to do for example 5x100. First lap underwater, then 75 fly. Then I just move the underwater each time so on 2nd hundred, the second lap is underwater and so on

Good to see there are stillsome crazy people out there that like the 200 fly :-)


September 10th, 2002, 07:49 PM

I myself aspire to become a better distance butterfly as it is my weakest stroke. But I've decided I want to learn how to SWIM the 200 fly as opposed to SURVIVING it. After 15+years my 100 fly is finally faster than my 100 breast, (short-course) and think it should be closer to my 200 br time as well.

I usually only swim 50's sets, or every other 50, as most people I swim with prefer the crawl, but at the ends of sets where others won't lap me, I'll try do some stroke work. Swimming in a slower lane for stroke would be nice but I ended up resting on the wall too long.

I'm currently working on not breathing every stroke. Although the breathing pattern helped my body position, I lost more time on turnover at nationals. I figure this is from spoiling my lungs rotten of all the air it wants when I swim sprint or long-distance freestyle (yes, I breathe almost every stroke). I'm currently looking for 1 or 2 fly sets within a 90 minute workout, any fav sets or help from anybody is appreciated.


September 17th, 2002, 02:31 AM
Although I am not a great butterfly swimmer, I have taught and coached over 800 swimmers since I stopped age group swimming.

Overall, I feel there are three factors that all swimmers need to overcome when they desire to swim fly well. (Note: I think that these factors apply to the development of all strokes as well) I have listed these in order l feel is most important.

1) Mental - Many swimmers feel that butterfly is a "difficult stroke" and mentally are afraid of the stroke. Fly is just another stroke. You should treat it as such. Also you should focus on the best parts of your stroke and use these positive thoughts to better your attitude on developing the parts of your stroke that you feel you need to work on. For example, if you finish a race and your analysis of the event basically consists of "I died", you are not developing the information you need to better your event next time.

When you are planning an event you need to set both qualitative and quantative goals. The quantative goals are easy (how fast do you want to go). The qualitative goals are harder but will change your focus on how you approach the event. You need to set goals for how you want to feel in the water and how you are going to attack each part of the race. Maybe you want to focus on your kick, build intensity by 50, or set up good stroke timing. By focusing on developing qualitative goals, you will be able to have have more chances of success in your event. (If you have 1 quantitative goal and 4 qualitative goals, I consider a race a success if you meet any one of the goals you set)

You need to analyse the event afterwords and break it down into its parts. Generally, I look at it is 50m increments. Look at what went well in each part of the race, what your goals were and see if you met your goals.

2) Techical - You must be able to swim fly technically correct, so drill, drill, and more drill. All drill work should be supplemented with full stroke swimming to incorporate the skills you are working on, so you try incorporate at least 25m full stroke for every 100 - 150 m drill performed. Be sure to focus on the component of the stroke you were working on in the drill as you are swimming full stroke.

Drills should be done in progression and build up to the full stroke. Your coach should have a series of drills you can do to develop the skills you need from start to finish.

Additionally the drill will allow you to work on the fly stroke for a longer period than you would normally be able to. However as you become more technically proficient in fly, you will find that you will be able to hold the stroke together for longer periods in workout.

3) Physical - I do not deny that fly is a physically demanding stroke if your body/mind is not mentally or technically prepared to swim.

To help with your technical proficiecy, there are some muscle groups that need specific work to develop the strength required to hold the stroke together. These muscle groups include your gluts, abdomen and your upper back muscles (especially the ones between your shoulder blades).

The gluts and abdomen are required for a strong kick. By strengthening these muscles, you will be able to maintain you kick for longer periods of time.

The back muscles are needed to help with the recovery of the arms. Since most swimmers are strong in the chest, these back muscles tend to get neglected (look at the posture of most swimmers). As you contract these muscles in your back, your chest muscles relax. If you suffer from a lack of shoulder flexibility or do not work on your back muscles on a regular basis, the back muscles will fatigue early in the race and you will not be able to contract these muscles to maintain a proper recovery throughout the race.

One of the keys to stroke improvement is to develop training plans that work the muscle groups that swimming does not work on. Crosstraining in other sports can be beneficial in this area.

I recommend that you discuss with your coach these various points and develop a training plan that works for you.

Good Luck:)

Matt S
September 17th, 2002, 05:12 PM

Very interesting approach. Can you recommend any specific exercise to strengthen the back muscles?


September 17th, 2002, 11:24 PM
Here are a few upper back exercises. Note that this exercise is weight training based, but you can use stretch cords as well. Start with light weights, say 1kg, and increase your weight over time. You should be looking at a 3-6 month time frame to strengthen the muscle groups to their full potential

1) Reverse bench press (2 exercises)- standing straight up near a table or counter with your weights in hand, bend over at the waist and rest your forehead on the counter. Feel free to put some padding down. Keep your back and neck straight. Let your arms drop so that they are hanging below your shoulders.

a) lift your arms along side of your chest, letting your elbows bend to keep your forearm perpendicular to the floor. Try to keep your elbows shoulder width apart through the entire contraction. The lifting motion is similar to the way a runner lets there arms swing, however you are lifting both arms simultaneously instead of alternating. You should feel the muscles between your shoulder blades squeezing together

b) lift your arms perpendicular to the side of your chest, letting your elbows bend to keep your forearm perpendicular to the floor. Try to squeeze your elbows together the entire contraction.

Here is a good upper back strech.

2) upper back arches - laying on your stomach, rest on your elbows with your face looking foreward. Try to arch your back from the bottom of your rib cage and up. Hold position for 15 sec. slide your elbows 5cm forward and arch back again. Move arms forward 3 to 4 times.

Hopefully these help

Matt S
September 24th, 2002, 05:38 PM

Thanks for the tip. Would you care to comment on the training techniques Tom Boettcher using for super long distance fly? http://www.thomasboettcher.org/RecordFly/default.htm

This was mentioned in another discussion thread "Distance Fly."


September 24th, 2002, 10:33 PM
Fly is a kick dominiated stroke and most of Tom's work is focused around his goal of swimming 5K fly. Without analyzing his stroke directly, much of my comments on the article are based on the writers interpretation of Toms stroke.

Overall, I feel that you need to focus your training on your goals, so your training should reflect what your goal is and what you are training for. When you focus your work, you would be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Looking at Tom, he seems to be very fit (by looking at his pictures) and focuses his workouts on developing his core body strength (abdomen, gluts, lower back, psoas, thighs and hamstrings) If you have a strong kick, you will find fly easier to do. Every individual has strengths that they bring to their swimming, and I feel that Tom's strength lies with his development of his kick. I think something that Tom could work on would be his stroke efficiency. He states that he goes 10 strokes/25y. High stroke rates generally mean that the power generated is not being used efficiently and he is slipping in a part of his stroke. I would recommend that he work towards 8 strokes/ 25y (in a pool of course) as I generally recommend that a swimmer go 9-10 strokes/25m length.

I feel that the analysis of the kick is correct and that most swimmers kick down hard and 'relax' on the upbeat. I feel that you need to set up a strong, steady kick and time your arms around your kick - not the other way.

That said for the average masters swimmer, the reality is that they are not swimming 5K fly and have not developed the upperbody strength and flexiblity to be able the swim at that level. No matter how strong your kick is, if you have no flexiblity or strength between the shoulder blades, you will fatigue after 100 -150 metres or so. I feel a more rounded approach works for most swimmers.

For myself and my masters swimmers fly training, I spend 1/3 of my time on kick(on back or with board), 1/3 on fly drills, and 1/3 on fly full stroke. I very rarely use pull bouys as I find that swimmers will very quickly focus on their arms and forget about their legs.

My drills include:
vertical kicking, dolphin dives. single arm (arm at side)on your side, side kicking, fins, swimming full stroke with fins, etc.

When working on any drill it is important to know what areas of the stroke the drill is meant to work on. For example, the side arm drill is meant to focus on the timing of the arms around your kick. Time the hand entry with the downbeat of the kick and the second downbeat with the finishing of the stroke.

September 25th, 2002, 06:38 PM
My recommendation on 200 meter or yard fly is to do it in practice. I was on a team back in the summwer of 1974 where the coach had me do three 200's fly swims in practice without stopping and also broken 200 flys's at the fly or 100. I went from 2:55 to 2.47.4 in the 200 meter butterfly. I realized that most of us can't do that much butterfly of 200's but doing a 200 once in while wihtout stopping or broken 200's will help.

October 8th, 2002, 02:21 PM
the best prepared I ever was for distance fly came about through a season of stroke drills, kicking and adding fly to my freestyle sets. through out the season, when ever we worked on any middle distance freestyle sets the coach gently introduced fly for me. when doing sets of 100's, we would start adding 25 Fly drill or swim either at the beginning or the end (150's, 200's or 300's would use 50 Fly). Later this would build so that we were alternating fly drill, fly & free. Then we would be adding all fly swims of 50 or 75. Eventually, we would wind up doing 12 or 20 x 100's Fly without much problem. never did too many 200+ Fly's or better in practice, but would alternate by 100's or 50's. Occasionally, we would do 8x200 alt 200 Fr/200 Fl.

Other coaches I swam for would hit us right off the bat with a bunch of fly and it never felt right because I couldn't hold my stroke. The season long build up got me swimming fly quicker and I was able to go futher without hitting the wall.