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Thread: How can I get better at swimming fly (50/100/200) yards

  1. #1
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    Unhappy How can I get better at swimming fly (50/100/200) yards

    Hi. So I'm an American high school swimmer originally from Korea who is 16 years old. I wanted to ask you all about how I can improve and build up endurance for fly.

    Here is a little bit about me physically and mentally just in case it can help me out by letting you know what kind of person I am so you can analyze my problem more thoroughly. First of all, I'm a sophomore in high school with a height of 6'0" and weigh 150 lb and have been swimming for 8 months (started around February or March of 2017), I've been on club swim (Irvine Novaquatics) for 4 months off and on because I played water polo, I regularly lift weights at the gym (around 3 or 4 times a week, all body work out something similar to https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jasonlezak1.htm and just quickly, the max for some basic things which I do 10 reps of, 17.5 lb dumbell each arm shoulder extention, 30 lb standing overhead barbell tricep extention, 30 lb each side bench press, 120lb lat pull downs, 550lb leg press, 140lb leg curl), I go to club swim practices 80% of the time (4 out of 5 in a week), and have the will power to swim alone during the weekend to improve my stroke technique. Some of my pr's for some swims are: 50 free;26.9, 100 free;1:03, 100 breast;1:17, 200 breast;2:57, 100 back;1:21, 100 fly;1:27. Im legit willing to do anything to get better at 100 fly.

    My main problem is that I can't do more than 50 fly. I know that my butt comes up after doing the stroke (angulation), I usually glide along the surface but after the turn on the 25, I suddenly just break and doing the recovery becomes really hard. I've swam the 100 fly once and it was just terrible. I was chilling on the first 25 but after that, I just broke down. As I said, my 100 fly is worse than my 100 breast by 10 seconds, although I know that it should be the other way around. I tried doing drills that focus on just the arm motion for fly using a buoy on my leg, left right full stroke drill, butterfly kicks rotating 90 degrees after each 25 kick, and mostly just about everything that I could find online. What am I doing wrong? I just can't seem to get the endurance for it.

    Sorry for such a long post but I wanted to list out every possible thing that I could be doing wrong.

  2. #2
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    Re: How can I get better at swimming fly (50/100/200) yards

    Quote Originally Posted by hysterium8 View Post
    I've been on club swim (Irvine Novaquatics) for 4 months off and on
    Fly is the most physically taxing stroke. No amount of dryland weight lifting will prepare your body for fly. One of my kids' club coaches has said if you miss a week in the water, it is like missing 2 months in other sports. And I believe it based on my experience just trying to keep fit. If you want to fix your fly, you need to fix the "off and on" part of your club swimming routine. If that isn't fixed, then to be honest, you need to fix your expectations......I'm not trying to be critical, I understand your frustration. But the simple fact of the matter is that you get out what you put in. My daughter just turned 13 and is a 58.8 second 100 fly swimmer......her normal week is about 14 hours in the water, and in the Summers it is 19 hours. Other than the breaks the team takes, she has never missed more than 2 days in a row (due to health reasons).

  3. #3
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: How can I get better at swimming fly (50/100/200) yards

    Good response, 67. If you want to improve your fly, you have to swim more of it in practice, and do repeats. Start with 25's on an interval that gives you ten seconds rest (for example). Keep track of how many you are able to do before you miss your interval. Next time out (hopefully, at least every other day), try to increase the quantity. When you are able to do 8 in a row without missing your interval, try to do each of those eight faster. Next, increase the distance to 50's. Then, 100's.

    I'm not sure I have this exactly correct, but you get the idea. You need to swim at least 4 days per week if you are going to expect to build up your endurance, especially for fly.
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  4. #4
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    Re: How can I get better at swimming fly (50/100/200) yards

    If you do lots of waterpolo during the school season you do a lot of head up freestyle and eggbeater kick which is why your free and breastroke are better than your fly. Try working water polo season to swim 2 to 4 times at night on the club team. During the off season of water polo try to swim 5 days a week on the club team. I didn't do much yardage as a kick at 12 I swaim fly at 44 seconds at 12 for a 50 yard and breaststroke at 42. At age 13 I swam fly at a 100 yard at 1:13 and at 14 at 1:11. I swam on novice teams until almost age 15. So, my yardage was between 1,500 to 4,000 yards a day instead of the 5,000 to 7,000 a day practice common with the more elite age groupers of my time. Its possible to break 1:20 fly. Just worked at it. I knew a guy at high school that swam a few years on a club team before high school but once in high school played water polo and swam only during the school season he did a 56 100 yard fly as a senior.

  5. #5
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    Re: How can I get better at swimming fly (50/100/200) yards

    Fly is hard but if you can learn to relax during portions of the stroke it will be easier. When your hands land on the surface (after the arm recovery-think land on surface rather than hand entry) let your upper body relax for a second or two as your chest and upper body sink. Keep your hands high so you can get a full arm pull rather than letting them sink down. As your lungs push you back up you should start the pull with your forearms vertical, hands below your elbows. You need to think of the arm recovery as recovery and this slight relaxing before the pull should make it feel like you are not working hard all of the time. I am sure that when you first started swimming and learned freestyle it felt hard - but now you can probably swim freestyle and be relaxed. The goal is to do the same for your butterfly. Learn to swim relaxed, not slow - but relaxed. Slowly you can build up speed and the 100 fly will not be so hard. Good luck!

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