Swimisodes – Improve Butterfly Technique – Skate Drill

#swimisodes Learn how to improve butterfly technique with Olympic Gold Medalist and World Record Holder Roland Schoeman and Coach Gary Hall. Butterfly is a challenging swimming stroke because it requires tremendous upper body strength and a strong kick. In order to perform great butterfly technique a swimmer not only needs great conditioning but also perfect timing. Good swimming technique for fly also requires minimizing the frontal drag forces that are so overpowering to all swimmers.
Frontal drag in the butterfly increases significantly when the front breath is taken, caused by a shift from a horizontal to a more vertical body position in the water. The more vertical the body, the greater the frontal drag force. To make matters worse, the breath occurs during the fastest point in the stroke cycle, when the body can be travelling at nearly 7 miles per hour in elite butterflyers, faster than any other stroke including Freestyle.
To lessen the frontal drag in butterfly, Roland demonstrates in this Swimisode one our favorite swim drills at The Race Club, the butterfly skate drill. With this important swim drill, swimmers can learn to keep their shoulders lower and elevate more with their necks to get the breath, resulting in a faster and easier butterfly technique.

12 Responses to Swimisodes – Improve Butterfly Technique – Skate Drill

  1. Pingback: Is Butterfly Swimming a Short Axis Stroke? - The Race Club | The Race Club

  2. sherif habib

    Thanks for the nice article

  3. Anthony Hartman

    The swimisodes are excellent – I find them extremely interesting and helpful. My boy swims (not me!) and I find that I can pass on the information to him very easily. Thank you!

  4. john coates

    Great video and article! I have experimented with similar breathing ideas with breaststroke, and would like you feedback. I teach, and swim quite a bit or full stroke breaststroke underwater to teach timing and connectivity. I also like to do breakouts without lifting the head to breath, essentially skipping the breath on the first full cycle. I’ve applied your thought of lifting/tilting the chin forward for the normal breath each cycle. What I’ve found is that by not taking the breath on the breakout, the body stays lower in the water. You can force the head down, the hips come up, and you get a very powerful feeling of the kick driving down and forward from the hips being in an elevated position. The same applies when you tilt the chin to breath, and not try to force the head and shoulders upwards. Your hips still slide forward and up into a good power position for the kick without spending so much energy to get a similar result. Your thoughts?

  5. Gary Hall Sr.

    I agree with keeping the chin on the chest for the breakout on both breaststroke and fly. Holding the breath on the first stroke in fly is also important, except in the 200 when one needs the breath. Breaststroke mechanics are different than fly and so much coupling energy for the kick is derived from the upper body and head moving forward/downward that I think getting the air and elevating the shoulders on the first stroke might be better than holding the breath on the first stroke.

  6. ocean shum

    The article is useful for me and the swimisodes
    Swimisodes are so great!

  7. Brian Dickmann

    Coach Ray Bussard from The University of Tennessee was using this drill in the 1970’s and 80’s. He called it, “Butterfly Drill #2.” We call it “Bussard Drill #2” now. I learned this drill from him as a swimmer at UT between 1985-88. I have used this drill in my coaching for 25 years. In my opinion, there is no other butterfly drill that teaches the timing and position of the breath and head than this drill. Thanks for posting!
    Brian Dickmann

  8. Katie

    I have always enjoyed reading and watching your Swimisodes. What I really appreciate this time watching the butterfly techniques is the subtitles have been added to the video as I am deaf. More subtitles please. Any chance of adding subtitles on your recent Swimisodes Yoga for swimmers please? Thank you.

    • Richard Hall

      Thanks Katie! We are working on subtitles for all of our Swimisodes… So far with subtitles;

      Freestyle Kick Butterfly
      Freestyle Kick Breaststroke
      Backstroke Starts
      The Fifth Stroke part 1
      Freestyle Head Position

  9. Adie Harman

    It’s awesome! My coach at swim practice showed everyone this video so we could get better at butterfly. I’m not totally understanding it but I’m watching this to get the hang of it. Thanks!

  10. Pingback: Is Butterfly Swimming a Short-Axis Stroke? - Aqua Notes - The Race Club | The Race Club

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