Main Set Butterfly

Three Home Exercises to Build a Better Butterfly


Three great home exercises to build a better butterfly

Butterfly is the most difficult swimming stroke to do well, requiring incredible amounts of strength in the legs, core and shoulders. It also demands great ankle and shoulder flexibility in order to develop speed. The butterfly pulling motion is very similar to the freestyle pulling motion, requiring a high elbow pull through to minimize frontal drag. Here are three great exercises that will help build your shoulder, arm, core and leg strength for a faster butterfly.

  1. Stretch chord high elbow pull. 

Olympian Roland Schoeman once held the world record in the 50-meter butterfly. This video demonstrates how Roland developed a beautiful fast high elbow pulling motion. Try doing this exercise for one minute with 30 seconds rest and repeat three times. Make sure you keep the elbows high and push the hands through quickly. Move further back to add more resistance.


Olympic gold medalist Roland Schoeman demonstrates the correct pulling motion with Stretch Cordz

  1. Boxing Roundhouse. 

One of the favorite exercises of all Race Clubbers, the Boxing Roundhouse taxes the strength and stamina of the shoulders and the arms. By holding the elbows locked in and in a very high position, the swimmer rotates quickly through the mitts all the way back before repeating the same motion with the other glove. Go fast and furious for one minute, take 30 seconds rest and repeat two more times. Very tough set!


Swimmers love to pound the gloves against the mitts. They get a great exercise doing it.

  1. Abdominal Set. 

Butterfly may require stronger abdominal strength than with any other stroke. In this video you will find three of the most challenging one-minute sets for building a strong core and legs, performed by three different elite athletes. If you cannot handle one minute, then start with 30 seconds and build up from there. Soon you will begin to discover that six pack on your abdomen once again!


A swimmer can never get too much core strength. Doing straight leg kicks builds the core and hip flexors

Yours in swimming,

Gary Sr.

For the Most Advanced Swimming Technique Videos