Swimming butterfly

The butterfly technique is the most complicated of the swimming strokes and is taught to students last. It requires good timing and simultaneous arm and leg actions.

Stage one

  • Position the body flat in the water with a slight slope down to hips.
  • The water line should be between the eyebrows and the hairline with eyes focused forward and slightly downward.

Stage two

  • Start with the arms by the side and extend straight over the head and at full extension they should pass downwards brushing against the ears.
  • Throughout the extension, keep hands pressed together with palms and fingers pointing down, ready for the catch position.
  • As the arms make contact with the water, push the arms outward and downward from the shoulders.
  • Keep bringing the arms through until they get past the hips and bring up the arms sharply with high elbows. Continue again at point one.

Stage three

  • At the same time as the arms, kick the legs using a flutter kick technique.
  • Ensure that the knees are slightly bent through the downward motion with both legs kept together.
  • As the legs move up, keep the legs straight and the toes pointed slightly inward.
  • Do not bring the feet out of the water.

Stage four

  • Throughout the stroke, maintain breathing after every full cycle.
  • Ensure that the breath is released gradually until the next in breath.
  • Try to keep to a rhythm of three to five leg kicks to every full arm cycle.