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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.