I’m trying to teach myself butterfly..but the arm actions at the beginning has me confused..also raising my body just far enough to breath..
In butterfly, the hands enter the water in front of the body and in line with the shoulders. The hands are normally flat with a slight pitch so that the thumb side enters first. The hands scull outward, downward and backward ensuring that the back of the hand is facing forward as much as possible. At this point, the shoulders should have rotated internally and the hands will be slightly wider than the shoulders and you should have a high elbow position.
Continue to scull inwards and backwards until the thumbs nearly come together under the belly button. At this point the back of the hands should be facing forward and slightly upward. This will enable you to get the lift force required to raise your body just far enough to take a breath. The hands then scull slightly outward and backward until the thumb brushes the thighs and the hands exit the water with the palms facing upwards.
When the hands brush the thighs, the head should be up and the mouth taking a big breath.
The Swimming Expert