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Butterfly Kick Needs Improvement



My daughter started swimming competitively at 9 1/2 yrs.  She excelled in butterfly doing very well for the first couple of years.  She has just turned 14. For the last two seasons she has come to a standstill in butterfly.  I have noticed that most of the work is done using her arms so after 50 metres she tires due to this.  In 50 metres she is down to 31.7 now but in the 100 metres she is going backwards, although she got to 1’09.? she is back to around 1’11-1’12 now.  She seems to drag her legs and has difficulty in moving them.  Her coaches keep telling her she needs to moves those legs but she just can’t seem to do this.  Do you have any suggestions that she could try to get to move those legs in co- ordination with her arms.

Thank you G


Hi G,

Every swimmer will go through periods where their times may not improve.  This particularly happens when they go through puberty and their body shape and weight-to-strength ratio changes.

The main issue seems to be that “she seems to drag her legs and has difficulty moving them”.   One way to assist her would be to complete 4 or 5 sets a week really focusing on her kick initially and then re-introducing butterfly drills and swimming with a focus on the kick.  The butterfly kick sets that she does should be done with a fast kick over 25m or 50m initially and building up to 100’s.  These may be done initially with fins however whenever a set is done with fins, a second set without fins should be done so that she doesn’t become reliant on them.  A set of 8 x 50 butterfly kick with fins done fast and hard followed by 6 x 50 butterfly kick without fins done fast and hard would be an example set.

It is also important that she uses her kick (and kicks hard) whenever she does butterfly drill work and focuses on kicking at the correct time in the stroke.

By doing this she will improve again.



The Swimming Expert


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