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Butterfly Technique – Breathing Too Late

Gary Barclay explains one of the most common problems when swimming butterfly – breathing too late.

Hi, I’m Gary Barclay, and we’re going to spend a little bit of time having  a look at one of the most common problems in butterfly, and that is  breathing too late.  It’s really important in butterfly to breathe at the  correct time.

So, as your hands start pulling through underneath the water and underneath your body, then your chin starts moving forward and your head starts looking forward to breathe. As your hands accelerate out the back of your stroke, that’s when your chin should be on the surface level, and you should be breathing in.

So when the hands get back into that position back there, that’s where you should be breathing in. As your arms start to come over with their recovery, it’s important to start tucking your head down so that your head is well and truly down before your arms are fully extended out in  front.

One of the most common problems in butterfly is where swimmers breathe too late. So they’ll pull through the water, their head will still be down under the water, and then they’ll start to breathe as their arms are coming over on the recovery. This is too late and makes it really hard to recover your arms, but it also often means that one arm will come over, and then  the other arm. And you’ll see this a lot with very young swimmers.

So, make a point when you’re breathing butterfly to breathe at the back of  the stroke, pushing your chin forward along the water, take a nice big  breath, and then tuck your head back down again.

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