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How to Improve Butterfly Timing

QUESTION:

Hello, I have a son who is looking to better his butterfly timing.  What can you recommend to improve his timing. On a 100 he does 1:03.  Would weights training help him?

Thank you, IP

ANSWER:

Hi IP,

There are two critical timing aspects to swim strong butterfly.

  1. A correct timing of the kick in relation to the arms will assist in developing a smooth butterfly stroke.  As the hands enter the water and stretch out in front, the legs should complete a downward kick.  The second downward kick should begin as the hands pass the hips underwater and do the final push past the thighs before the arm recovery begins.
  2. The correct time to breath is as the hands push past the hips and the second downward kick is being completed.  As the head turns up forward to breath, the chin stays at water level and the eyes look straight ahead as the swimmer inhales.

There are a number of drills that swimmers can do to improve their timing in butterfly.

  1. Single arm butterfly with a focus on kicking and breathing at the correct time will assist swimmers to correct their timing.
  2. A drill, often called Biondi drill after the graet American swimmer Matt Biondi, whereby the swimmer completes the underwater component of the pull as well as the two kicks and one breath and then recovers their hands under water whilst doing another two kicks and then starts the underwater pull again.  This drill can be very effective to improve timing.

In regards to weight training, I would recommend developing his core body strength first as this will help all areas of his butterfly.  Once his core is quite strong, and depending on his age, he may want to start doing body weight excercises and progress to some weight training.  This really depends on how old he is.

Regards

Gary

The Swimming Expert



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