Me swimming, I want to improve my butterfly!!

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    Jul 20, 2012 12:03 AM GMT
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jul 20, 2012 1:52 AM GMT
    umm... butterflies don't go in the water, they fly through the air.... ignant icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jul 20, 2012 1:56 AM GMT
    Not comfortable commenting on your butterfly as it was never my best and I quit that stroke entirely after a construction accident blew out two discs as I don't like how if feels on my back now.

    To the others:

    It doesn't look like you are comfortable with your own backstroke. Your head comes up out of the water quite a bit and your arms don't really reach behind, they just sort of flop alongside you. You could use some arm work on your crawl as well. Get yourself some paddles and really reach with them. Also putting your head more in the water with the backstroke puts a lot of water onto your face so maybe swimming with goggles will make it more comfortable for you.

    Also with your back there doesn't seem to be any rhythm to it. It's just sort of choppy. Study other swimmers and then mimic what they do. I actually got a lot of my swimming style from swimming so often with my mom who had a gorgeous stroke. Then I modified it by swimming alongside college swimmers who were in town practicing.

    Check out this guy's back. Gorgeous stroke...



    Your breast looks okay but just there I notice those swim trunks. Too long. Gotta be restricting. Get yourself a real bathing suit for swimming laps.

    Would be great if you could learn to turn on the wall as you'd enjoy more the restrictions of a limited sized swimming pool. I actually don't do it myself; I can, but going upside down makes me seasick and I'd rather not vomit during laps. ewww.

    Well, this is curious. I'm not sure but I think on your crawl you've the opposite issue from your backstroke in that it looks like your head is going too far into the water, almost curving downwards, really digging in. Do you have an unusual curve in your upper spine? Just wondering.

    The other thing with the crawl is your arms. Like the back, they seem to be flopping into the water. Each arm should be more independently diving into the water instead of flapping on it.

    Look at this guy, how smooth and splash free that is...



    Just beautiful. Effortless. Also look at the underwater shots how his head is horizontal with his body, not digging in like you seem to do. You seem to be swimming with your body as parts. Instead, swim with your body as one unit. Your legs, your mid section, your upper body. All that should be incorporated into each stroke. Go back and look at that backstroke. He swims with his entire body. Now look at yours. It looks like your upper, mid sections and legs are all separate. Note especially how his body turns to the side of his stroke and how yours stiffens up because you are only using each arm instead of utilizing each entire side of your body.
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Jul 20, 2012 2:05 AM GMT
    Your butterfly is fine, but you need to work on your backstroke and breaststroke. Freestyle looks ok.
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    Jul 20, 2012 2:11 AM GMT
    Thanks for the tips.
    I do suck at backstroke I know haha, I've always hated it so I only do it when I have to.
    With regard to my freestyle, I don't want to look silky smooth like that guy, it reminds me of synchronised swimming not swimming. I consider my stroke to be smooth and slow. I'm not sure about my head because all the coaches I've had told me to "keep my head down" not vertical obviously haha but down in the water. My spine is fine lol.
    I only started focusing on my fly 6 months ago after I had finished my school swim season. I have no idea if I'm kicking right
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    Jul 20, 2012 2:29 AM GMT
    Keep in mind that we swim in the direction that our head is aimed, so unless you're purposely about to do a surface dive...

    Sorry, but I just looked again. Your stroke does not look smooth. It is splashy. Maybe it's the camera angle but that's how I'm viewing it.

    Here's Phelps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax77_hHq9Dc and he's going way faster than you yet so little splash. Note especially how his hands dive finger first into the water instead of slapping the water. Again, maybe it is the angle, but it looks to me as if your hands are entering the water after your arm is extended as far as you are reaching. Now look at Phelps; there's an entry into the water each time. Sorry if that seems synchronized but there's a certain grace which translates into power.
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    Jul 20, 2012 3:39 AM GMT
    theantijock saidNot comfortable commenting on your butterfly as it was never my best and I quit that stroke entirely after a construction accident blew out two discs as I don't like how if feels on my back now.

    To the others:

    It doesn't look like you are comfortable with your own backstroke. Your head comes up out of the water quite a bit and your arms don't really reach behind, they just sort of flop alongside you. You could use some arm work on your crawl as well. Get yourself some paddles and really reach with them. Also putting your head more in the water with the backstroke puts a lot of water onto your face so maybe swimming with goggles will make it more comfortable for you.

    Also with your back there doesn't seem to be any rhythm to it. It's just sort of choppy. Study other swimmers and then mimic what they do. I actually got a lot of my swimming style from swimming so often with my mom who had a gorgeous stroke. Then I modified it by swimming alongside college swimmers who were in town practicing.

    Check out this guy's back. Gorgeous stroke...



    Your breast looks okay but just there I notice those swim trunks. Too long. Gotta be restricting. Get yourself a real bathing suit for swimming laps.

    Would be great if you could learn to turn on the wall as you'd enjoy more the restrictions of a limited sized swimming pool. I actually don't do it myself; I can, but going upside down makes me seasick and I'd rather not vomit during laps. ewww.

    Well, this is curious. I'm not sure but I think on your crawl you've the opposite issue from your backstroke in that it looks like your head is going too far into the water, almost curving downwards, really digging in. Do you have an unusual curve in your upper spine? Just wondering.

    The other thing with the crawl is your arms. Like the back, they seem to be flopping into the water. Each arm should be more independently diving into the water instead of flapping on it.

    Look at this guy, how smooth and splash free that is...



    Just beautiful. Effortless. Also look at the underwater shots how his head is horizontal with his body, not digging in like you seem to do. You seem to be swimming with your body as parts. Instead, swim with your body as one unit. Your legs, your mid section, your upper body. All that should be incorporated into each stroke. Go back and look at that backstroke. He swims with his entire body. Now look at yours. It looks like your upper, mid sections and legs are all separate. Note especially how his body turns to the side of his stroke and how yours stiffens up because you are only using each arm instead of utilizing each entire side of your body.


    LOL, love the "this guy" reference. You know that's Ryan Lochte, right?
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    Jul 20, 2012 5:13 AM GMT
    BornJuly4th saidLOL, love the "this guy" reference. You know that's Ryan Lochte, right?


    Hi. Didn't have a clue. I just youtubed to find someone demonstrating the point I wanted to make. But now that I've googled--eh, who am I kidding-- don't count on me knowing who the guy is tomorrow. But I'll still be able to pick out a good swimmer by watching technique.

    Sorry about that, I suppose. I've just never been star struck. I get that socially I'm supposed to orgasm or at least recognize when I run into or discuss someone who did something fabulous but I don't seem to have been born with that mechanism.

    The only thing that has ever impressed upon me is who a person is inside. And that I do remember tomorrow. I recognize intellectually that it's great that people do these other things but emotionally and any otherwise I never quite make the fawning connection. I realize that might put me at a conversational disadvantage, so sometimes I have to practice "Hey, how about those Yankees?" (but in all honesty, I have no idea what that means.)
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    Jul 20, 2012 5:19 AM GMT
    Fly:
    you need to get your head out of the water, because you are burying your face way down below the surface - you can't breath, and its creating more friction. with each kick/stroke, lead with your chin up (not tucked into your neck). in order to do this, you need a stronger dolphin kick - do drill sets using a flutter board, and potentially add short flippers, to amplify your leg movement. don't become dependent on the flippers tho!

    Backstroke:
    when pushing off the wall, clasp your hands togehter and press your arms above your head into your ears. keep it tight and streamlined, dolphin kick underwater for 5m, then surface. in order to surface, take one stroke (in the form of an "S" along the side of your body from your head to your hip), and finish the stroke by pushing your palm down towards the floor of the pool (this lifts your body to the surface). with each stroke, lead with your shoulders: pop them out of the water first before the rest of your arm. your hand exits the water thumb-first, rotate and prepare to catch the next stroke. then rotate your shoulders/clavical laterally, rocking side to side with your stroke, in order to stretch your reach and streamline your body (streamlining makes less friction.

    Breast stroke:
    the extension of the stroke is good. when you pull your hands back towards your shoulders, scoop a handful of water inward. then when your hands are parallel to your chest/nipples, press the palms towards each other in the middle of your chest. the force of pressing those handfuls of water together will propel you further forward and upward, then your hands are sorta clapped together, and will pop out of the surface of the water to prepare for catching the next stroke. kick looks good. make sure you're pressing your ankles together to get maximum propulsion.

    Freestyle/Front Crawl:
    your head is too low, this causes a lot of drag and will slow you down. focus on only getting your face wet at the surface of the water, and not above your your hair line. alternate breathing by rotating your head to the left or right every 3 strokes, and take a breath out of the corner of your semi-exposed mouth.
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    Jul 20, 2012 9:39 PM GMT
    You'll do MUCH better in speedos!
  • Beeftastic

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    Jul 20, 2012 10:01 PM GMT
    I was a butterflyer, even was in Olympic trials for it (tho I didn't make it through that ordeal!).

    Your arms are a bit too far apart. Your main issue though is your feet. In a good fly you get about 50% propulsion from your kick. Your legs need to be close together and you need to think of them as a whip. The kick starts at your hips and travels through to your toes, the motion gains momentum like a whip and then there is propulsive force to push you forward and lift your shoulders to your next stroke. This will get your body out of the water properly to be more efficient for your arms stroke.

    Try doing kick board fly kicks, and you will get the hang of it.
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    Jul 20, 2012 10:12 PM GMT
    tuckers_kahuna saidI was a butterflyer, even was in Olympic trials for it (tho I didn't make it through that ordeal!).

    Your arms are a bit too far apart. Your main issue though is your feet. In a good fly you get about 50% propulsion from your kick. Your legs need to be close together and you need to think of them as a whip. The kick starts at your hips and travels through to your toes, the motion gains momentum like a whip and then there is propulsive force to push you forward and lift your shoulders to your next stroke. This will get your body out of the water properly to be more efficient for your arms stroke.

    Try doing kick board fly kicks, and you will get the hang of it.


    This is exactly what I was after, thanks.
    I only started focusing on my fly about 6 months ago on my own, so I never got proper training as to how to fully do the stroke, I just kept doing what felt good haha.
    When I looked back at the video my legs did seem far apart, even though they don't feel that way. I'll do kick board drills like you suggestetd
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    Jul 20, 2012 10:30 PM GMT
    I was struck by the lack of any rotation in your backstroke. Theantijock said your arms don't really reach back. I think you could start to improve this by trying to rotate a bit.

    Check out Aaron Piersol's backstroke. The rotation comes from his hips, but you can see how much he turns his shoulders as a result.



    You may want to try rotating more in your freestyle as well.
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    Jul 20, 2012 10:47 PM GMT
    Draw colors on it. That'll be an excellent improvement.
    butterfly-coloring-pages-2-.gif
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    Jul 21, 2012 12:23 AM GMT
    MikeOnMain said...You may want to try rotating more in your freestyle as well.


    This is definitely the case and exactly what I meant when I was saying swim with the body as a whole unit instead of in parts.

    Just looked again at the OP's vid and you can see in the crawl how he turns and lifts his head out of the water to take a breath, like he's bobbing for air, instead of simply taking a breath when the entire body rolls to that side. In other words, when you take a breath, you shouldn't have to lift your neck at all. And I'd imagine that will smooth out your stroke. Add to that diving your hands into the water just before you finish extending your arms forward instead of resting them on the water at the end of an extension so that you are cutting through the water instead of fighting it and, well, hate to break it to ya, but we'll have you swimming in synch in no time.

    bathing+beauty+1.jpg

    Look again at the immersion demo at how natural is his breathing. I've never done a vid of myself swimming but looking at that is just how it feels when I breathe. As I think about it here, I'll check next swim, I don't even think my mouth is completely out of the water when I breathe. Rather, your forward motion makes a wake which creates a little pocket for air right where your face comes out of the water. Interesting. I've never seen a picture of that before but it really looks just how if feels when you're doing it.

    Look closely at the guy's head and you'll actually see a bow wave coming off the top of his head. So there's no need to lift your head out of the water between rolling your body and because the water moves away from where your face rolls out of the water. No neck lifting action required at all.
  • maxferguson

    Posts: 321

    Jul 21, 2012 5:00 AM GMT
    I retired from a 14 year swimming career exactly year ago this weekend and coached for the past year -- what I found helped the kids I coached was doing fly with no arms. It sounds odd, but it really helps to place the timing of your kicks better. Then once they got that down, Had them do fly with a snorkel (one designed for training). This helped to control their upper body and keep it low - if they moved up and down too much, the snorkel would get water in it. I also had them do both of these drills with fins. I always recommend doing fly technique with fins and normal fly kicking without fins.

    Outside of the pool, the absolute best thing you can do for fly is developed your core. After each workout, go through a core routine (a swiss ball is an excellent tool). Measure your progress by trying to balance on the swiss ball on your knees icon_smile.gif
  • maxferguson

    Posts: 321

    Jul 21, 2012 5:07 AM GMT
    Also, try relax your recovery more. One way of getting the feel for this is just doing double arm swings (forward) on deck. Really accelerate them on the way down and try not to use any effort when they are behind you on the way back up (the equivalent of your recovery). If you were in the water, it's be like snapping your arms out of the end of your pull and letting your arms "float" over the water to take the next stroke. It costs a lot of energy to not relax your recovery, but relaxing will enable you to swim fly with much greater endurance
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    Jul 21, 2012 5:45 AM GMT
    I would also work on your underwater and forward reach. You seem to be concentrating on the above water arm swing which looks tense to me. Like you are relying on your arms only. There is so much to learn about swimming. I would watch all the youtube videos you can and try them out.
  • Beeftastic

    Posts: 1747

    Jul 22, 2012 8:21 AM GMT
    theantijock saidMikeOnMain said

    Just looked again at the OP's vid and you can see in the crawl how he turns and lifts his head out of the water to take a breath, like he's bobbing for air, instead of simply taking a breath when the entire body rolls to that side. In other words, when you take a breath, you shouldn't have to lift your neck at all. And I'd imagine that will smooth out your stroke. Add to that diving your hands into the water just before you finish extending your arms forward instead of resting them on the water at the end of an extension so that you are cutting through the water instead of fighting it and, well, hate to break it to ya, but we'll have you swimming in synch in no time.



    I agree, when you do freestyle properly, an air pocket is created when you turn your head. You don't need to raise your head at all.

    I'm sorry I can't offer more coaching advice, I learned swimming when I I was very young, I was competing by the time I was 8, and so much of the basics is built in, so I don't know how to describe it.
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    Jul 22, 2012 4:24 PM GMT
    tuckers_kahuna saidI agree, when you do freestyle properly, an air pocket is created when you turn your head. You don't need to raise your head at all.

    I'm sorry I can't offer more coaching advice, I learned swimming when I I was very young, I was competing by the time I was 8, and so much of the basics is built in, so I don't know how to describe it.


    My grandmother was a competitive swimmer and mom never raced but she was a graceful swimmer and so I also was swimming from as far back as I can remember. I still recall learning how to exhale underwater through the nose so I could advance to the next colored bathing cap and swim in the deep water with the big boys. How traumatic was that?

    But the only coaching I remember was "faster, faster". The kids today have such an advantage, knowing so much more about it and having the advantage of having had trained coaches and not just the gym teachers or camp counselors we were stuck with. And vids to watch themselves plus all the science to it.

    Even though I was always a strong swimmer with a pretty good stroke, I didn't really improve until later in life when I both started using paddles, which exaggerate the forces of the water (which taught me how my hand should be entering the water which was then confirmed by observing other swimmers) and when I started watching college swimmers and their coaches.

    I swam laps in Lauderdale's hall of fame pools for over 30 years and during xmas vacations at least a few excellent teams would practice there. So I might never have gone to Harvard, but I swam with them. When there were lanes still available they'd let the public continue swimming and so I watched the technique of these guys who were swimming twice as fast as me and learned a lot from listening to their coaches critiquing them.

    The Total Immersion group (vid posted above) does swim workshops and camps around the country though they are pretty expensive (like $500 for just two days so I don't know if it might be worth it). They were at the university near me about a year ago and I was gonna sign up but then wound up with a conflicting schedule. Never too old to pick up a few new tricks, um, I mean, to learn a new technique.