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Butterfly – Arm Only

FLA01 Category: Single Arm Pull Only Butterfly

Description:

Butterfly strokes with single arms without the kick.  This is generally done with a pull buoy between the thighs or between the ankles (with the 1Flexband as a safety strap).    Entire laps can be done for each arm or various alternating strokes between right and left arms or right, left, and dual arm strokes such as 1/1/1, 2/2/2, or 3/3/3.  The recovery should be low to the water and not high over the shoulder like a freestyle.   Breathing to the side (instead of forward) can be ideal for many swimmers because it keeps the head and body lower to the surface and waste less energy rising up instead of forward.  Single arm strokes can give swimmers an ideal way to practice side breathing.

Purpose:

By removing the kick and stroking with just 1 arm at a time, special attention can be paid to the quality of the stroke, the hand entry, the catch, the pull, outsweep, and recovery.

Variations:

FLA01-01 Side-of-Pool Drill

Side_of_Pool_Drill_2

        • Lay on the edge of the pool  with 1 arm hanging over the side
        • Note: the steps here are not the conventional wisdom of long straight arm recovery out to the side with arms laying flat at the surface prior to the catch.  That method, while common for most Olympians, is terrible on the shoulders and is NOT more powerful.
        • Break the arm stroke into 4 steps so the swimmer STOPS at each step (the coach can correct each step until the swimmer gets it right)
          • Start with the arm in the water at about a 45 degree angle downward (in the water the swimmer can SEE their hand from the point of entry until the point of catch)
          • 1st  ‘BEND” – Drop the hand straight downward but keep the elbow high and forward (the coach can touch the back of the elbow to help keep it in position)
          • 2nd  ‘FINISH’ – Finish the stroke with the hand under the thigh so the thumb touches the thigh (hand facing back toward the feet to ‘push’ water through the entire stroke)
          • 3rd  ‘LIFT’  Lift the elbow out of the water so the hand and arm follows the elbow (‘Check the guns’).  Then recover the arm with the elbows up and hands close to the body.
          • 4th  ‘ENTER’  Insert the hand back into the start position with the hand entering with a high elbow and the hand directly next to the head.  Aim downward at a 45 degree angle so you can see the hand as it enters

 

FLA01-02 Hands only (with or without snorkel) – single arm or dual arms

  • Incorporate the 4 steps from FLA01-01.  
  • Best to start with bare hands and a pull buoy between the thighs.      Focus on the entire stroke and recovery.

 

FLA01-03 Add Paddles (with or without snorkel)

  • Paddles can help focus the attention on all aspects of the hand orientation from the entry through the pull and outsweep phases.
  • Touch Paddles make the hand much larger to help ‘hold’ the water throughout the stroke
  • Glide Paddles can assist to correct unwanted outsweeps or ‘S’ pull patterns
  • Precision and Brute displacement paddles can displace from the hands to train more power from the forearm

 

FLA01-04 Add Power Bags or other drag/resistance equipment

  • Even though these drills do not add the kick, adding Power Bags to the feet can help offer a natural form of drag to add awareness to the body position

 

FLA02 Category: Dual Arm Pull Only Butterfly

Description:

Butterfly strokes with both arms in tandem but without any kick.  These drills generally include a pull buoy between the thighs or between the ankles (with the 1Flexband as a safety strap) to help support the hips and legs.    It is best to encourage some natural  undulation of the body with these drills.   

Purpose:

Focuses the attention to ideal stroke details without adding the timing issues of the undulation.   Constantly stroking with both arms in butterfly can become tiresome and degrade the quality of the technique.  Therefore it is often best to limit these drills and combine various combinations of single arm strokes with dual arm strokes.

Variations:

FLA02-01 Hands only (with or without snorkel) ()

  • Incorporate the 4 steps from FLA01-01
  • Best to start with bare hands and a pull buoy between the thighs.      Focus on the entire stroke and recovery

 

FLA02-02 Add Paddles (with or without snorkel) ()

  • Paddles can help focus the attention on all aspects of the hand orientation from the entry through the pull and outsweep phases.
  • Touch Paddles make the hand much larger to help ‘hold’ the water throughout the stroke
  • Glide Paddles can assist to correct unwanted outsweeps or ‘S’ pull patterns
  • Precision and Brute displacement paddles can displace from the hands to train more power from the forearm

 

FLA02-03 Add Power Bags or other drag/resistance equipment

  • Even though these drills do not add the kick, adding Power Bags to the feet can help offer a natural form of drag to add awareness to the body position

 

FLA03 Category: Butterfly Dual Arm Outsweep drills

Description:

These drills focus on the details and quality of the details of the hands and the head on Butterfly during the outsweep.   By most measurements the outsweep is perhaps the most difficult phase of the Butterfly with bad habits such as wanting to flip the hands over while they are still underwater  and due to the timing of head position through the breathing cycle.

Purpose:

Focus is driven to just the outsweep phase without other stroke details complicating things.

Variations:

FLA03-01 Skate Drill  ()

  • Start in a sculling position with the arms forward, elbows close to the surface, forearms/hands facing downward.  Scull the hands out with thumbs down, and inward with thumbs opened up.  Keep eyes at a 45 degree angle.
  • After 1-3 sculls, engage your pull directly under shoulders, push under the thighs, and then stop the hands at the thighs
  • As the hands engage the pull phase, raise the head fully with neck muscles and keep the chest as flat and low to the water as possible.  The neck should flex up fully to raise the head and then back down almost fully when it recovers.
  • As the hands begin the push phase, undulate a single kick
  • Skate the chin just at the water surface as long as practical
  • After holding the hands at the thighs for a moment, recovery them over the top and continue with another stroke
  • This drill promotes low shoulders and a horizontal body position.  It also helps connect the timing of the pull to the dolphin.
  • See FLS50 Skate Drill Training Progression to help develop this drill

 

FLA03-02 Penguin drill (aka Biondi)

  • Note:  this drill does not coincide with the FLA01-01 elbow recovery method but is used for those swimmers developin g a straight arm recovery over the surface.
  • Engage the Butterfly  catch through the pull phase.   Exaggerate the outsweep by sweeping the hands straight back  and out of the water (not outward and away from the body).  Flip the hands up out and back (breaking the wrist to look like penguin flippers).  Recover the hands UNDERWATER under the chest like ‘sneak hands’ recovery on the pull-thru for breaststroke.  Repeat stroke, outsweep, and recovery for entire length of pool.
  • Can combine this drill with a select rotation with full strokes