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Hello! I think that butterfly is the most attractive swimming technique. I also know that it’s the most difficult one, also. I’m not a very experienced swimmer but I’d still like to improve my butterfly style. Can you give me a couple of suggestions about how to do it? I plan to find a good instructor, but I don’t want to wait until then to start exercising.

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You’re right! Butterfly is the most difficult swimming style and we all like to observe it but only few dare to swim it.  I don’t know what to tell you since it’s not so easy. First of all, you have to be very strong and that’s why you need to flex your arm muscles a bit. So, let gym exercises be the first step to improving your butterfly style. Another thing is breathing technique. You’ve probably heard that certain experienced swimmers don’t inhale during the whole race, if it’s a short one, of course. General rule is to inhale after every second stroke, but it has to be done very precisely, because you can easily lose track of when the time is. Some experienced swimmers can inhale after every third stroke.
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Here a couple of tips for you:
1. Most importantly you have to be strong (being able to lift your body weight on land, at least 10 pull ups or 20-30 push ups)
2. If you can't do that do some weight training to target your shoulders and lats.
3. You WILL NOT succeed the first couple of times, most likely you will look like your drowning so don't let that be your downer.
4. USE FINS, buy fins borrow them. Sleep with them. They will be your best friend. USE FINS for steps 5-9.
5. PRACTICE DOLPHIN kicking with fins underwater and with kick board.
6. Keep doing it until you feel like your body is doing a wave. Remember when you dolphin kick THRUST in with your pelvis (guys should be able to get this if you know what I mean ) while crunching your abs. If you did it properly for a lap you should feel a burn on a abs.
7. Once you mastered the kick, practice doing the kick while only doing the dolphin push motion with ONE HAND. Alternate between one hand and the next, this will get your body to sync up with your arms.
8. Once you can do the butterfly one handed and got the motion down try doing the butterfly both handed by doing 3 kicks (your initial big kick, your contracting kick from the pull motion, and finally another big kick), normally you only do 2 kicks (your initial big kick, your contracting kick from the pull motion). This will help with you form.
9. Now you should be able to do the butterfly like a normal swimmer except your wearing fins (remember I said in step 4 to use fins till now). Practice doing flying laps (either 25 or 50 depending on how tired you are or how powerful your kicks are)
10. Take off your fins. You will notice that you can only go maybe half the distance compared to using fins. However you will also notice that your form is perfect. This part is the part which you keep practicing flying down and up the pool. If you feel uncomfortable without fins try practicing doing dolphin kicks and one hand butterfly without fins.
11. Remember that butterfly is the hardest stroke to learn. It will take some time, it took me in 7th grade 2 weeks of just plain butterflying to perfect it. I also think that visualizing yourself butterflying before you do it helps a lot. Don't let anyone discourage you, self-confidence is a must have if you want to do this. Believe in yourself and you will get it. Can't wait to hear about your progress!
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swimmerxc thank you for detailed answers. :)
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