Try the Freestyle Kick Butterfly Drill – Video Feature

Courtesy of Gary Hall Sr., 10-time World Record Holder, 3-time Olympian, 1976 Olympic Games US Flagbearer and The Race Club co-founder. Featured image: Roland Schoeman.

At the Race Club, we do Freestyle Kick Butterfly drill that emphasizes the importance of the coupling function of the head and arms in butterfly. Swimmers use the weight of the head and arms as part of an energy system that propels them forward in butterfly and breaststroke. They not only lay the head down after breathing, but they often snap it down, in order to take advantage of the 12 or so pounds the human head approximately weighs that helps the kick to thrust them forward. The arms swinging forward aggressively on the recovery also serve as part of the important kinetic energy that couples with the kick. Freestyle Kick Butterfly forces the swimmer to use these energy systems.

Freestyle kick butterfly is not easy to do, but if done properly with a consistent kick and with fins, a swimmer can feel the surge forward as he or she throws the head down and swings the arms forward after each breath. The greater the energy of the head and arm motion, the greater the propulsion from the kick. The flutter kick butterfly drill helps a swimmer recognize how important the second dolphin kick during the recovery in butterfly really is.

Gary Hall, Sr., Technical Director and Head Coach of The Race Club (courtesy of TRC)

Gary Hall, Sr., Technical Director and Head Coach of The Race Club (courtesy of TRC)

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2 Comments on "Try the Freestyle Kick Butterfly Drill – Video Feature"

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I’ve recently discovered the great value in using fly drills with a freestyle base kick. Not just “Flutterfly” as we call it either. I have found especially with 10&Unders, it helps keep the hips quieter while they establish the proper timing with the head and arms. This also maintains a flatter smoother stroke after transitioning back to the fly kick, preventing too much dolphin dive. Very good demonstration here.

Thank you. We love this drill for the very same reasons you do! Also helps teach the importance of the two coupling motions of aggressive arm swing forward on the recovery and head and shoulders snapping down after the breath.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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