Originally Posted by BerndS
For me the kick is the most important thing. I focused on increasing the relative amount of work done with the body + leg as I started to go for long distance butterfly. Now, depending on the situation (cramp, or some weak arms) I can do 50+% with body + kick. Doing the breast arms + dolphin kick morphed into very little arm movement - barely moving much more then the wrists to enter the water and starting the body wave. I did this for hours (crowded pool) until I got faster than my working colleague in breast stroke (former swimmer, too). This way in full butterfly, I can make sure that my arms do not get exhausted and in case of two way traffic on a lane one can do 2-4 extra kicks (without losing too much speed) to avoid irritation of other swimmers.
The relaxing 0.3-0.5 extra kick is more a flapping or juggling - I needed to do it when getting cramps in the lower leg and noticed that it is really helpful when one is used to pool lane distances and in a lake there no wall for resting ; )
I never have been an elite swimmer. I re-started somehow regular swimming at 42ys, and now with 50ys I am a very relaxed butterflyer, not caring for speed, just flying as long as I am in the water (mostly ~50 mins, sometimes 2h) not counting the lanes or rounds in the lake (ok, sometimes counting strokes per lane). Just enjoying the feeling as long as there is time for it.
Late thanks for your advices.
I've followed your advices thought I understood what was wrong with my kick/undulation only a couple days ago. I was relaxing (or so I thought...) I was trying to go with the flow with light flicking kick yet it was not ok, something was wrong.
i finally realized (though working my breaststroke) that whereas I was relaxing my leg torso and what not actually my lower back remained quite tense (without me noticing it) which preventing the undulation to feel really connected => tough to get hips elevation, up kicking was not feeling right, etc.
It has only been a couple days but I can't tell that it i a major piece of the puzzle I expect now to get in place within the couple months :)
Still far from flying but parts of stroke start to make more sense.