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  #1  
Old 02-16-2010
Edd78 Edd78 is offline
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Edd78
Default Breathing and butterfly

I started swimming butterfly at the end of 2009 (around november), so this is relatively new to me. I'm in an adult swimming group and my teacher initially taught me to bring my legs up and release them as I pulled with my arms.
I didn't think much about those instructions at first and just try doing it, which only resulted in me swimming a weird inellegant and painful butterfly.

One of the people in my class told me that my kick even looked like a breaststroke kick, which was true and I couldn't help it, even though I practiced dolphin kicks during warm ups.

The week after I started total immersion freestyle, I had a breakthrough with my butterfly (which came from reading terry's book where he talks about "pressing your buoy"), when I applied this simple teaching of pressing my chest down as my hands entered the water, and my then pressing my pelvis down as I moved my hand, not caring at all about my legs (leaving them trailing and supple), everything seemed to come together.
My legs naturally kicked, and it wasn't that disgraceful breasstroke kick anymore but a true dolphin kick. I was really overjoy. I finally understood that the propulsion in breastroke comes frome the torso, 1 chest down, 2 hips down, recovery, rinse and repeat).

Now my main problem in butterfly is breathing. Even though I can complete the pyramids my teacher ask (alternating freestyle and butterfly), and swim 125m in butterly, I find breathing very taxing. One of his assistand told me I should try breathing every other time, but it's nearly impossible for me, my lungs are already on fire.

So now that I have learned about total immersion in freestyle, I'm coming up with some thoughts about why I'm so short on breath:
.1: I'm not relaxed enough and I'm wasting too much energy.
.2: I might not be hydrodynamic enough and I'm creating too much turbulences
.3: I'm definatelly not relaxed enough (I say this again because the feeling I have while swimming butterfly is pretty much as if I was sprinting in freestyle, not at all gliding like in total immersion).

So I was wondering if people had some advice to help me relax and feel more hydrodynamic while swimming the butterfly

Last edited by Edd78 : 02-16-2010 at 08:18 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2010
ewa.swimmer ewa.swimmer is offline
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My "pretty" fly is tiring and even though I compete with it, I am out of breath very soon. If I want to do fly for longer distance my fly doesn't look as nice. It has a rocking horse feel to it.
Some things I have learned:
-keep abs tight to make breathing easier
-don't hold your breath
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  #3  
Old 02-16-2010
pmuni pmuni is offline
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pmuni
Default My two cents on butterfly breathing

I am also a novice butterfly swimmer and am comforted to learn that I am not alone in finding breathing to be a challenge.

Like Edd78, my breaktrhough came when I stopped trying to kick and focused on leading with my head/chest and the resulting undulation. As far as breathing, what works for me are the following focal points:
1) Over-exagerating the up and down motion, really pressing the chest down and lifting the hips
2) Pushing all the way back with my arms in order to get a good lift as I come out of the water
3) Keeping my head low as I come up for air, not trying to look straight forward, but rather look towrads the water at a 45 degree angle

I have also managed to slow down my butterfly by being patient once I enter the water after recovery and make sure that I exhale completely while in this position.

I cannot yet swim more than 100 meters comfortably, but I can definatley feel myself improve and am enjoying the unparalleled feeling of smooth butterfly swimming.
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  #4  
Old 02-16-2010
Grant Grant is offline
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Hi Edd 78,
Firstly the TI DVD Better Butterfly for Everybody is a wonderful rescource for advancing to a comfort zone. As one would expect Terry gives us a progression of drills that moves one towards a smooth easy Butterfly. Would encourage you to have a look at it.
A couple of points. Dont follow the advice of taking a breath every two pulls when doing full stroke. At the learning phase you are in take a breath every pull. Later when you have locked in form one might consider the every second breath but that is mostly for sprinting.
And I would second what someone else said. Slow down the stroke with a slight pause when the arms have entered the water in front of your head.
And watch to see where you are not relaxed and work towards relaxing the muscles that are not being used. Very important.
Lastly have the head enter before arms, but dont go deep. The goal is to have a shallow sine wave.
Enjoy the ride.
The Fly is a wonderful experience.
Grant
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2010
daveblt daveblt is offline
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[quote=pmuni;9127]2) Pushing all the way back with my arms in order to get a good lift as I come out of the water[quote]



Careful , the usual advice is for the arms to flare out for an early recovery so the hands don't get caught all the way back and to stay in rhythm with the stroke .

Dave
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2010
Grant Grant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveblt View Post
[


Careful , the usual advice is for the arms to flare out for an early recovery so the hands don't get caught all the way back and to stay in rhythm with the stroke .

Dave
Good point Dave.
I dont think this has been mentioned so far. Do the whole stroke until the form breaks down. Do not do struggle or do old habits. What has worked for me is when I feel the form deteriorating I finish the length with a mindful freestyle. Then either take a rest or begin the next length resuming the Fly.
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  #7  
Old 02-19-2010
Edd78 Edd78 is offline
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Thank you everyone for the advice. I'll try a few focus during my next practice:
. keep head low (looking down) when coming out of the water.
. Reach far rather than deep with the arms
. try to pause after arms entry and feel all the muscles relaxed
. work on exhalation underwater (in order to be able to fill up the air tank as fast as possible during the short interval when my head is coming out).
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2010
madvet madvet is offline
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In adult competition, a frog kick is legal in butterfly -- the only caveat is that you can only do one per arm cycle. Some people, including Terry Laughlin, have found that the "butterfrog" is better for them.
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  #9  
Old 03-18-2010
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant View Post
Hi Edd 78,
Dont follow the advice of taking a breath every two pulls when doing full stroke. At the learning phase you are in take a breath every pull. Later when you have locked in form one might consider the every second breath but that is mostly for sprinting.
I find it useful to breathe every second stroke when practicing because it allows me to compare my breathing and non-breathing strokes. You should try to make your breathing strokes as much like your non-breathing strokes as possible (while still getting air).

But you should think of breathing every second stroke as a drill. If the drill has its proper effect (i.e., if your breathing strokes are really like your non-breathing strokes) then there should be no disadvantage to breathing every stroke when you're racing.


Bob
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