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Butterfly Stroke:Easy or Hard

Butterfly strike is considered as the most stylish stroke in swimming, however, it is more competitive than recreational. It is the newest swimming style first swum in 1933.It amalgamates the technique of freestyle and timing of breaststroke. This stroke gets its name from its butterfly falpping like motion of the hand.It is considered to have been evolved from breaststroke. Unlike breaststroke it is hard to learn and easy to master. It is arduous to learn and requires form, strength and passion. While other styles like the breaststroke, front crawl, or backstroke can be swum easily even by beginners, the butterfly requires very good technique. Many students consider it the most difficult style of swimming. It is impossible to compensate a poor butterfly technique with brute strength.
Hand motion
In butterfly stroke, hand motion is similar to freestyle, with both hands swung simultaneously. The butterfly stroke has three major parts, the pull, the push, and the recovery.
Catch: Initial position and arm movement is similar to breast stroke. At the beginning the hands sink a little bit down with the palms facing outwards and slightly down at shoulder width, then, the hands move out to create a Y. Always start the catch during the downbeat of the kick.
Pull:- The pull movement follows a semicircle with the elbow higher than the hand and the hand pointing towards the center of the body and downward. Do not form the traditionally taught "keyhole" when using this stroke,. The arms should be pushed straight back after the Y is formed as opposed to traditional "Keyhole" as it disrupts the flow and speed of the stroke.
Push: In this phase the palm is pushed backward through the water underneath the body at the beginning and at the side of the body at the end of the push. Your hands will end palm to palm together directly in front of your chest over your heart
Recovery:- It is the most important and hardest part of the stroke. During recovery arms are swung sideways like ballistic shot across the water surface to the front, with the elbows straight. The arms should be swung forward from the end of the underwater movement, the extension of the triceps in combination with the butterfly kick will allow the arm to be brought forwards relaxed yet quickly. Hands should enter into the water again at 11 o clock position and one with thumbs entering first and pinky last at shoulder width. The speed of hand is fastest at the end of the push, and this step is called the release and is crucial for the recovery.
There is misconception that the hand should be raised high from the water surface, which is entirely false. It is worthy to remember that hand should be extended sideways as far as possible, just at the top of water surface.It is very inportant to jerk off the water from hand prior to recovery.
Leg motion
Kick in butterfly stroke is known as "dolphin kick." The legs offer a great deal of propulsion when swimming the butterfly and gives good forward propulsion when there is little or no propulsion from the arms. As well as propulsion the legs offer balance as the arms recover so the timing of the kick is vital to the butterfly swimmer.
The leg movement is similar to the leg movement in the front crawl, except the legs are synchronized with each other The shoulders are brought above the surface by a strong up and medium down kick, and back below the surface by a strong down and medium up kick. A smooth undulation fuses the motion together.
The feet are pressed together to avoid loss of water-pressure. The feet are naturally pointing downwards, giving downwards thrust, moving up the feet and pressing down the head.
The breathing process begins during the underwater "press" portion of the stroke. As the hands and forearms move underneath the chest, the body will naturally rise toward the surface of the water.It is advisible to start breathing when hand reaches ribcage. With minimum effort, the swimmer can lift the head to fully break the surface. The swimmer breathes in through the mouth. The head goes back in the water after the arms come out of the water as they are swinging forward over the surface of the water. If the head stays out too long, the recovery is hindered. The swimmer breathes out through mouth and nose till the next breath.
Body movement
One of the difficult part of butterfly is to synchronize body motion often referred as undulation or wave. Swimming butterfly becomes easy if core is utilized along with correct timing and body movement.
During undulation (wave like motion), chest and hip movement becomes alternate to each other. When chest is pressed down, the hips go up, and the posterior breaks the water surface and transfers into a fluid kick. During the push phase the chest goes up and the hips are at their lowest position.

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