Butterfly – a style of swimming on the chest, in which the athlete performs simultaneous and symmetrical movements of the left and right parts of the body, simultaneous movements with both hands in the form of a powerful stroke, the execution of which raises the upper part of the body above the water, at the same time performing symmetrical kicks from the pelvis. This swimming style is the second fastest after the chest crawl.
During sports competitions, three sets of medals are played out: 50, 100 and 200 m. This method also swims the third stage of the combined relay race 4×100 and the first stage of the complex swimming distance of 200 and 400 m. Highly qualified swimmers always use a kind of butterfly in the competition – the dolphin. A distinctive feature of this type of butterfly is that both hands, having finished the stroke, perform a preparatory movement under water, the legs move continuously like a dolphin’s tail up and down, two full blows with the feet down fall on one complete cycle of hand movements. Hand movements must be simultaneous and symmetrical, the requirement also applies to leg movements and is spelled out in the competition rules.
General idea of the dolphin swimming technique:
- after moving through the air, the hands enter the water shoulder-width apart, the palms push the water surface, maintaining optimal stiffness in the wrist and elbow joints. The elbows move slightly above the hands, the swimmer looks down and forward. Legs execute one vigorous downward kick.
- hands are deployed, palms outward, continue to smoothly press downward on the water, the swimmer slides in the oncoming stream, begins to grip with his hands, legs finish hitting the feet down. The swimmer continues to look downward.
- the arms perform pull-ups, bending moderately at the elbow joints, the legs, after hitting downward, go to the surface of the water, giving the body a streamlined position. The swimmer looks forward and begins to exhale smoothly into the water.
- the arm stroke continues, the arms continue to bend at the elbow joints, the hands draw closer under the swimmer’s torso, the hips begin to move downward, the legs bend at the hip and knee joints for the next blow with the feet down, the swimmer intensifies the exhalation.
- is performed most energetically, part of the full cycle of movements: the arms continue to stroke, pushing off the water, the legs perform the second blow with the feet down, the shoulder girdle and the head are on the surface water, the swimmer exhales, pushing his chin forward and preparing to start inhaling.
- the kick is completed, the swimmer’s front torso is extended forward and slightly upward, the arms leave the water, the swimmer inhales.
- the hands perform movements above the water, the head lowers its face into the water, the legs, after hitting the feet down, actively go to the surface of the water and begin to bend for the next blow.
Technique of leg movements in butterfly swimming method
In butterfly stroke, the legs start from the pelvis and hips. Following them, the legs and feet begin to move. The legs are bent sequentially and extended at the hip, knee, ankle joints. The hips perform movements at the very surface of the water, with a moderate swing, the feet in the water column.
The main working phase is a vigorous kick down with the feet, after the down kick, the legs actively reach the surface of the water and bend again for the next strike. The movement of the legs resembles an overlap, continuous and elastic, contributing significantly to the creation of forces propelling the swimmer forward.
Technique of hand movements and breathing in the butterfly swimming method
Hands in the butterfly swimming method are of paramount importance and the leading role is assigned to them, because it is they who govern the movements of the legs and breathing. The arm movement technique can be divided into several phases:
- capture phase . It begins after the hands enter the water, the hands move outward and slightly downward, capturing water. Feeling the support of the water, the swimmer moves on to the main part of the stroke.
- pull-up phase . The arms are bent at the elbow joints and move from front to back, leaning well against the water with the hands and forearms. By the middle of the stroke, when the pull-up turns into push-out, the hands come together under the stomach, palms are turned straight back.
- push-off phase . With a smooth, energetic movement, the brushes are sent back and out. The rowing ends at the hips by straightening the arms at the elbow joints. After that, turn the hands with the little fingers upward and relax, the hands leave the water.
- the hands leave the water . It is carried out with a quick swing motion. First, elbows appear above the water, then the forearms and hands leave the water behind the line, also slightly away from the hips. At this point, they are relaxed and turned with their palms inward.
- moving the hands over the water . It occurs in the form of a smooth swing to the sides forward, the arms are almost straight and relaxed. The swimmer’s shoulder girdle rises slightly above the surface of the water, which helps the movement of the arms through the air.
- the entry of the arms into the water. Occurs approximately shoulder width apart. The forearms and shoulders are the first to submerge the water.
Breathing is strictly coordinated with hand movements. When the hands enter the water, the swimmer’s head is lowered face down. Performing a hand stroke, the swimmer smoothly unbends the neck, the head turns to face forward and at the end of the stroke, the hands are raised above the water surface. Together with the shoulder girdle, inhalation is carried out. Inhalation occurs at the moment the hands leave the water. At this time, the chin moves at the very surface of the water, the swimmer’s gaze is directed forward, inhalation ends in the first half of the movement of the hands above the water. The athlete’s head is again lowered face down into the water.
General coordination of movements in butterfly swimming
The most rational is the use of 2-stroke coordination of movements of arms and legs, with an inhalation performed immediately after the completion of the stroke with the arms, which should ensure continuous advancement of the swimmer, optimizing energy consumption. The first blow of the feet down falls on the entrance of the hands into the water and the capture of the water with the hands. The second blow of the feet downward is consistent with the second half of the stroke and pushing the hands out of the water. The simultaneous stroke movement of the arms and legs contributes to the expression of the swimmer’s body forward and upward when inhaling and moving the arms above the water.
The optimal pace of movement when swimming with a dolphin at a distance of 100 and 200 m is 56 cycles per minute.