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Butterfly – Head Lead Body Dolphin with Fins

This week’s drill offers an unbeatable combination: one of the world’s most basic butterfly drills demonstrated by one of the world’s most talented butterfliers. Check out how Misty Hyman turns good-old Head-Lead Body Dolphin into pure poetry. (From the DVD Go Swim Butterfly with Misty Hyman.)


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Why Do It:
When you swim butterfly, it’s sometimes hard to move your body like a dolphin and still keep your energy moving FORWARD, rather than up and down. And when your arms get tired, it’s even harder to keep from diving too deep and having to climb back up to the surface for the next stroke. Head-Lead Body Dolphin takes your arms out of the equation and lets you focus totally on your core body. Add fins-and it’s even EASIER to focus on your body. Head-Lead Body Dolphin helps you solve the puzzle of how to move up and down and STILL send everything forward.

How To Do It:
1. Start with your hands at your sides. Press in on your chest and then release your chest. As you press in with your chest, your hips will come up. Try not to kick too much from your knees; just let the legs flow with the rhythm of your body.

2. Repeat the press and release until you feel you are flowing through the water.

3. In the learning stage, don’t worry about breathing. Do several body dolphins and when you need some air, just stop. Your primary focus is on setting up a steady, flowing rhythm with your body.

4. Once you can maintain a steady rhythm right near the surface, add a breath every 4 dolphins. Try to fit in the breath without disturbing your rhythm. When you can breathe every 4 dolphins, try every 3 or every 2. Keep the breaths within your rhythm.

How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
1. Try to initiate each body dolphin from your sternum rather than from the knees.

2. Imagine that you are skimming along, just over and just under the surface of the water. Notice that Misty’s head travels in a fairly straight path, right at the water line.

3. Send your body through one hole in the water. Notice how Misty presses in with her chest, and how everything else – torso, hips, thighs, knees, and fins – simply follows along the same line. Everything flows through the same hole in the water.

4. Describe a sine wave with your body, but keep everything moving FORWARD.