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Butterfly – Underwater Dolphin Kick with Pull Buoy

If your butterfly is feeling a little too easy these days – like comfort fly – here’s a drill that will get you back on track with a little INTENSITY.


Add to Cart View Cart – Pick up Misty Hyman’s DVD and watch a great dolphin kick.


One of the best ways to add intensity to your training is to add resistance. In freestyle and breaststroke, for example, you can swim against a tether to add resistance. In backstroke, you can use a pull buoy to do the ‘spin’ drill, or you can swim or kick with a parachute. For the really tough aquabuffs there are buckets and power racks. What you don’t often see, however, are ways to add resistance to butterfly training. If you try to swim butterfly against a tether, parachute, or bucket, your feet get tangled up in the cord. And swimming butterfly against a rack? Fuggetaboutit. Here’s an effective way to add resistance to your fly training, and all you need is a pull buoy and fins.

Why Do It:
The buoyancy of the pull buoy adds an extra bit of resistance, and makes you work more intensely with your core. The added resistance of the pull buoy forces you to be super aware of how you position your body in the water. Notice that the swimmer in the video keeps her hands, arms, and head in super streamline. She forms a stake with the front part of her body, and drives the stake through the water using her core and her legs.

The drill also encourages a quick, compact, rapid-fire movement of the core and of the legs.

How To Do It:

1. Grab a pull buoy and push off in streamline. The pull buoy tends to keep your hips high, so you may have to angle downward with your hands and arms to keep your body submerged.

2. Take 4 to 10 quick dolphin kicks underwater. When you need air, come to the surface for a quick breath or two, then drive your body back under for more kicks.

3. You can also try the drill with fins.

How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Keep your dolphins small and fast, and maintain a steady, even rhythm.

Adjust your front-end body position and streamline until you feel like you’re DRIVING your body forward to the other end.