Wow. The title of this drill is enough to make you tired, but weï¿½re sure that, over time, youï¿½ll come up with your own shortened and EASY title (like 2-2-2 Fly). This is appropriate, actually. If butterfly makes you tired, practicing this drill will eventually make butterfly EASY.
Why Do It:
Learning how to tie the arms into the movement of the body is a key skill in butterfly. But itï¿½s very tough to learn this connection simply by swimming whole-stroke butterfly. Thatï¿½s because whole-stroke butterfly is FATIGUING, and fatigue is a major obstacle to learning or training with proper form. Sometimes, too much whole-stroke fly teaches you nothing more than what it feels like to swim poor butterfly. By incorporating some single-arm butterfly drills into your practice, you can develop proper form, along with stroke-specific strength. This single-arm drill will help you swim MORE proper fly strokes in your practice.
How To Do It:
1. It really is as simple as the name implies (which is why the name is so long… it pretty much says it all).
Take 2 fly strokes with your right arm…
2. … then 2 strokes with your left arm.
3. Then two strokes with BOTH arms (whole-stroke butterfly).
How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
For years, we’ve taught that the ONLY way to properly do this drill is to breathe forward on the single-arm strokes. HOWEVERï¿½after spending several weeks filming some GREAT swimmers, we’ve realized that many of them breathe to the side on this drill. In other words, we sometimes get too caught up in the exact performance of a drill, rather than the flow and rhythm that goes into it.
Get your air either to the front, or to the side, but make sure you keep your body involved and undulating. Try not to go too deep, but use the single-arm strokes to set up a nice up and down movement.
Carry this undulation into your 2 strokes of fly, but don’t breathe on these strokes.
Over time, you can increase the number of strokes taken on each segment, for example: 2-2-3 fly; 3-3-3 fly, 4-4-4 fly (you may need a longer pool), etc.