COMBO - Hand-Lead Undulation

Oct 8, 2003
COMBO - Hand-Lead Undulation

Breaststroke and butterfly are dependant on a good body undulation. By practicing the simple drill posted here, you'll begin to have a good foundation of the move you'll need as you progress further.

Why Do It:

Swimmers usually lead both breaststroke and butterfly with their arms and legs. In other words, many people feel the stroke is driven from the pull or the kick. This is a key reason why butterfly is so difficult for people to do for any length of time, and why breaststroke is sometimes considered a very difficult stroke to learn, and to teach.


By discovering that it's the BODY that sets up the rhythm, and is the core of these strokes, you'll use your arms and legs more effectively as you start to add them into the stroke process.

How To Do It:

1. Start with hands extended and shoulder-width apart. Try to �float� the hands on the surface as you press and release the chest.

2. Try not to scull with your hands. Think about directing the fingertips FORWARD each time you press in with your chest.

3. Try not to overkick, but your legs will naturally want to kick, so don't fight that feeling.

4. Something to watch out for, is going too deep when you're pressing your chest into the water. Too much up and down movement will make it tougher to work in the breathing later in the process.

You'll notice this in the 2nd clip on the video.
5. Be careful to allow your head to JUST go under the water. Keep the hands nice and close to the surface, and continue to think FORWARD.

How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):

If you really do this well, you'll even feel some stretching occuring under your arms, and across your chest. This pressure that's being created is a bit of tension that will eventually help with your stroke as you add the pull to the process. You're almost creating a spring action between the arms and the body.

Take your time when doing this drill, also try not to kick to the point where you're creating a big splash behind you. Allow your feet to flow behind you, and follow the natural line of your body.

This drill is also featured on the upcoming Go Swim Breaststroke and Butterfly Drills video due next month.

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