Posts tagged: slow motion

Improving Butterfly Technique (part 4)

I found a very interesting article on about different styles of hand entry in butterfly and decided to make an experiment and find out which way I swim more closely (if any).

Full video of my butterfly (front view and side view) in slow motion:

From the photos below, it looks like I swim more similar to left ones than the right ones. According to the article, 90% of people swim that way. It’s classical outsweeping arm stroke. Since I’m still a beginner, I thought I could still change my style and maybe try the right one, which is referred to as “hook” style in the article. Cavic swims this way and his technique is such a challenge – so soft and smooth and without excessive undulation.

Regarding the photos below, I would prefer if the pictures from were taken simultaneously from front and side. I had a problem to find the very exact moment in my video. I noticed that my head goes up much earlier than for the swimmer in the rest of the photos. I don’t know if I’m breathing too early or maybe the video on GoSwim’s sequence was actually non-breathing stroke.

Hook Hook
Hook Hook
Hook Hook

In my video, I can spot some of the problems:

  1. Fingers are probably too much apart.
  2. Hands don’t really enter the water at the proper angle, they are almost extending the arms.
  3. At some points, like in the second photo, hands kind of try to “avoid” the water, judging by their angle.
  4. There is also a moment where I move my hands forward during underwater part of the arm stroke, probably trying to grab as much water as possible to get me above the water. It looks wrong (it can be spotted in the side view video)
  5. Hips drop big time during the first half of the recovery. This is much more visible in my side angle video.
  6. Legs are slightly assymetric.

I put both front view and side view videos in real-time speed below:

Regarding the hips sinking, I thought that the problem was that I relax my hips flexors when I bend my knees (which also looks wrong) during the second kick upbeat. I tried yesterday to correct this but ended up with “long torpedo” position. As soon as my hand go above the water, my hips sink. The video is very noisy because the light was poor, so I didn’t post it here.

Improving Butterfly Technique (part 3)

This post is logical continuation of previous post.

Here is a video taken above the water with fixed camera:

It shows some obvious errors like:

  • asynchronous legs during downbeat
  • hips do not go high enough during hands entry phase

On the other hand, when I swim only with legs, I don’t have problem with raising my hips off the water:

Improving Butterfly Technique (part 2)

This post is logical continuation of my previous post. These are some underwater videos of my butterfly in slow motion:

(recorded on 2009-10-25)

and here are the same videos in normal speed:

List of errors that I spotted in these videos:

  1. My hips go deep during hands exit and recovery phase resulting in some curved body shape.

    Low Hips

    Probably has to do something with my bending knees as part of second upbeat. I was wondering if that’s the reason why I’m having troubles lifting hips above water surface at the end of first downkick. I should probably try to keep my legs straight in knees in this phase.
  2. In catch phase, arms go wide and out, resulting in low elbows.

    Wide Catch

    It could be that I don’t do inward shoulder rotation. Additionally, instinctivelly, I feel the biggest water resistance when arms are straight, because the force moment in the shoulder is directly proportional to the distance between the hand and the shoulder. On the other hand, propulsion depends on the parallel force and not to this force moment.

Improving Butterfly Technique (part 1)

Last birthday I made a resolution that by my next (40th) birthday I will be able to swim 200m butterfly (without breaks). Currently, my max is 50m. The time is not important to me (which contradicts my wearing Arena legs :)), but the technique is. I still have no idea if that was too optimistic and unrealistic, or maybe it would be a piece of cake. I was never professionally coached for fly technique, but I did know how to swim it. I’m an ex-triathlete amateur, ran four triathlons in my life (3 times Olympic distances and once sprint).

Probably the fastest way to learn fly properly would be to hire a professional coach and have some lessons, but somehow I thought it would be more fun if I try to do it first myself with addition of watching underwater videos of professional butterfliers, internet forums, books, maybe comments on my blog ;-) etc.

So, I’m posting my first movie showing my 20m-length butterfly as it is at the moment.

(recorded on 2009-10-28)

The same video in slow motion:

Some errors that I could spot in this video:

  1. Legs kick too much from knees.
  2. Feet are too much apart on first downkick.
  3. Hips for some reason don’t go high enough when hands enter the water.
  4. Hips sometimes go above the water during the second downkick.
  5. Arms go to wide and out during catch phase (probably I don’t do inward shoulder rotation as in freestyle).
  6. Legs are sometimes not simultaneous in the beginning of downkick. 
  7. I’m also not happy that my palms are facing backwards during the recovery. I would prefer them to point upwards or even more, inwards like in this photo of Cavic:Cavic comming down the lane Roma 2009 100m Final


I will also post some underwater videos which will reveal much more details and more clearly.

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