How to do butterfly

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If Arnie was a swimmer, he’d be a butterflyer. Difficult to master and requiring bags of strength and flexibility, butterfly is swimming’s toughest stroke. But get the hang of it and you’ll get fit fast and look pretty impressive in the pool to boot. Take a look at Speedo’s four butterfly videos to get to grips with the stroke.

The stroke

If you want the triangle shape and sculpted shoulders of a swimmer, the butterfly stroke will give you a major upper body workout, working your deltoids, trapezius and shoulder rotator cuff muscles like no other stroke (or gym workout for that matter).

The kick

Unlike the other strokes, you keep your legs together for a butterfly kick, a bit like a dolphin’s tail. To generate propulsion in the water, the dolphin kick comes from the hips. Flexible ankles will help you to flick your feet and dial up the power even more. To improve your kick, try fins to help strengthen your legs.


Like freestyle, butterfly comes with breathing challenges because of the head-down positioning in the water. If you find yourself gulping chlorinated liquid as you learn the stroke, fins can help you stay higher in the water.

Body positioning

Finding the correct body position in butterfly will help you to get more streamlined, boosting your efficiency in the water so you’re faster. See how to position your head, back and legs and find out how a centre snorkel can help you with the face-down positioning.