Human beings have clearly been designed, by both evolution and inclination, for substantial aquatic activity. Swimming and other time in the water is some of the most helpful, relaxing, and physically productive activity that anyone can do. However, the human form was not designed for fast motion in the water. People were meant to be able to move unencumbered and hold their breath, but human beings are simply not, of their nature, fast swimmers. In order to combat this characteristic, many people have developed specific styles of swimming that can be used for special circumstances. One of these, and one of the most popular and best known, is known as the butterfly swimming stroke. This is a specific swimming technique that allows human beings to move as quickly as possible through water. In addition to the higher swimming speeds available to those who swim with butterfly Strokes, there are awesome innumerable benefits for exercise muscle tone, and overall physical coordination.

What is the Butterfly Stroke?

The butterfly stroke is a swimming style developed in 1933. It is considered more difficult than the front crawl, breast stroke, backstroke, or other styles. The butterfly stroke is incredibly specific, with specific phases requiring substantial organization and concentration. The butterfly stroke simply will not work without coordination and training. This makes it different from nearly every other method of swimming.

How Does the Butterfly Stroke Work?

The butterfly stroke combines the dolphin kick with trained arm movements and leg kicks. The entire body is used in this swimming style, as the mass of the form is contracted and extended in a motion very much like a wave. This is called the dolphin stroke, and it is a good way to swim in and of itself. The butterfly stroke diverges with its wide, opening arm movements that actually pull the body substantially out of the water. This means that the butterfly stroke is best used at the surface. Leg movements are also a part of it, but there is no independent kicking. The feet will be held tightly together during the entirety of the stroke, as that reduces the water pressure. Physical symmetry is maintained through the whole stroke.

Timing and the Butterfly Stroke

The most important issue with the butterfly stroke is the timing. The arms must move in synchrony with the legs, and the plunging and rising nature of the style leave only a short window to breathe. The swimmer must take their breath in the brief moments where their upper torso is out of the water. If they miss a breath, then the swimming style becomes very challenging.

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