Butterfly Kicking: A Visual Aid

Butterfly Kicking: A Visual Aid

By Katie Arnold//National High Performance Consultant  | Tuesday, September 5, 2017

As I’ve admitted here before, I am the epitome of a visual learner. Most of the time, I have to create visuals that illustrate certain ideas before I truly understand them. For this week’s High Performance Tip, I wanted to explore something that has come up a lot during my recent club visits: butterfly kicking. It is very important to have two kicks of equal size and strength, which are set up by a significant knee bend. Seems simple enough, but in reality, a lot of butterflyer's have a noticeable difference between the entry kick and the exit kick. So how do you identify this imbalance? Look at the pictures below.

Swimmer 1 Entry Kick
Swimmer 1 Exit Kick 
Swimmer 2 Entry Kick 
 Swimmer 2 Exit Kick
  • Notice the difference in setup angle for swimmer 1. His exit kick is much larger and stronger than his entry kick, and his stroke ends up being choppy and imbalanced.
  • For swimmer 2, his setup angle is almost identical for both kicks, and his stroke is much more balanced. He is better able to maintain his forward momentum throughout the stroke.



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