How to fly – The three main Elements

Training & Technique
Written by: Andrea Di Nino at 9 May '14 0
You are reading: How to fly – The three main Elements


Always move forward…

The butterfly stroke is the perfect combination of three main elements:

  1. The catch phase
  2. The press phase
  3. The kick in the upward and downward phase

For each element, the key is to always move forward, and to avoid any unnecessary ‘up and down’ movement of the body during the swim.

But let’s get specific:

Which is the best and most efficient way to catch the water?

First of all, push the water backwards. In this way the body will move forward.

Secondly, be sure to have palms facing backwards and the fingers pointing down. But in the end, the single most important thing to remember (because it connects with the press phase), is to ALWAYS have the elbows bent, so that the forearm is at a vertical angle.

To help you get this crucial phase right, remember that if you swim the 100m and 200m distances, always look forward in order to make the movement easier and to have a wide entrance/extension, rather than if you swim the 50m distance.

Which is the best and most efficient way to press the water?

Always feel that you drive the body forward. To get this right be sure to press forward with the chin (without using the head in this movement), but don’t force the face to go down!!!!!! Never forget, that during the press momentum, three things are supposed to happen at the same time:

  • The body should press forward
  • After the hands enter, they later extend forward
  • Kick!!!!!!!

So, let’s now enter into the last main topic…

How many kicks should you do and in which way?

  • Two equal, in size and power
  • Be sure not to minimize the second ‘crucial’ kick when you finish the stroke. Too many times we don`t bend the knees enough in order to prepare correctly for the second kick, therefore losing a good weapon in terms of creating speed
  • Focus your kick and breathing to be forwards, not upwards!

Try to do this every day when you swim alone or with your coach and you will be an efficient and fast flyer!!!!!!!!!!!!


Written by:

Andrea Di Nino

Andrea Di Nino is Head Coach and Technical Director of A.D.N Swim Project, the first European program for international swimmers. The mission of A.D.N is to offer their athletes with the best available tools out there, in order to perform to the best of their abilities.