There is a view that butterfly is a very difficult, exhausting stroke, but this need not be so.
I learned to swim butterfly using the Shaw Method and from being completely unable to swim this stroke I can now manage several lengths.
Remember the key part of any stroke is the glide. In butterfly you glide as you bring your arms over your head and your body is moving forward and slightly upwards through the water.
- the key to a good smooth butterfly is the undulation
- leading from the head, and keeping the feet together you need to ripple through the water using a dolphin kick
- the ratio of kicks to arm movements is two to one, so two kicks to one arm movement
- count one, two and on the second kick open the arms out slowly, like unfolding your wings and bring them forwards together in front of you
- let your head follow the movement of your arms and body
- breathe every other stroke
- swim slowly and evenly and you will soon build up stamina and rhythm.
Shaw Method butterfly in action click here
I trained with Steven Shaw at Art of Swimming as a Shaw Method teacher at the same time as I was studying for my Amateur Swimming Association level two qualification. Shaw Method is a gentle approach to swimming without strain or stress. It is based on the Alexander Technique
This is what Steven Shaw’s company The Art of Swimming says about the Shaw Method.
Shaw Method applies the principles of Alexander Technique to swimming. Alexander Technique will teach you to use your body and mind without strain. Put simply, this is what Shaw Method also seeks to achieve, in the water.
Shaw Method teaches greater body awareness, strengthens the relationship between mind and body, promotes freedom of movement, and helps to prevent strain and injury.
I loved the training it was innovative and inspirational. It transformed my own swimming and now when I am swimming in the people often comment on the smoothness and ease of my stroke. I also learned to swim butterfly for the first time in my life. I discovered that using the Shaw Method approach butterfly can be a smooth elegant relaxing stroke.