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Butterfly - 3-3-3 Thumb Drag

Posted by Barbara Hummel on Sep 15, 2006 08:01AM

Most swimmers strive for a low, sweeping arm recovery in butterfly. But sometimes it's hard to know if you've actually ACHIEVED this type of recovery. Here's a drill with a built-in - correct detector -your thumbs.

Why Do It
A low, sweeping arm recovery can make butterfly feel easy-well, ALMOST easy. The idea is to keep your arms relaxed, and to lift them the bare minimum above the surface of the water. This keeps the recovery quick, relaxed (that's why it's called the recovery, after all), and highly efficient. A low recovery also helps you undulate just over and just under the waterline.

How To Do It:
1. Start with 3 strokes of fly with your left arm, dragging the thumb through the water on each recovery.

2. Then take 3 strokes of fly with your right arm, again trailing the thumb through the water.

3. Finish with 3 strokes of whole-stroke fly, sweeping the arms over the water and trailing the thumbs just across the surface.

How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
1. Keep your elbows locked but your arms relaxed.

2. Lead with the TOPS of your hands. Make sure your are trailing the THUMBS through the water and not the palms of your hand or your pinky fingers.

Archived Comments

Responded Sep 15, 2006 11:22AM

i'm always looking for new fly drills- thanks barbara

Responded Sep 15, 2006 09:54PM

That looks great! I am going to give it a try with my swimmers at the next practice. Thanks!

Responded Sep 20, 2006 06:21AM

Crackin Drill..... I'm certainly gonna share this with the swimmers...

Responded Sep 28, 2006 03:30PM

At a relatively low speed (as in all drills I think), I find this drill really nice and I can perform it really smooth as well.
My problem comes when I try it a a faster pace. Maybe its only a matter of practicing it more.


Responded Sep 28, 2006 04:37PM

If you don't feel comfortable doing it at a faster pace, then don't do it at a faster pace. It's a drill. :)

Responded Jun 21, 2007 11:40PM

i remember somebody implying that you should bend your arms just slightly so the recovery doesnt exhaust you as much

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