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Step #3: Body Dolphin (Hand Lead)
To teach Hand-Lead Body Dolphin, have the swimmers start in the butterfly float position.

Use the abs and hips to start the undulating movement that will travel all the way down the body and out through the feet.

Send your fingers straight forward as the hips rise.

Tell the swimmers to, “Keep the toenails under water and press them down to make the hips rise up.” This will create a smooth and splash-free body dolphin.

Do a number of body dolphins, keeping the hands as close to the surface as possible and not breathing, to get a good feel for the movement.

Now, the next step is real important, and it is critical to this teaching progression and to the separation drill that’s coming up next.

The swimmer must know how to do one -- and only one 00complete arm-leading body dolphin.


It helps to begin from a wall push-off.

It’s a shallow surface dive, going “under a log” and coming up on the other side without scratching your back.

Try it with fins. Keep practicing until all of your swimmers can do a single cycle of Float…Body Dolphin…Float. Once they have this essential skill, the next step – Timing – will be easier to master.