Watch our butterfly video tutorial to see Olympic gold medallist Tyler Clary demonstrate the perfect butterfly stroke technique. Featuring commentary from our elite swim coach, our handy how-to video has been designed to help you improve your butterfly catch, pull and hand placement.
With your face in the water and arms stretched forward, your hands enter the water shoulder-width apart, either flat or with your thumbs facing slightly down in a relaxed manner.
The catch is initiated as your wrists flex. Your fingers face diagonally downwards, and your elbows rotate and lift to face the surface of the water. This prepares you for the pull phase of the stroke.
The Pull Phase
The pull phase starts as your hands rotate to face backwards, fingers pointing downwards, maintaining a high elbow position.
Push your hands backwards, towards your hips, underneath your body. Take care to not press out too wide. Sweep your hands underneath your stomach, with your fingers still pointing downwards towards the bottom of the pool. Make sure your elbows remain high all the way through this phase of the stroke.
The push is an explosive extension of your arms past your hips, close to your legs, with your palms facing backwards, flicking the water towards your feet. This should be the most propulsive part of the stroke, and should be a much faster movement than all of the other parts of the cycle.
Your hands release the water at the end of the push phase, and recover over the surface in a relaxed, smooth manner. At this stage, your body should be flat, with your shoulders as close to the water surface as possible, ensuring that no part of your arm touches the water until re-entry.
Your hands must be relaxed to conserve energy, ready for the next stroke cycle.
Tyler has great mobility in his shoulders, allowing him to get a good high elbow position, and therefore a very powerful propulsive pull phase.
If you enjoyed this butterfly tips video then why not take a look at our other top butterfly training tips from our Speedo athletes:
How to improve your butterfly kick with Tyler Clary
How to improve your butterfly breathing with Tyler Clary
How to improve your butterfly positioning with Tyler Clary