Swimming butterfly is all about swimming consistently throughout your entire race. This stroke will rely on proper head placement and a continuous butterfly kick throughout. The first step is to get a good push-off of the starting block or wall and immediately get your body in to the proper streamline position, with your head in between your elbows, looking down.
For the butterfly kick to be used to its maximum, be sure your ankles remain together, and use the core of your body to push down with both feet. Using your upper body and abdominal muscles will only enhance your leg movement and strength underwater. Your goal as a swimmer is to try to kick two butterfly kicks per second while in the streamline position. Now it is time for the breakout and arm movements.
During the breakout stroke, keep your head in line with your back and shoulders and use a straight pull down approach with your hands. Try your best to keep your hands and arms at shoulder width throughout the pull motion. As your hands come down through the stroke and you start the push motion, your hands will get closer together and under your body. Be sure to finish the stroke behind you each time. On the recovery, keep your arms straight (sometimes having your fingertips down helps) and clear the top of the water for the entry of the next stroke. Don’t worry about trying to up really high on the recovery, only get your arms to go over the water and enter at shoulder width.
Always be sure that your breath is started by a slight raise of your head at the “finish” of a stroke, and your head is back down and in line with your back before your arms come over for another stroke. Always aim to have two kicks per stroke, one at entry of arms, and one at finish of arms.
Swimming butterfly is one of the harder strokes to maintain for long periods of time, so be sure to swim it correctly, and use that underwater kick to its maximum potential!