An effective butterfly kick is often compared to a dolphin's tail as it powerfully flicks up and down, causing it to accelerate through the water with ease and grace.
Sounds like what you need? Read on.
Strictly speaking, the leg kick for butterfly stroke is an extension of the undulating body movement that leads with the head if we are going to be technical.
An initial movement of the head moves through the whole body, getting more significant as it goes and ending with an accelerating explosive down kick of the legs that causes the body to flow like a wave through the water.
FREE EBOOK: all of the technique tips here can be found in my 'Butterfly Stroke Technique' book, along with a couple of bonus drills to help you perfect some essential parts of the stroke.
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1. The legs kick simultaneously in a similar action to front crawl but with a greater and more pronounced knee bend.
2. The upbeat of the kick should come from the hips as they undulate.
3. The ankles should be relaxed, and toes pointed.
4. The legs move upwards during the undulating body movement, as the head and shoulders dive downwards.
5. Knees bend and then straighten on the downbeat to provide propulsion. The legs should accelerate to provide power on the downwards movement.
1. A breaststroke type leg kick can sometimes be performed by mistake due to the simultaneous nature of the kick itself.
Most swimmers that can perform breaststroke fairly well will naturally kick their legs in a small circle when attempting butterfly leg kick for the first time.
2. Another common mistake is to emphasise the arm pull for butterfly and therefore lose all power from the leg kick.
The legs lack power when they are needed to assist the body to rise out of the water so that the swimmer can complete the arm pull and recovery with minimum effort.
1. Performing the kick whilst holding a float or kickboard out in front with straight arms will help develop the technique and power required for this movement.
2. The swimmer can also practise the kick in a supine (face up) position with the legs kicking upwards towards the water surface. This is also great for strengthening the abdominal and deep core muscles, which are especially needed in this stroke than in any of the other basic swimming strokes.
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Now you are on track to making considerable improvements to your butterfly leg kick, download my book 'How To Swim Butterfly', and get your arm pulls, breathing and coordination to follow suit.
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