This post is courtesy of Abbie Fish of RITTER Sports Performance. From qualifying for the Olympic Trials to working at USA Swimming’s headquarters, Abbie has been on all sides of swimming. Abbie is a stroke mechanics guru and believes anyone with the heart to train can benefit from technical advice! [CLICK HERE] for a FREE stroke technique lesson from Coach Abbie!
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For anyone who has ever been coached with Butterfly—the word undulation should not be new. Undulating means (literally) move like a smooth, wave-like motion. Within our short-axis strokes, undulating is a key component to a faster time. Basically, undulating aids our forward motion in the pool by strengthening our pull (putting us in a stronger physical position to catch water) AND by firing our hips and lower back MORE to create a greater amount of propulsion from our kicks!
Basically – if you do not undulate in fly, you won’t be able to pull or kick as much water!
The undulating motion starts at the core and ripples through the body like a wave. Without a strong core to create the motion itself—it will all fall apart and your body alignment will suffer.
When teaching kids how to swim fly (especially younger swimmers)--they have a tendency to use their undulation to drive themselves up and down, versus forward.
Remember:the goal is to get down the lane as fast as possible—not dive down towards the bottom of the pool.
While swimming fly–if you lead the undulation with your head and not your chest—your body will come out of alignment. This misalignment will create a bigger increase in frontal drag (i.e. more resistance) against your forward motion.
Be sure to stay tuned for our next post—where we will discuss the pulling pattern of fly, along with timing issues, and the entire fly sequence!
Until Next Time,
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