No, not THAT kind of butterfly. I’m not dedicating an entire post to a bug, don’t worry 😉

As a part of the Summer Series, I am going to address the butterfly stroke. Ever heard of it?

It is okay if you have never heard of the butterfly stroke (or as some swimmers call it, “fly”)—it is the most complex and hardest stroke of all to swim. It works EVERY major muscle group, gets your heart rate and breathing up, and requires a lot of muscular endurance as well.


(By the way, Michael Phelps is amazing at this stroke…..Okay, he’s amazing at every stroke, but still!)

Butterfly Stroke

Because this is the hardest of all the strokes, kiddos don’t learn it until they have mastered the other three strokes (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke).

The Kick : It is done with both legs together (if they come apart, the swimmer would be disqualified from a race), and the movement originates from the hips. It is like a dolphin kick, with both legs glued together. The abdominal wall gets a major workout, as it stabilizes the movement throughout the kicking motion.


The arms: The upper body needs to be strong to do the arm movement correctly, as that movement propels the body forward and UP out of the water slightly. The arms come forward, then pull under water in a butterfly shape, ending back near the sides. This is done continually, with the swimmer taking a breath every other arm stroke (the head would come up when the arms are out to the sides, about to dive back into the water).


Here is our favorite swimmer taking a breath during the butterfly:


Such a lovely sight…

….the stroke in its perfect form, of course! 😉

Of all the strokes, this one is definitely the hardest one for me….but it is also the most challenging, so that is why I like to do it. Go figure?! Maybe I like a challenge (ahem FIT much?)?

Have a happy FRIDAY!

Have YOU tried the butterfly stroke before?? What did ya think?? If YOU could choose YOUR favorite stroke, what would it be??

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  1. caroline orien says:

    I LOVE this stroke! And I love Michael Phelps! So This post was a delight to read. =)

    I always get more tired doing this stoke then any other stroke and I love it. I feel so powerful in the water.


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