The Swimmer - Butterfly - Soft Hands
Setting up a good butterfly starts with something easy, letting the hands stay soft on the entry.
Why do it:
Focusing on allowing the hands to softly enter, and stay close to the surface during the initial press, builds up a tension point through your chest that has the body wanting a return to it's natural state. This helps swimmers use more of their body on butterfly, not just the arms.
How to do it (Illustrations). We're going to show five great swimmers all doing the same thing... allowing the hands to stay soft and high upon entry as the chest and head press below. While you watch these swimmers, try to gain an understanding of the tension that's built up through the chest and lats.
First up is Robert Margalis. Hands high, head and chest land below, then the body rebounds back as the hands fall.
Next is Misty Hyman. A bit deeper press than Robert, but hands still high, head and chest below.
Now watch Kaitlin Sandeno. High hands on entry, head and chest below.
Eric Shanteau. Same trait again.
Lastly, Erik Vendt. The pattern is the same.
If you don't feel this connection, or stretch at the front of your stroke, you may be trying to lead down to the undulation with your hands. Doing this will cause you to miss this natural and necessary part of butterfly.
You can see the full video of each and all of these athletes at our website, goswim.tv