Michael Phelps
Courtesy of: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
By Tiffany Elias

Let me start by saying, I get it, we all think "our" stroke is the hardest of the four individual strokes to train.

I constantly recall the backstrokers complaining about their burning legs or the breaststrokers and their tired forearms. But you know who really has the hardest? It is and always will be the butterfliers.


Look, I'm not saying your stroke isn't hard to train. I couldn't complete a breaststroke set on a decent interval if I tried. But, unless you're a swimmer like Elizabeth Beisel, who needs to perfect her butterfly to further become a world-class swimmer (AKA, An IMER with drive), then you are not picking butterfly when your coach gives you a set of 8X200, stroke choice optional.

Let's elaborate. Here are 4 undeniable reasons butterfly is and always will be the more difficult stroke to train:

1. Backstroke:

Don't worry, I'm not pulling on the lane line -- just working on my deep rotation



2. Breaststroke:

When all else fails...just glide



3. Freestyle:

The hardest part really is deciding when I should breathe...



4. And butterfly:

Doesn't the photo just speak for itself?



Even the best in the world feels the butterfly wrath of pain



Still not convinced? You're 4,000 yards into your workout and coach says 8X200 choice stroke on 3:00. What stroke do you choose?