Set Of The Week: Developing Consistent Butterfly

Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel/USA Today Sports Images

Welcome to Swimming World’s Set Of The Week! This week’s set is an aerobic butterfly set that mixes in drill and fin work to focus on finishing technique in butterfly races. Take a look at the set and description below:

2 Rounds:

4 x 50 butterfly drill on 1:00

#1: 3R, 3L, 1dbl

#2: 2R, 2L, 1dbl

#3: 1R, 1L, 1dbl

#4: moderate fly focus on tempo, high hips, forward drive through undulation

:30 rest, put fins on

4 x 50’s fly w/ fins on :50

→ Focus on high hips, strong kick, and up tempo on second 25

:30 seconds, take fins off

3 x 150 swim fly/free/fly on 2:15

→ 50 fly – 50 free – 50 fly

100 easy freestyle

The set begins with 4 x 50 of butterfly drill in a descending single arm butterfly progression. Your swimmers should be thinking about finding their forward undulation through these drills (as opposed to an “up and down” butterfly) while maintaining high hips. As the number of strokes on each arm decreases, their tempo should naturally increase, setting them up for the fourth 50 of moderate butterfly to set their stroke.

Following the drill sequence swimmers will put on fins and go through 4 x 50’s butterfly. The focus on these should be to drive the stroke forward with the legs, using the fins to accentuate the power coming from the hips and the legs. You’ll also want your swimmers to focus on increasing their tempo slightly on the second 25, mimicking what they would be doing at the end of a race.

The final part of the round is 3 x 150’s as 50 fly/50 free/50 fly. These should be high intensity aerobic work, but again the focus should be on having technically strong butterfly that allows your swimmers to maintain their stroke integrity through each 150. Stroke tempo should increase on each final 50 with stroke being driven by forward undulation and a powerful, consistent kick. Following the 3 x 150’s have your athletes take a 100 easy before repeating the round.

While this set may look intimidating to some athletes, it should be noted that it is designed to teach them how to maintain their stroke integrity. There is no more than a 50 of butterfly in a row anywhere throughout the set, and with the drill work, fin work, and time spent setting up their strokes yur athletes should find this to be a challenging but manageable butterfly set. Happy swimming!

All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.

8 Comments

8 comments

  1. Vero Villamil

    Juan Sebastian Enriquez Villamil

  2. David Hjort

    Bo Brøchner Inspiration?

  3. Benedict Hahn

    Jochen Essig, Daniel Arnold oder halt einfach 16*50S auf 1 ??

Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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