What is the best way to breathe during butterfly stroke?

Question by PG: What is the best way to breathe during butterfly stroke?
I am learning to do the buttterfly, and while I still don’t feel comfortable with it, I have just started to get the rhythm of the arms and legs down. I can swim it decently if I don’t come up for air, but when I do need to breathe, it not only breaks my stride competely, but I hurt my neck. I must be doing something wrong! Can anyone help me with tips for efficient breathing during the butterfly, or any other advice in improving this stroke? Thanks.

Best answer:

Answer by swimerjim
Butterfly is the most difficult stroke to master of the four. While swimming butterfly you should not tuck your head, you will be creating resistance. You head must be in a neutral position, in line with your spine. You do not want to lift your head, your body should naturally lift with your momentum and with that a slight, very slight tilt of the head upward will provide sufficient time to breathe. BUT you must have momentum, so if you’re swimming butterfly slow, or not at a good pace you will have to force yourself to lift your head, thus leading to poor technique.

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2 Comments
  1. Reply
    Jessie F May 11, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    the key to breathing properly in butter fly is to get your catch strong on the water. you should lift your head slightly just as you start pulling underwater and your head should be back down before you finish your stroke. Also, a strong kick can help because it helps you get your arms over and your head down. That is probably the reason your neck is getting sore also, because your head is staying up too long.

    hope that helps 🙂

  2. Reply
    YEAitbeMExo May 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    you can actually breathe to the side when doing butterfly.
    i mix it up….
    breathing to the side actually takes less energy cause your not pulling your hole upper body out of the water.

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