Butterfly Stroke Body Head Position

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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When starting out on your swimming journey, knowing as many strokes as possible is beneficial. 

The butterfly stroke is one of the four foundational swimming strokes. In addition, it is one of the more challenging strokes. Swimming, in this stroke, requires a well-honed technique.

Once you get the hang of this stroke, you will find the butterfly stroke is one of the best swimming workouts for your core and upper body, so it’s well worth understanding the fundamentals. 

In addition, good knowledge of the head position will help you enormously when swimming the butterfly stroke. 


Where Should Your Head be when Performing the Butterfly Stroke?

The head position is important when swimming the butterfly stroke. Throughout the stroke, your body should undulate in a wave-like pattern. The top of your head should lead this movement. Then your chest, hips, and feet should follow.

Keep your head beneath the water’s surface during most strokes. Then, when taking a breath, raise it so your chin is on the surface of the water.

When you come down with your head, you should come down with the chin. Your chin should almost touch your chest. You should aim for a full range of motion from the neck. This is to keep the shoulders flat and prevent drag. 


What is the Effect on Butterfly Stroke if the Swimmer’s Head is Too High?

Keeping the head too high is a common mistake among beginner swimmers. When the head is lifted too high, lifting the hips high enough to generate the second kick becomes difficult. This creates too much strain on the shoulders. 

The second kick should drive the stroke. It sets the timings of the stroke and also assists the arm recovery. If your head doesn’t effectively return to its lower position, you can’t kick properly as the arms exit. This makes swimming butterflies incredibly tiring and difficult. 


What is the Most Important Aspect of Head Position in Butterfly Stroke?

The most important aspect of the head position in butterfly stroke is to make sure your head remains low, even when breathing. 

Try to focus on moving your neck when breathing, as opposed to moving your shoulders. Using your neck’s full range of motion will greatly increase your technique. 

Fully extending your neck and reaching out as far as possible when breathing stops your head from becoming too high. 

Also, when you take a breath using your shoulders, your body becomes too vertical in the water. This increases drag and makes it much harder to swim effectively. 


Final Thoughts on Butterfly Stroke Body Head Position

The butterfly stroke is a great option if you’re looking to work your core and upper body. This stroke can be challenging as it requires a good technique and level of fitness. 

Learning to keep your head low and move your head from the neck will help you quickly improve at this stroke. In addition, knowing how to swim the butterfly stroke properly will add variety to your swimming practice, increasing the fun and benefits of your workout.