Learn Butterfly Stroke

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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The butterfly stroke is intriguing for many beginner swimmers. It looks graceful and impressive but also complicated. You may have also heard that it’s considered the most difficult stroke to learn. 

But don’t let this stop you from giving it a try. It’s definitely possible for a beginner to learn this stroke by following the correct approach. This stroke is a great way to work your muscles and burn calories. 


What’s the Best Way to Learn Butterfly Stroke?

Some may consider a Butterfly stroke the most difficult of all strokes, but it’s possible to learn, even for a beginner. This stroke relies heavily on having the correct technique and timings. 

For this reason, the best way to learn this stroke is by having a professional swim instructor guide you. 

They will quickly be able to spot any mistakes in your form or rhythm. Having a professional correct your technique will allow you to progress much more rapidly than if you were to learn by yourself. 

However, if you prefer to go the self-taught route, learning is still possible. Firstly you should remember this stroke is very much about “feeling.” 

So feeling the waves and having a strong connection between your body and the water is essential. Once you have this, the stroke can start to feel very natural.

Following this, the best way to learn butterfly strokes is to isolate each element of the stroke. Breaking down the stroke into steps allows you to become very comfortable with each movement separately. 

It will be much easier for you to combine all the elements and swim the butterfly stroke effectively. The three elements to learn are :


  • The kick- Practice the dolphin-style kicking movement.
  • The arm movements – Practice moving both arms in synchronicity
  • Breathing – Practice the correct head position for breathing


Another great way to learn butterfly strokes is to practice arm movements outside of the pool. Now, this may sound strange, as you want to swim. But once you can master the movements on land, they become easier in the water.


How Long Does it Take to Learn Butterfly Stroke?

There is no definitive time span on how long it takes to learn butterfly stroke. Everybody’s swimming journey is unique. How long it takes to learn butterfly strokes depends on many factors. 

Firstly, how comfortable you are already in the water. If you can already swim other strokes and are reasonably comfortable in the water, it will take you less time than someone who has never been in the pool.

Secondly, it depends on your overall fitness level. If you are already quite fit but just use swimming to tone up your body and build muscles, you can learn butterfly strokes relatively quickly. 

It might take a while longer if you are very out of shape. But it’s definitely still achievable.

The time it takes to learn the butterfly stroke also depends on how much time you put into practice. 

The more time spent in the pool, the quicker you will learn. One swimming session a week is common, but if you can fit in two (or even three), you will learn the butterfly stroke much quicker – you’ll also burn more calories in the process!


Why is Butterfly Stroke So Hard?

Some people find butterfly strokes so hard because they are very physically demanding. It requires a lot of strength and stamina. To swim butterfly strokes effectively, many muscles are being used at the same time.

This stroke is also considered to be hard because it requires accurate technique and good rhythm. If you fail to execute the proper technique for each element of the stroke, it quickly becomes very tiring. 


Final Thoughts on Learn Butterfly Stroke 

Although learning butterfly stroke may seem intimidating at first, breaking the stroke down into individual steps becomes much less overwhelming. 

Even if it seems very physically demanding initially, as you build strength, it will become easier and provide you with a great whole-body workout. Of course, learning butterfly stroke requires practice and patience, but that just means you’ll burn even more calories.