I can't imagine doing the fly with tight shoulders. One thing I find
helps when mine start to feel tight is to hold the lip of the pool with
my hands behind me and do a relaxed lean forward - helps stretch things
out a bit. Hanging from a chin-up bar (which you can buy just about
anywhere these days) can be good, too.
I found a teacher/coach indispensable to learning butterfly correctly; I
think the advice to read a book is pretty useless. I'm fortunate that
the basic arm motion is a natural for me; if the timing and the kick
came to me naturally as well, I could call myself a natural butterfly
swimmer <smile>, but I had to work long and hard with my instructor on
getting all the pieces in place, and did all sorts of different drills.
The drill I like the most is the easiest one and the one I warm up with
for butterfly. My coach called it 'dolphin dives'. With your arms in
front of you, you bend in the middle and 'dive' towards the bottom of
the pool, then you curl up and start towards the surface, then dolphin
kick to continue moving towards the surface and up for a breath. You
can do this with a sculling (***roke) hand motion as your face comes
out of the water or, once you get the hang of it, you can do the whole
thing, especially with fins of any sort on, without any help from your
hands. The idea is to exagerate the wave motion of the stroke in a
slow, relaxed form. I find it really gets you into the right frame of
mind for butterflying, and it helps loosen my back up as well.
I usually do this drill and some dolphin-kick-only for a few lengths
before I switch to the full stroke.
> Now that I am monofin swimming regularly, I thought I might was well give the
> fly a try.
> 1. Can you swim the fly if you have tight shoulders?
> 2. I have seen some swimmers using Zoomers and doing a kind of *** stroke
> with a fly kick. Is this some sort of a learning progression?
> 3. For the next few weeks I will have to do it with just one arm, but I think
> that even this could help me get the feel for the timing.
I'm Steve Freides. A bit about me:
Doctor of Musical Arts in Ch***Conducting from SUNY Stony Brook.
Masters of Music in Ch***Conducting from Mannes College of Music, NYC.
Bachelors of Music in Voice from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.
Former member of the Techniques of Music Faculty (Theory and
at the Mannes College, also its Extension Division, also former Director
of the Chorus in its Preparatory Division. Private guitar teacher from
age 16 to 27.
Currently President of Friday's Computer, Inc., a small (five people)
consulting firm in Ridgewood, NJ that writes customized data processing
and data management software for clients large and small, and is an
"out" source for data conversion and data processing needs for business.