Body-Dolphin Butterfly is the next one of our drills to learn how to swim butterfly. It allows you to prevent fatigue and focus on technique.

Watch the following video of Body-Dolphin Butterfly:

In the previous drill, Hip-Delay Butterfly, you added a few body dolphins after both the underwater arm sweep and after the arm recovery. On the other hand, in Body-Dolphin Butterfly, you do the arm stroke movements in one go, then add a few body dolphins between each arm stroke.

Drill Instructions

  • Push off the wall in a prone position. Your arms are extended forward and shoulder width apart. Your palms are facing down and your head is aligned with the spine.
  • Execute two or three hand-lead body dolphins.
  • Do a whole butterfly stroke cycle in one go at the end of the last body dolphin:
  • Continue this sequence of movements for the rest of the length.


  • Inhale at the start of the underwater arm sweep during the butterfly stroke cycle, when your chest and head rise above the water surface.
  • Keep your head low and look down and slightly forward while breathing.
  • Exhale continuously in the water for the rest of the butterfly stroke and the subsequent hand-lead body dolphins.

Additional Tips

  • Avoid struggle. Use the body dolphins between each butterfly stroke cycle to relax and keep your rhythm.
  • Experiment with the number of body dolphins added between each arm stroke. Adding more allows you to relax and to better maintain the flow of the body undulation, but you might run out of air. Adding fewer body undulations is more tiring for your muscles but allows you to get more air.
  • Remember to stay close to the water surface, both during the body dolphins and during the butterfly strokes.

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