Learn to Swim Butterfly: Body Dolphin Butterfly Drill

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

Watch the following video of Body-Dolphin Butterfly:

Video ThumbnailBody-Dolphin Butterfly is a swimming drill that lets you practice all the elements of the butterfly stroke at once: breathing, arm stroke, arm recovery and body undulation.

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 maintain the flow of the body undulation better, 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.

2 thoughts on “Learn to Swim Butterfly: Body Dolphin Butterfly Drill”

  1. Avatar

    I was wondering where I could download this video so I could review it, maybe you could send it to my email?
    Also, thanks a lot, this is amazing work

    1. Christophe

      Hi Tyrone,

      I’m sorry, the video platform I use doesn’t allow for downloads. This protects me against copycat sites that would use videos without my permission.

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