Butterfly Swimming Stroke

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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According to the definition, swimming is an individual or team sport that requires to use arms and legs to move the body through the water. Sports are held either in the pool or open water. In addition to competition purposes, swimming is generally used for recreational, health, and other purposes. Swimming is one of the best public recreational activities and in some countries swimming classes are an integral part of the educational curriculum. As an official sport, it features swimming at local, national and international competitions, including all modern summer Olympics.

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There are many reasons why people swim, from swimming for the purpose of recreational activities ,to swimming as a essential parts of their job or other activities. Swimming can also be used to rehabilitate injuries, especially various cardiovascular and muscle injuries. Swimming as a sport usually involves participants competing at the fastest pace on a given distance for a certain period of time. Competitors swim different distances in different levels of competition. For example, swimming has been an Olympic sport since 1896, and the current program includes events from 50 meters to 1500 meters in four major strokes. The sport is managed internationally by the FINA (International Swimming Federation), and the competition pools for the FINA events are 25 meters or 50 meters long. In the United States, a 25-yard-long pool is commonly used in competition.

Swimming can be performed using a variety of styles called ‘strokes’ and these strokes can be used for other purposes or to distinguish classes from competitive swimming. The main strokes used in competition and recreational swimming are front crawl, known as freestyle, the breaststroke, the backstroke and the butterfly. Swimming competition in Europe began in about 1800, mainly using breaststrokes. In 1873, John Arthur Trudgen introduced trudgen to the Western Swimming Competition. The trudgen is a swimming stroke sometimes known as the racing stroke, or the East Indian stroke. It is named after the English swimmer John Trudgen, and evolved out of sidestroke. The butterfly stroke developed in the 1930s but it was considered as a variation of breaststroke until it was officially accepted as a separate style in 1953. The butterfly swimming stroke is considered the hardest stroke for many people, but they are most effective for all-around toning and building of muscles. And it also consumes the most calories. All the strokes has different purposes, people can use different stroke for different purpose, such as training ,rescue, or treatment and also people can avoid using parts of the body, either to isolate certain part of the body, such as using arms only or legs only, to intensify intensively.

Butterfly is the most difficult swimming method known as swimming. It’s a swimming method which using both arms to rub against back thighs, and as with all styles it also requires strength as well,but butterfly swimming stroke is the method that needs to utilize the water very well in order to have a command of appropriate positions and to get a good results. The form name butterfly swimming stroke is made because when we look at person using this form, it’s very similar with the butterfly flying. When using this butterfly swimming form, movement and rhythm are especially important compared to other styles, and they are the most energy-consuming among the four styles (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly). Butterfly swimming stroke is the last swimming stroke form that was added to the Olympic Games as official. It was officially carried out from the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, 100m for women and 200m for men. The first athlete who won the first gold medal over this Butterfly stroke competition for each 100m and 200m was Shelley Mann with 1:11:10 and William Yorzyk with 2:19:3, and both two were american.

Sidney Cavill, the founder of the Butterfly, developed the upper torso of a butterfly swimming stroke. The Cavill family is the family that has greatly contributed to introducing butterfly swimming stroke to modern swimming. In 1933, Henry Mayer first showed the butterfly swimming stroke at the breaststroke competition which was held at the Brooklyn Central YMCA, and people called this the “”Butterfly Breaststroke””.

The scientific study on swimming began in 1928 with David Armbruster, a coach at the University of Iowa who filmed swimmers underwater. Armbruster also investigated a problem of breaststroke when swimmer was significantly slowed down while bringing their arms forward underwater. In 1934 Armbruster improved the way to bring the arms forward over water in the breaststroke. While this ‘ butterfly’ technique was difficult, but has seen a significant improvement in speed. Armbruster and Sieg, a swimmer also from the University of Iowa, have combined these techniques into a transformation of the breaststroke called Butterflywith the two kicks per cycle being called fish tail kick. Using this technique Sieg swam 100m in 1:00.2.

However,this technique is much faster than usual breaststroke, the dolphin fishtail kick was not allowed to use because it violated the rules. In 1938, almost all the breaststroke athletes were using over water surface recovery breaststroke style. However, Richard Rhodes, who used dolphin fishtail kick at US Olympic Trials was disqualified. This stroke was still considered as a variant of the breaststroke until when it was accepted in 1952 as a separate style with a set of rules about butterfly swimming stroke. In breaststroke, breaking the water surface increases the friction, reducing the speed of the swimmer. This means that swimming underwater increases the speed. This caused controversy at 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, and six swimmers were disqualified as they repeatedly swam long distances underwater between surfacing to breathe. The rules were changed to require breaststroke to be swum at the surface starting with the first surfacing after the start and after each turn.

However, one Japanese swimmer, Masaru Furukawa, circumvented the rule by not surfacing at all after the start, but swimming as much of the lane under water as possible before breaking the surface. The adoption of this technique led to many swimmers suffering from oxygen starvation or even some swimmers passing out during the race due to a lack of air, and a new breaststroke rule was introduced by FINA, additionally limiting the distance that can be swam underwater after the start and every turn, and requiring the head to break the surface every cycle. The 1956 Games in Melbourne also saw the introduction of the flip turn a sort of tumble turn to faster change directions at the end of the lane.

American Jesse Vassallo used several dolphin kicks after the start and the turn. He said the reason he used dolphin kick was not to speed, but to avoid the flow of other players (. It was said that he was going to stabilize his body before starting his arm strokes. Because he used it for a short time, nobody knew the sleeping power of the dolphin kick at that time.

The swimmers Daichi Suzuki and David Berkoff used dolphin kick for the 100m backstroke at the 1988 summer olympics in Seoul. Daichi Suzuki of Japan extended the idea of Vassallo to use the dolphin kick as far as possible. Suzuki swam 25m using underwater dolphin kick and went to the 100th backstroke finals. Berkoff swam 33m of the first lane completely underwater using only dolphin kick, far ahead of his competition. Right after the Olympics, Berkoff and his coach in the United States studied underwater kicks with the help of fluid dynamics experts, and it was introduced to the media by the name Berkoff Blastoff.

Through this, people became aware of the advantages of dolphin kick in the water, and swimming athletes started to practice using it. After all, 5 out of 8 of backstroke athletes used this dolphin kick for 25m after starting in 100m backstroke competition.The backstroke rules were quickly changed in the same year by the FINA to ensure the health and safety of the swimmers, limiting the underwater phase after the start to ten meters, which was expanded to 15m in 1991.

This dolphin-kick underwater swimming technique is now also used for butterfly. Consequently, in 1998 FINA introduced a rule limiting swimmers to 15 meters underwater per lap before they must surface. After underwater swimming for freestyle and backstroke, the underwater swimming technique is now also used for butterfly, for example by Denis Pantratov (Russia) or Angel Kennedy (Australia), swimming large distances underwater with a dolphin kick. FINA is again considering a rule change for safety reasons. It is after to do butterfly kick underwater for the first few meters off the wall then swimming at the surface. The controversy about underwater dolphin kick occurred in the Olympic Games in 2004 at the Athens Olympics. At that time, the breaststroke did not allow a dolphin kick after the start and turn. However, gold medalist Kosuke Kitajima was caught in the video with a dolphin kick at start and pullout. Everyone in the world watched him violating the rule, but nobody actually realized it because he used just for a moment. However In 2006, FINA declared that you may take 1 underwater dolphin kick in the motion of a breaststroke pull-out.

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Butterfly Swimming Stroke. (2019, Jun 27). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/butterfly-swimming-stroke/