Sarah Sjostrom Butterfly Drills

3 Butterfly Drills with Sarah Sjostrom

Want to improve your butterfly? Here are three butterfly drills with 100-meter butterfly world record holder and Olympic champion Sarah Sjostrom.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom is an Olympic champion, world record holder, and world champion. She is wildly versatile, with world records in the 50-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle (SCM), and the 100-meter butterfly.

Sjostrom has been particularly dominant in the 100-meter butterfly. She is the world record holder, 4-time world champion, and defending Olympic champion in the event.

Sjostrom uses a bunch of different types of sets and drills in her training to keep her technique sharp and her conditioning topped up.

Here are three of her favorite drills for a more technically proficient butterfly.

Sculling — Finishers

Sculling is a swimmer’s secret little weapon for improving feel for the water, develop better body position, and tightening up technique. As Sjostrom demonstrates below, this is a “drill” that even the best swimmers on the planet use.

Sjostrom is targeting the finish of her stroke and uses a swimmer’s snorkel so that she can focus exclusively on the scull and finish motion.

Butterfly arms with freestyle kick

This drill goes by a few different names, including Butterflutter and Flutterfly. Butterfly arms with freestyle kick drill is a relatively simple (yet surprisingly challenging!) way to improve your butterfly.

With less undulation from your legs, your chin will be in a better position above the water when you breathe. Flutter kicking also means there is less stop-and-go in your stroke, promoting a more aggressive arm recovery.

1-1-1 Butterfly drill

This drill is a classic and variations of it are found in just about every coach’s training arsenal. You take one stroke with your right arm, one stroke with your left arm, and then take a full stroke.

When taking the single-arm strokes, breathe to your side to maintain a quick stroke rate. This drill is a great way to log more meters and yards of butterfly without over-taxing the swimmer.

More Stuff Like This

This is How Fast Sarah Sjostrom Swims in Practice. Curious about what kind of training the fastest 100m butterflyer in history does? Here are some of Sarah Sjostrom’s practices and sets.

How to Dominate Your Next 100m Butterfly. Dominate the back-half of your 100-meter butterfly with these sets from the greatest swimmer of all-time, Michael Phelps and his coach Bob Bowman.

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Olivier Poirier-Leroy Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.

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