The keyhole movement

by Nele
(Belgium)

Do you have any information about the keyhole movement? Because I do not really understand why we actually learn it first of all, and what it's function is!

you could be a great help!



Hi Nele,
thanks for your question. I’m assuming you are referring to the keyhole shape when swimming butterfly. This is a shape you make with your hands and arms when performing the pull action and part of the recovery. It is simply a teaching point to describe how to move your arms in the correct direction.


So looking at the propulsive phase of the stroke it is an initially outward then inward, backward, and upward sweep of the arms moving in a keyhole shape starting in front of you in the centre line and finishing around your hip area hence the keyhole shape.


The reason for the keyhole action is to create a propulsive action keeping the arms close to the body without causing too much drag. Pulling along the centre line like one does when swimming front crawl. Keeping your arms too far out causes too much drag.


Throughout this I’m assuming you are referring to butterfly because you did not say, but the same can be said about breast stroke as well because you make a similar shape when doing breast stroke. Again it is for the same reasons. When swimming we are trying to achieve as much propulsion as possible using as little effort and if you keep this in mind when you are swimming then you won’t go wrong.


I suggest you take a look at my page about butterfly and breast stroke and have a look in detail to pick up any information/swimming tips you can, here’s the addresses. http://www.swimming-techniques-learn.com/swimming-the-butterfly.html or http://www.swimming-techniques-learn.com/basic-breastroke-technique.html
If you have any more questions Nele then do contact me again.

Thanks again Dale :)

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Feb 29, 2016
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Keyhole pull in fly
by: Sharon Anonymous

Why do some people call the keyhole pull in breaststroke turns
an A pull and in fly keyhole pull what is the difference?

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