Butterly Stretch
COACH,  Training and Technique

Move of the month: butterfly stretch

Wild swimmer Vivienne Rickman is your guide to a yoga pose that improves the flexibility of the hips and inner thigh adductor muscles.

The butterfly stretch is great for all abilities, improving the range and flexibility of both the hips and inner thigh adductor muscles.

If we think in terms of swimming, the hips lead the rotation in front crawl and the adductor muscles pull the thighs together which we certainly use in breaststroke, so having greater range and flexibility in these can aid technique and recovery in these strokes. Practise this move as a developmental stretch after swimming or other exercise.

It is important to use slow movements, avoid bouncing or pushing yourself too far.

How to do the butterfly stretch

  1. Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet touching each other, lift your hips to gain a more upright position.
  2. Whilst taking a in breath, sit up tall and hold onto your feet
  3. Exhale and while keeping your back straight, lean forward
  4. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds
  5. Release and repeat three times


• Place you hand on your ankles and use your elbows to gently press down onto your knees for a greater stretch
• Reclined Butterfly – This is one of my favourite moves, lie back and lift your arms above your head take hold of either elbow and relax into the move.

Read our Move of the Month feature in each issue of Outdoor Swimmer.

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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.