2-beat kick position and drag

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Ade0
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:40 pm

2-beat kick position and drag

Postby Ade0 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:04 pm

Hi,

I have a question about the leg/foot position in the 2-beat kick. In the SwimSmooth resources, between kicks, the feet are left apart (at the point where the previous kick finishes) - to me, this looks like a position that would be associated with increased drag (i.e. it doesn't look particularly streamlined) so it seems surprising that this is considered the optimal position. I think I've seen the two-beat kick done where the feet are brought back together between kicks (perhaps in TI?).

However, even amazing swimmers like Shelley Taylor-Smith do their two beat kick with the feet apart between kicks - so I'm assuming this is the best way to do it for racing and triathlon in particular.

Is that a higher drag position (than bringing the feet back together between kicks)? And if so, why is it considered better to leave the feet apart in between kicks?

Thanks
Ade

The Dodo
Posts: 111
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 8:44 am

Re: 2-beat kick position and drag

Postby The Dodo » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:57 am

Hi Ade!

I know what you mean, but it is clear from shots of Shelley swimming freestyle 2-beat - that she has a great high elbow catch, and her kicks come at optimal times in relation to water entry of the recovered arms.The entry of a recovered arm into the water is bound to cause drag, so it is best to offset that by doing a well-timed kick! I suspect that most of Shelley's movement is due to effective arm action - a "front-ender"?

I agree that it does appear likely that leaving the legs apart in between kicks will cause unwanted drag, and in that context I would make the following observations :roll: : -

At the pool I used to use several years ago, there was a seemingly good free-styler, who at that time, I could never "out-do" (he had a greater APE index than little me anyway!) :( , I admired his EVF catch etc, but the surprising thing to me, was that he never flutter kicked, he just dragged his legs behind him with his heels maybe 8" below the surface, with feet vaguely waving around slowly a few inches apart in time with his body roll. He was definitely of the "Arnie" type build, and I reckon was more concerned with building up his "superstructure", never mind the legs! I quizzed him about that, saying what a waste - 'cos he could skim along if he kicked - but he just grinned and shrugged it off.

My other observation is also of the "no explicit kicking" kind. I have the misfortune to have inflexible feet/ankles, and low buoyancy issues (partly solved by wearing buoyancy shorts to keep the legs from sinking). My flutter kicking is "rubbish" unless I ...

EITHER ; -

Introduce a bit more knee bend than SS would approve of, for each kick downbeat (that brings the sole of the foot more horizontal, at a better "angle of attack" for the instep on the kick downbeat, and also presents the shin in a more "backward-facing" attitude (like Morozov does!) than is possible when kicking with fairly straight legs - which IMO is only effective if one has flexible ankles/flappy feet) ...

- OR : -

Flutter kick so that the amplitude between the legs at widest extent is fairly small - then the awkward feet don't protrude into the water flow beneath the body so much, and produce less drag.

But I took this idea a stage further - by leaving the legs completely relaxed and each time a recovered arm enters the water I quickly thrust the hip downwards on the same side as the entering arm. The effect of this, is to send a sort of shallow ripple down the leg on that (now) stroking arm side - rather like picking up a loose rope lying along the floor and giving it a quick shake to send a ripple down it. The quick hip flick or thrust downwards on the entering arm side is in accordance with Maglischo's mantra "Roll towards the arm going down and roll away from the arm coming up!". The vigorous body roll and hip action are done in unison, so instead of a kicking action there is actually a bit of undulation, the hip goes down and the lower leg/foot rise up then as the body rolls away from the stroking arm for the up=sweep to the surface, the hip moves in the other direction and the lower leg/foot wave down (mini-kick?). I haven't "sussed-out" yet what the other leg does in between this hip flick action, but hopefully it stays fairly close to the other one! ( I have a confession to make about this "hip flick" business - I found that I was moving my shoulders too vigorously with body roll - first one way then the other, so I tried doing it only for my inhalation side - and was surprised to find it didn't drop movement rate much!). Try this idea and see what you think about it - I've asked other forum bods - but no one has commented on it yet. ;)

Bye / Don

Ade0
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:40 pm

Re: 2-beat kick position and drag

Postby Ade0 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:05 pm

Thanks to both Ducky and Don for the replies.

It's not so much that I have a problem with the two-beat kick (my heels do surface - though intermittently rather than every beat), it's just that as streamlining is such a big thing (water being 800 times denser than air and so on) and the 'separated-foot' position looks so non-aerodynamic. I'm surprised that this is the best way of doing it and just wondered if I was missing something :?

I don't really feel a lot of drag from it in the water - it's more just looking at the position and having read that the 'scissor kick' which can result from overglide/cross-over at the front of the stroke increases drag - and yet the scissor kick just looks like a more horizontal version of the kick position in the standard 2-beat kick to me :D

Many thanks again
Ade

Shenaram
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: 2-beat kick position and drag

Postby Shenaram » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:45 pm

Ade0 wrote:It's not so much that I have a problem with the two-beat kick (my heels do surface - though intermittently rather than every beat), it's just that as streamlining is such a big thing (water being 800 times denser than air and so on) and the 'separated-foot' position looks so non-aerodynamic. I'm surprised that this is the best way of doing it and just wondered if I was missing something :?

First of all, thank you for contributing to this forum. The more there are threads, the merrier.
In your posts, it seems that the legs cause you some troubles, and I feel for you (and for me too!).

As to your thoughts on Shelley Taylor-Smith and TI style, I must admit that I am not sure that we see the same actions.
I do not advocate one style over the other, nor do I know personally Shelley Taylor-Smith or Terry Laughlin. My opinion is that Shelly's style (please forgive my naming her by her first name) is quite streamlined and her legs are well hidden behind her body. Though I have sincere respect for Mr. Laughling and his methods, I am less convinced about the leg action and position

STS1.jpg
Shelley Taylor-Smith's streamlined front crawl style 1
STS1.jpg (140.76 KiB) Viewed 1785 times


TC1.jpg
Terry Coughlin's front crawl 1
TC1.jpg (180.68 KiB) Viewed 1785 times

TC2.jpg
Terry Coughlin's front crawl 2
TC2.jpg (149.88 KiB) Viewed 1785 times

I did not draw lines for Mr. Laughlin as I think, the difference is quite obvious.

Shenaram
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: 2-beat kick position and drag

Postby Shenaram » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:47 pm

I add here the second image for Sherry as one cannot add more than 3 images per post.
Two images each, for respecting the gender equality...

STS2.jpg
Shelley Taylor-Smith's streamlined front crawl style 2
STS2.jpg (140.62 KiB) Viewed 1785 times

sassy.swimmer
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:53 pm

Re: 2-beat kick position and drag

Postby sassy.swimmer » Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:09 pm

although i might be irrelevant, but i use the two beat kick also, but i keep my legs close together
i know its a drag kick, but it conserves a lot of energy. most long distance swimmers use the two beat kick in like their first half of their races, to save some energy (actually long distance swimmers depend on their upperbody more than their legs, the legs are saved for the last parts)
i use it a lot in practice, except harder sets where it requires you to sprint more. I think people who use 2 beat kicks have a really smooth and long stroke and require a lot of their upperbody.
i would recommend 4-6 beat kick if you're more of a sprinter, 2 beat kicks are usually for longer distances and open water

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Mike A
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Location: Sussex, UK

Re: 2-beat kick position and drag

Postby Mike A » Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:14 pm

The 2-beat kick where you bring the feet back together between kicks is usually known as a "2-beat crossover" kick. I believe David Davies is one example of an elite who kicks with this pattern.
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smootharnie
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Re: 2-beat kick position and drag

Postby smootharnie » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:30 pm

Yep. and the and the timing can also can be seen in some backstrokers. Even world record swimmers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4G7MiNmKPw#t=10.261609
I think this kick looks great.
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