My natural pattern is kick-down-right-leg when pulling-with-left-arm, and kick-down-left-leg when pulling-with-right-arm. But all Youtube videos I watched on kick-stroke coordination, suggest that it should be the opposite. Before working to switch my pattern, want to be sure if my pattern is less efficient. Any guidance on this will be very helpful. Particularly if there are any well-known swimmers with the same pattern as mine.

  • For what distance? There is a marked difference in the kick beats between 50/100, 200, 400 and longer freestyle (front crawl) races. Also, what is your current competition time for 100m? Or your fastest time if you are a recreational swimmer?
    – JohnP
    Aug 11, 2022 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


Interesting question. So what you’re talking about is a “2 beat kick”. What that means is that for a full arm cycle (1 pull with each arm), your completing 2 kicks (one with each leg).

that’s a particularly slow kicking frequency. That’s what I might use when warming down after a work out. Most of the time during any training where I am thinking about efficiency or technique, I would be using a 4 beat or even 6 beat kick. Those mean either 4 or 6 kicks for 1 full arm cycle. I know this isn’t exactly your question, but I just want to point this concept out to you before you devote your training to 2 beat kicking.

But if you actually want an answer to efficient two beat kicking, it’s a bit hard to say. I would think same side arm and leg would be most “efficient” but honestly I be there’s fairly little difference.

I suggest looking up 4 and 6 beat kicking if what you care about is overall good swim training habits.

  • 2-beat is a very popular pattern used by distance swimmers across all levels, including olympic champions like Katie Ledecky (800), Sun Yang (1500). Nothing particularly superior or inferior about it.
    – Swarup
    Aug 7, 2022 at 17:34
  • Good thing I didn't declare it superior or inferior! Kicking is all about body control, and the higher the kick frequency the more control you have. Olympic champions have such incredible balance and body control in the water during their races that a 2 beat kick could definitely be sufficient to stay tight and streamlined. For a regular Joe learning what works best for them, I'm betting that if they tinkered with 2, 4 and 6 beat kicks, they would get the best picture of what they could be practicing!
    – zigzag
    Aug 8, 2022 at 16:04

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