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Tree
December 25th, 2006, 07:49 AM
Just came back from the pool. Confused and frustrated about this six beat thing.

Here is what I am doing now: left leg kick down/right leg up(my right arm begins to stroke), left leg up/right leg down, left down/right up, left up/right down, left down/right up with my right arm enters the water. Is this a six beat kick or a 4 beat kick?

Another thing is about the integration of kicks and pulls. When I just kick, without any arm movement, it seems OK. I can get propulsion and feel that I kick from the hip, toes pointed and heels out of water. But everthing just does not work properly when I try to integrate the kick with the arm stroke. I no longer feel that I kick from my hip. And do not feel the kicks have produced any propulsion.

Any comment? Thanks in advance. And Merry Chrismas!(but I do not celebrate it.;)

islandsox
December 25th, 2006, 11:50 AM
Hi Tree,

Christmas is slow where I live (island), and your post got my attention. I can offer about zero on this topic because it is freestyle, and I always had a 6-beat kick in backstroke. But I just wanted to respond; I think some sprinters, after Christmas, can probably give you a lot of insight as to the 6-beat kick on freestyle and explain it, or at least from your description, give you some solid thoughts on it. But, just for a point of reference, my kick would start when my left arm started into the pull, and by the time my right arm started into the pull, my legs had kicked 6 times (2 on left, 2 on center, 2 on right). It sounds like you are a sprinter? Yes?

Donna

Tree
December 25th, 2006, 11:21 PM
Hi Tree,

Christmas is slow where I live (island), and your post got my attention. I can offer about zero on this topic because it is freestyle, and I always had a 6-beat kick in backstroke. But I just wanted to respond; I think some sprinters, after Christmas, can probably give you a lot of insight as to the 6-beat kick on freestyle and explain it, or at least from your description, give you some solid thoughts on it. But, just for a point of reference, my kick would start when my left arm started into the pull, and by the time my right arm started into the pull, my legs had kicked 6 times (2 on left, 2 on center, 2 on right). It sounds like you are a sprinter? Yes?

Donna
Thanks for your input. Donna. I've always enjoyed reading your posts. They are very thoughtful. If my memory is correct, you are also a olympian. Right? Is this where you live?http://www.islandweb.org/index.php.

I am not a sprinter nor a distance swimmer. I just began to learn how to swim about 2 months ago. But I am inclined to be a sprinter in future. Physically I cannot stand any endurance sports.

So there are quite a lot of things I do not understand. I am currently working on this six beat kick and cannot get it right. First is the timing and right sequence of six beat kick. Second is about integrating my kicks with my pulls effectively. I feel my kicks are kind of seprated from my pulls without or with little contribution to the propulsion of my body.

And Merry Christmas to you! Although I do not celebrate it, I still get two days off!:)

Li

Tree
December 26th, 2006, 01:20 AM
Hi Tree,

(2 on left, 2 on center, 2 on right).
Donna

And what is 2 on center?

KaizenSwimmer
December 26th, 2006, 05:05 AM
I just began to learn how to swim about 2 months ago.

Li
If you only began learning to swim two months ago, it might be premature for you to be concerned about the number of beats and their coordination in your kick.
You'll progress fastest if you focus for several months on:
1) breathing
2) balance
3) minimizing drag

While doing those, a good focus for your legs would be to make it more passive and more streamlined. Using a more passive kick-- i.e. making no particular effort to kick one way or another -- will allow your most natural kick pattern to emerge. It will also help insure that you're not using your legs to correct imbalance.

Other than that, you can help minimize drag by keeping your legs inside the "shadow" of your body. If your feet or legs come outside your body's slipstream, they increase drag, rather than propulsion. Thus your feet should not come much outside the diameter of your hips and torso.

islandsox
December 26th, 2006, 11:32 AM
Hi Tree,

When I wrote 2 on left, 2 center, 2 on right, I was referring to my body's rotation during the backstroke kick. When I would rotate to the left, 2 kicks, when I was inbetween the rotation (center), 2 more kicks, and finally when I rotated to the right, 2 more kicks.

I don't live in Washington, but my husband is from that state, Longview actually. I live on the island of Roatan (chain of Bay Islands) just north of mainland Honduras (tropics).

I agree with the advice that Terry gave you; develop your "natural" stroke, minimize drag, find body balance. When these things start happening for you, the kick will fall into place so to speak, and it is then that you can try speeding it all up if you choose and finding your own 6-beat kick. Finding your own stroke within good guidelines, as well as learning to swim efficiently without struggling is paramount.

It sure does take time but that's the one constant thing we all have. I am still adjusting my stroke now that I am almost 59 due to life trying to take a toll on me (LOL).

Donna

Rob Copeland
December 27th, 2006, 10:47 AM
Tree,

What you described above is a 4-beat kick. What this means is that in addition to left leg kicking down with the right arm beginning to stroke, you also have your left leg kicking down with the left arm beginning to stroke. This has a tendency to make your stroke off balance, which is why most people do a 2 beat or 6 beat kick.

Terry and Donna are providing excellent advice. Pay more attention to breathing, balance, drag reduction, efficient stroke and the kick will follow. Working on a smooth kick during kick sets and drills is good, however focusing on 2 vs.4 vs. 6-beat kick may detract from other improvements.

geochuck
December 27th, 2006, 10:57 AM
As Terry says don't worry about the kick.

It is three kicks with each arm stroke and will comes very easily if you do not think about it.

Larry_55
December 27th, 2006, 09:48 PM
Tree,
I am also new to correct swimming techniques and the great advice given in these postings is like having your own private coaching staff at any hour of the day/night. I did nothing but kickboard and breathing exercises at first (I watched videos of Stanford's Swim team to learn basic techniques). When I felt that I had correctly adopted an acceptable technique (breathing and kicking) I added the arm strokes. As George said three kicks per arm stroke. If you have any musical training it is analogous to the triplet in music. ONE two three with the arm stroke on ONE. As I got more comfortable with this basic I concentrated on a stronger kick on the ONE with less aggressive kicks on two three. This helped me to conserve energy and not kick myself out. Good luck, hope this helps a little bit.
Donna,
Your advice about an "extra set of eyes" did not go unappreciated. My approach, at least at present, is to try to develop a technique that is worth observing and assimilate enough knowledge to be able to put any wothwhile coaching advice to good use.

swim4me
December 27th, 2006, 10:06 PM
Your advice about an "extra set of eyes" did not go unappreciated. My approach, at least at present, is to try to develop a technique that is worth observing and assimilate enough knowledge to be able to put any wothwhile coaching advice to good use.

I think the earlier you can get someone to watch you the faster you will improve. My coach lets me know when I am not kicking fast enough, even though I think I am kicking fast. It is really helpful to have someone guide you as you practice. I started swimming three months ago after not swimming for 25 years. Strokes have changed in the last 25 years and my coach's feedback has really improved my speed and efficiency. I can feel the changes in the water as I improve.