Janet Evans' kick

Janet Evans' kick

Post by Doug Smi » Wed, 29 Dec 1993 05:33:42

I saw Janet Evans on TV last week on a broadcast of the (?) FINA short course
championships. She was swimming the 800 free, and it looked like
she was switching her kick between a 2 beat and a 6 beat kick: 6 beat kick
after a turn, then switching to a 2 beat kick after about 10-15 yards.

Does this sound correct - it was hard to tell exactly from my TV.
Is this common for competitors in the 800/1500 free?

As far as the two beat kick is concerned, is it hard to learn? I've tried
it for a length or two before, and it seemed ackward. Would it be easier
if my arm turnover was faster? I'm quite slow :-(


Janet Evans' kick

Post by Timothy B. Madd » Thu, 30 Dec 1993 09:13:53

Janet Evans, like most distance swimmers, uses primarily a two-beat kick,
kicking 6-beat after a wall pushoff just to maximize her 'glide' speed.

It is not a propulsive kick, but rather serves mainly to balance the
swimmer's body and prevent excessive yaw due to arm movements.  I find
it also helps my shoulder roll.

If you've never used a 2-beat kick it can be pretty confusing.  I learned
it by just dragging my feet (using a pull buoy, keeping it high on your
thighs, would help you so you don't sink) and feeling my way through it.

I've found that my feet tend to approximate a 2-beat kick even when
I'm pulling (especially if I'm trying to pull fast)... so I developed
my kick by adding a little more force.  Another good way to learn is
to swim a LOT of long-distance (1000 yd +) events/sets.  Eventually you'll
be tired of the oxygen debt from your legs, which provide ~20% of a typical
swimmer's propulsive force yet consume ~80% of that swimmer's oxygen.

Many distance swimmers also use a 2-beat 'crossover' kick which I have
tried to develop with no success.  Perhaps somebody could help a little
in that regard.