Two Beat Kick or Not Two Beat Kick. That is the Question.
For several days now I have observed various questions on the two beat kick. Most concerned timing and difficulty of learning. I had convince myself that if I had not mastered the purist two beat kick, that at least I practiced an acceptable subtitute.
When observing TI swimming royalty like Shinji, I was aware that his two beat kick was a mere flick of the leg as or just before he pulls. I have read a number of other TI'ers write about learning this move and timing. My own version of the kick was based on similar timing but really was flutter. That is when I kick one leg goes down and the other goes up followed by a return to position move involving the down foot coming back up and the up foot coming back down (I don't mean to overcomplicate this. Its a simple move).
I feel like this kick gives me propulsion but have become concerned that if its not the correct two beat kick, it may be actually costing me. Here's a list of my concerns:
1. It takes more energy than it should. In theory the one legged flick should be more efficient.
2. Depending on what arm the down stroke of my kick is on, it could be inhibiting my move to streamline. Most efficienados of the move talk about how it puts them into streamline.
3. The force of my kick might be supplying drag at the same time it supplies propulsion. When I think about how my recovery /hand entry was costing me because I was being too forceful, I could envision the same thing going on with my feet. Being long legged, could the flick keep me more balanced by not supplying such a large downward pulling force. I can't picture that it would give me as much propulsion but I might be better off overall.
Besides getting the timing and coordination right, my other concern is that the flick seems to be hamstring intensive. I have been known to have balky hamstrings from running (I wear compression shorts all the time). Is this a concern? Is my version of the two beat kick holding me back?