Intro to Sync Combo: Leg Press and Rotation

You can begin to synchronize the leg press with the rotation once you have the arms synchronized in front, because the leg motion is ultimately going to connect to the arms through the torso. Without that timing in front, the legs will have a hard time finding the 2BP rhythm in the rear. But before you connect those distant points, you will first work on connecting the press of the leg with the rotation.

Before the rotation, you may appreciate how the foot has been positioned in the Counter-Balanced Leg Position, poised, ready to press. Notice in the image above how the Streamline side of the body is down, while the Streamline side heel is up, near the surface. The raised position of the streamline side leg and the downward pointing leg of the other side are counter-balancing the body’s rotated position in front. The leg is ready to push downward so that the Streamline side of the body can rotate upward. The press of the leg offers support, it offers leverage to help the rotation go with a bit more power. 

As with the fine tuning of the arm overlap, the timing of the leg has a little room for adjustment according to the tempo of the stroke. At slower tempos, the leg will press a moment after the torso has begun to rotate. At slower tempos, the press of the leg feels like it is helping to finish the rotation. At very fast tempos, the leg will press at the same moment the torso begins to rotate. In this case, it may feel like the press of the leg is helping to start the torso rotation. This is very helpful when working at sprinting tempos, where it is harder to keep the torso rotating back and forth to keep up with the demanding tempo.



Step 1: Down-Up Leg-Torso Connection

Use the press of the leg to help rotate the same side of the torso upward toward the surface. The leg is moving down and the side is moving up in response. This is the simple down-up connection. Notice in the image above, how the foot is now down and the hip of the same side is on its way up toward the surface.

And, it will be helpful to practice working just one leg, one side repetitiously. Remember that the 2BP is just one foot pressing in one arcing path. The other foot is not pulling, it is just drifting back in the opposite direction. So practice working just one leg at a time, over and over again, while the other practices holding pointed toes.

Step 2: Use Hip Torque

As instructed in our Intro to the 2 Beat Leg Press, now notice how the turn of the ankle corresponds to the turn of the rotation. Rather than bending the knee and pushing with the thigh, keep the knee fairly straight (allow the slightest flex) and twist your ankle in order to activate torque in the hip socket. Create that ‘Crescent Moon’ pathway with your toes. This is the more effective way to direct the press of the leg. By arcing the toes from ‘pigeon toe’ inward to ‘toes outward’ this action torques the hip joint, urging the whole torso to rotate with it. This is how you genuinely generate a ‘hip-driven’ kick. Use the torque of the muscles surrounding the hip joint, rather than pressing downward with the thigh muscles as you would with a normal flutter kick.

Review the 2BP drill videos in the Knowledge Base to tune up how you perform the kick action.

Step 3: Refine The Timing Per Tempo

Since each swimmer’s functional tempo range is a bit different from any other’s, you will need to do some experimenting to set the best timing of the press to match each tempo zone (slow, medium, brisk) you work in.

For your slower comfortable tempos, let the press of the leg lag slightly behind the start of the  rotation.

For your fastest tempos, let the press of the leg start immediately with the start of the rotation.

And for your medium tempos, let the press of the leg start somewhere in between.

Step 4: Refine The Pressure

It is tempting to kick abruptly or ‘snap’ the kick, but resist this. When you understand how the press of the leg is suppose to enhance the rotation, then you need to slow down that press and make the pressure steady and continuous as possible during the time taken by the rotation. Try to make the press of the leg last longer, to support the rotation longer.

Match the rate of speed of the leg press to the rate of speed of the rotation. It won’t be exact – the leg will certainly move a bit faster – but aim for this match as much as possible. If the leg snaps too quickly, it sends a wave of force that can’t be fully absorbed into the rotation, and this becomes another form of ‘power leakage’.

Intro to the Counter Balanced Leg Position

If you’ve had a live lesson with Mediterra you may have been introduced to the Counter-Balance Leg Position (CBL). Just as the front of your body is locked into Streamline Position while the recovery arm is swinging forward, in the back end, you would lock your feet into the CBL position so that the entire body underwater is counter-balanced and stabilized during that recovery swing. The CBL provides these advantages:

  • It helps counter-balance and stabilize the asymmetric rotated Streamline Position in front.
  • Coming into CBL position absorbs the rotation force of the torso rotation that flows down the legs, keeping them straight behind the body rather than sway side to side on each rotation.
  • The particular position of the legs creates a line of tension through the Streamline Side of the body which urges the legs to stay near (parallel to) the surface.
  • It is the position with legs poised for the next 2 Beat Press – no additional movement is needed to get ready to press the leg.

Perhaps the easiest way of finding the leg position by making the Skate side foot ‘pigeon-toed’. 

While keeping the knee fairly straight, turn the big toe of the Streamline-side foot inward and pointed at the heel of the other foot. Turn the big toe far enough that it urges your hip to turn with it. You’ll notice that this turn of the foot, corresponds to the turn of the hip, which supports the rotated Streamline Position. In the image below notice how the upper (Streamline side) foot has the big toe behind and pointed toward the ankle of the other foot. This is the CBL position.

I used the ‘pigeon toe’ term to give us an , but I also use some other pictures to get the idea across, such as the ‘Crescent Moons’ term in the image below, to convey the arcing motion the feet make when switching to the other side. This image shows the feet in the counter-balanced leg position. This would also be the position of the (upper) foot poised to press down in an arc for the 2 Beat Press motion.

The Counter-Balanced Leg position seen from behind.


The Counter-Balanced Leg position seen from the side. 


Instructions For Getting Into CBL

We first teach you how to place the Streamline side foot in pigeon toe position – seen above in this rear view image. Notice how the upper (Streamline side) foot has the big toe behind and pointed toward the heel of the other foot. This is the CBL position.

This inward-turned foot position creates torque in the hip joint, urging it to also turn inward. Then (keeping the knee fairly straight) rotate the ankle outward, arcing the big toe from pointing-in position to pointing-out position, in order to urge the hip to turn outward. Feel the direct connection between turn of ankles and turn of the hips.

First practice starting in this counter-balanced leg position, and make one smooth arc of the streamline side foot as you switch to your other side streamline position. Add no pressure to the foot’s downward motion, just let the toes make a smooth arc outward.

As you finish the rotation, come to the distinct ‘pigeon toe’ position on the other side and hold both feet in that stacked position. Do not move feet out of this position until the next switch of the arms in front. No extra wiggles. Don’t bring feet back to the middle.

Warning: if you bring the feet back together in the middle point, between kicks, your legs will start swaying side to side during the stroke.

Come immediately to this CBL position and hold it steady, with feet seemingly stacked and the legs will stay straighter, more compact behind the body, like the tail of a jet plane.

Keep the heel of the Streamline side foot below surface of the water by turning the heel outward a bit more. This also creates more space for a more powerful press. By arcing the foot (which means turning the ankle, to turn the hip) rather than bending at the knee, you tap into the hip torque principle and can enhance the torso rotation more, while keeping the legs in a very compact space.

You may view some drills for developing this counter-balanced leg position and the 2 Beat Press in the Knowledge Base.

Counter-Balanced Leg Position Drills

  • Standing rehearsal, with ‘Pigeon Toe’ foot on the skate side
  • Balance position, with ‘Windshield Wiper’ feet


  • Keep toes pointed comfortably (as in Tippy Toes)
  • Stack the Streamline side foot (to what feels like) on top of the other foot
  • Make one smooth switch of the legs – no extra wiggles between
  • Both legs switch to the opposite CBL position and lock in place – no extra movement until next switch (do not bring feet back together in the middle)
  • When switching legs, only the Streamline side leg presses while the other leg slides passively to its poised Pigeon Toe position
  • Resist bending the knees – allow them only to flex slightly
  • Toes of the pressing foot may gently brush the the other foot while switching
  • Practice arcing feet in smaller space – resist spreading the legs very far
  • Knees remain very close to each other
  • Press the foot smoothly and steadily – at about the same rate as the torso rotates

2 Beat Kick Drill Demos

Below are various drills we use for developing the 2-Beat Press, what we formerly called the 2-Beat Kick.


2BK Single Foot Sweep

A standing rehearsal for practicing a single foot motion with hip torque.


2BK Windshield Wiper

A standing rehearsal for practicing foot-hip torque connection.



2BK Crescent Moons Drill

A drill for practicing bi-lateral foot and hip connection, in Superman position.


2BK Foot Wiggle Spear

A drill for practicing the connection of foot and arm extension, one side at a time, in Spear Switch.


2BK Stretch The Bow

A drill for practicing the set up for 2 Beat Kick on one side, in Skate position.


2BK Swedish Sequence

A series of drills for practicing the connection of foot to core rotation.