The observed gait of a swimmer arises from the interplay of internal force generation, the passive elastic properties of its body, and environmental features such as fluid viscosity, boundaries, and obstacles. One could question whether optimal swimming of a fish occurs when it is actuated at a frequency near a natural frequency determined by its material bending rigidity.

We will share some insights that we have gained using computational models of a few systems that range from the Stokes regime to others where inertial forces are important.