Muscle contraction results from rotation of actin-bound myosin crossbridges. Crossbridges consist of the globular N-terminal catalytic domain and the α-helical C-terminal regulatory domain containing the essential and regulatory light chains. The essential light chain exists in two isoforms, of which the larger one has a 41-amino acid extension piece added at the N-terminus. The catalytic domain is responsible for binding to actin and for setting the stage for the main force-generating event, which is a "swing" of the regulatory domain. We measured the kinetics of the swing associated with the turnover of a single molecule of ATP. Muscle was labeled at the regulatory domain by replacing native essential or regulatory light chain with fluorescent adducts. The rotations were measured by the anisotropy of fluorescence originating from ∼400 crossbridges residing in a small volume defined by a confocal aperture of a microscope. The crossbridges were synchronized by rapid photogeneration of a stoichiometric amount of ATP. The rotations reflected dissociation from thin filaments followed by a slow reattachment. The dissociation was the same for each light chain (halftime ∼120 ms) but the rate of reattachment depended on the type of light chain. The halftimes were 920 ± 50 ms and 660 ± 100 ms for isoforms 1 and 3 of the essential light chain, respectively. The reason that the lifetimes were so long was creation of a small amount of ATP, enough only for a single turnover of crossbridges. A model was constructed that quantitized this effect. After accounting for the slowdown, the halftimes of dissociation and attachment were 34 and 200 ms, respectively.