This study investigates whether movement kinematics modulates similarly the rolandic α and β rhythm amplitude during executed and observed goal-directed hand movements. It also assesses if this modulation relates to the corticokinematic coherence (CKC), which is the coupling observed between cortical activity and movement kinematics during such motor actions. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) signals were recorded from 11 right-handed healthy subjects while they performed or observed an actor performing the same repetitive hand pinching action. Subjects’ and actor’s forefinger movements were monitored with an accelerometer. Coherence was computed between acceleration signals and the amplitude of α (8–12 Hz) or β (15–25 Hz) oscillations. The coherence was also evaluated between source-projected MEG signals and their β amplitude. Coherence was mainly observed between acceleration and the amplitude of β oscillations at movement frequency within bilateral primary sensorimotor (SM1) cortex with no difference between executed and observed movements. Cross-correlation between the amplitude of β oscillations at the SM1 cortex and movement acceleration was maximal when acceleration was delayed by ~ 100 ms, both during movement execution and observation. Coherence between source-projected MEG signals and their β amplitude during movement observation and execution was not significantly different from that during rest. This study shows that observing others’ actions engages in the viewer’s brain similar dynamic modulations of SM1 cortex β rhythm as during action execution. Results support the view that different neural mechanisms might account for this modulation and CKC. These two kinematic-related phenomena might help humans to understand how observed motor actions are actually performed.