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Changes in Selected Parameters of Swimming Technique in the Back Crawl and the Front Crawl in Young Novice Swimmers

The study aimed to examine changes in selected angular characteristics and duration of the stroke cycle in the back crawl and the front crawl in children learning to swim. Nine boys and two girls, aged 8-13 years, performed seven consecutive swimming tests. The children’s movement technique was recorded with the use of three video cameras. The studied parameters included the angle of incidence between the trunk long axis and the waterline, elbow angle, shoulders roll, stroke cycle duration and stroke length. The results illustrate the development of swimming technique in youth swimmers. The results of the present study indicate the variability and phasing of learning of swimming technique by children.

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Test-Retest Reliability of Isokinetic Arm Strength Measurements in Competitive Swimmers

Abstract

Swimming motor patterns lead internal rotators to grow stronger than antagonist muscles, what may increase the risk of injury in swimmers. Injury prevention often involves the improvement of external rotators strength, as well as the external rotation/internal rotation ratio. The current research aimed to evaluate the test-retest reliability of shoulder concentric rotation strength in competitive swimmers using an isokinetic dynamometer. The study enrolled 35 competitive swimmers aged between 13 and 19 years. Concentric movements were performed including internal and external rotations of the shoulder joint following the instructions of the standardized protocol. The angular velocity of the test was defined at 60º/s. Outcome measures were peak torque (Nm) and work (J), measured in both, the dominant and non-dominant arms. The external rotation/internal rotation ratio was also calculated. Reliability was excellent for peak torque and work. For the external rotation/internal rotation ratio, the ICC oscillated between 0.744 and 0.860 for the work ratio of the non-dominant arm and the peak torque ratio of the dominant arm, respectively. In general terms, better reliability was observed for peak torque compared with work, for external rotation compared with internal rotation, and for the dominant arm compared with the non-dominant one.

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Effects of 8-week training on aerobic capacity and swimming performance of boys aged 12 years

Effects of 8-week training on aerobic capacity and swimming performance of boys aged 12 years

Study aim: To assess the effects of 8-week endurance training in swimming on work capacity of boys aged 12 years.

Material and methods: The following groups of schoolboys aged 12 years were studied: untrained control (UC; n = 14) and those training swimming for two years. The latter ones were subjected to 8-week training in classical style (CS; n = 10) or free style (FS; n = 13). In all boys maximal oxygen uptake (O2max) was determined, and the CS and FS groups were subjected to 6 tests: swimming at 50 and 400 m distances (time recorded) and to 12-min swimming (distance recorded), all by free and classical styles pre- and post-training. From swimming times at 50 and 400 m distances the so-called critical swimming speed (CSS) was computed: CSS = (400 - 50) / (t400 - t50).

Results: No training-induced improvement in O2max was noted in any group. Yet, boys subjected to classical style training significantly (p<0.05) improved their free-style swimming velocity at CSS and at the 400-m distance by about 6%, and their heart rate following the 12-min test in classical style decreased by nearly 16% (p<0.001) compared with the pre-training values.

Conclusions: The 8-week training in given swimming style does not negatively affect the performance in other style than the trained one. This may be of importance in competitive training.

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Anaerobic capacity of upper extremity muscles of male and female swimmers

Anaerobic capacity of upper extremity muscles of male and female swimmers

Study aim: To assess the anaerobic capacity of upper extremity muscles of male and female swimmers by applying two exercise tests.

Material and methods: Male and female swimmers (n = 9 and 6, respectively), aged 19 - 23 years and having training experience of over 10 years, were subjected to two tests: 30-s Wingate for upper extremities and semitethered swimming test. The following variables were determined: body fat content (from 4 skinfolds), maximum power output, heart rate (HR) and lactate (LA) concentration in blood.

Results: Relative power outputs in the Wingate test and swimming force in semi-tethered swimming test (maximum and mean) were significantly (p<0.001) higher in male than in the female swimmers. Maximum LA concentrations were higher in male than in female swimmers, but maximum LA values related to relative power output were in both genders alike. Maximum force produced in the semi-tethered swimming test was strongly (r = 0.765; p<0.001) correlated with maximum relative power output in the Wingate test.

Conclusions: Both tests may be interchangeably applied to determine the anaerobic capacity of upper extremity muscles in swimmers.

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Physical Activity in the Water Accompanied by Music

Abstract

Introduction: Music motivates, relaxes and stimulates action and is one factor which enhances the pleasure that people feel from a given movement. Thus, from a psychophysical point of view, listening to music is an important aspect in sport and recreation. With this in mind, the aim of the study was to determine any changes in the participants’ psychophysical sphere which resulted from listening to music while swimming. The psychophysical sphere was expressed in relation to the Borg RPE scale (Rating of Perceived Exertion) as well as the Rejeski and Gauvin Exercise-Induced Feeling Inventory (EFI) scale of emotional states.

Material and methods: The participants in the study were not professional swimmers (n = 10). The experiment consisted of two trials in which participants performed the Swimming Cooper test. During the first trial there was no music transmitted while in the second trial specifically selected music was played as the participants swam.

Results: An ANOVA variance analysis (α = 0.05) showed statistically significant differences in the RPE scale (p = 0.04) and across all sensations on the EFI scale (p = 0.001, p = 0.001, p = 0.001, p = 0.001).

Conclusions: Listening to music while swimming has a significant impact on the human psychophysical sphere and is expressed by a perceived exertion scale and the scale of emotional states.

Respondents paid less attention to the discomfort of physical exertion associated with exercise while listening to music. The rating of their emotional states, including positive engagement, revitalization and tranquility considerably increased though the physical exhaustion measures were significantly lower.

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Teaching communication for safety in selected water based recreational disciplines

Abstract

This paper describes the concept of didactic communication and verifies the course of teaching selected disciplines of water based recreation, i.e. swimming (at the standard technique level), handling a sailing boat whilst undertaking simple manoeuvres, and the basics of diving. At the same time, research in the area of experiments conducted in the field of teaching methods of these disciplines was reviewed in terms of teaching effectiveness, as well as the health and safety of the participants, and ways of communicating while in, on and under the water. Communication between an instructor and a student in any environment which is different from the norm, is difficult owing to its specificity. Additionally, teaching skills on, in or under water requires strict observance of safety rules. Lack of student’s readiness to act in a different water environment, be that based on anxiety or fear, may interfere with or, even prevent didactic communication. Consequently, the effectiveness of teaching decreases. The aim of this work is to search for innovative forms of information transfer that will enable a permanent change in the student’s behaviour, especially when acting in a difficult environment – on the water, in the water and under the water. There are premises to believe that immediate verbal instruction and emphasising the metalinguistic function in it should improve the quality and effectiveness of the process of teaching activities in various water based environments.

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SWIMMING – THE STRUCTURE AND VOLUME OF TRAINING LOADS IN THE FOUR-YEAR TRAINING CYCLE OF AN ELITE OLYMPIC ATHLETE

Abstract

Introduction. The improvement of outcomes in sport requires the creation of appropriate conditions for training and the search for more effective forms of its organisation and effective technology. Starting with this belief, the aim of the work is to identify the size and structure of the training loads and determine the effectiveness of the training process of an elite athlete in the Olympic macrocycle (2004-2008). Material and methods. We analysed loads in the four-year training cycle from 2004 to 2008. The parameters of the loads relating to the intensity (T1-T5) and type of training (general, special, and specific) were analysed. The present study also attempted to assess the impact of the work on the results obtained. Due to the nature of the competitive effort, we used the measurable parameter of distance (m, km) in the load analysis depending on the type and intensity of the physical effort. Results. This work reports on the implementation of a specially designed four-year training programme. The material gathered and the conclusions resulting from its analysis have made it possible to identify organisational and training solutions suitable for the athletic proficiency phase. The analysis of training loads indicated that in the training of a highly skilled swimmer, the general work is particularly important and that the largest volume was realised in the second intensity range (T2). Conclusions. The positive training and competition outcomes were the result of a deliberate training process. The training proved to be effective, leading to an increase in the athlete’s training status. This was achieved primarily owing to the training loads, which were accurately planned and implemented according to the special requirements of the race distance and the individual characteristics of the swimmer.

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The Relationship Between the Lower-Body Muscular Profile and Swimming Start Performance

Abstract

This study aimed to examine the correlation of different dry land strength and power tests with swimming start performance. Twenty international level female swimmers (age 15.3 ± 1.6 years, FINA point score 709.6 ± 71.1) performed the track freestyle start. Additionally, dry land tests were conducted: a) squat (SJ) and countermovement jumps (CMJ), b) squat jumps with additional resistance equivalent to 25, 50, 75 and 100% of swimmers’ body weight [BW]), and c) leg extension and leg flexion maximal voluntary isometric contractions. Correlations between dry land tests and start times at 5, 10 and 15 m were quantified through Pearson’s linear correlation coefficients (r). The peak bar velocity reached during the jumps with additional resistance was the variable most correlated to swimming start performance (r = -0.57 to -0.66 at 25%BW; r = -0.57 to -0.72 at 50%BW; r = -0.59 to -0.68 at 75%BW; r = -0.50 to - 0.64 at 100%BW). A few significant correlations between the parameters of the SJ and the CMJ with times of 5 and 10 m were found, and none with the isometric variables. The peak velocity reached during jumps with external loads relative to BW was found a good indicator of swimming start performance.

Analysis on the Time and Frequency Domains of the Acceleration in Front Crawl Stroke

Analysis on the Time and Frequency Domains of the Acceleration in Front Crawl Stroke

The swimming involves accelerations and decelerations in the swimmer's body. Thus, the main objective of this study is to make a temporal and frequency analysis of the acceleration in front crawl swimming, regarding the gender and the performance. The sample was composed by 31 male swimmers (15 of high-level and 16 of low-level) and 20 female swimmers (11 of high-level and 9 of low-level). The acceleration was registered from the third complete cycle during eight seconds in a 25 meters maximum velocity test. A position transducer (200Hz) was used to collect the data, and it was synchronized to an aquatic camera (25Hz). The acceleration in the temporal (root mean square, minimum and maximum of the acceleration) and frequency (power peak, power peak frequency and spectral area) domains was calculated with Fourier analysis, as well as the velocity and the spectrums distribution in function to present one or more main peaks (type 1 and type 2). A one-way ANOVA was used to establish differences between gender and performance. Results show differences between genders in all the temporal domain variables (p<0.05) and only the Spectral Area (SA) in the frequency domain (p<0.05). Between gender and performance, only the Root Mean Square (RMS) showed differences in the performance of the male swimmers (p<0.05) and in the higher level swimmers, the Maximum (Max) and the Power Peak (PP) of the acceleration showed differences between both genders (p<0.05). These results confirms the importance of knowing the RMS to determine the efficiency of the swimmers regarding gender and performance level

Open access
The Hydrodynamic Study of the Swimming Gliding: a Two-Dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Analysis

The Hydrodynamic Study of the Swimming Gliding: a Two-Dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Analysis

Nowadays the underwater gliding after the starts and the turns plays a major role in the overall swimming performance. Hence, minimizing hydrodynamic drag during the underwater phases should be a main aim during swimming. Indeed, there are several postures that swimmers can assume during the underwater gliding, although experimental results were not conclusive concerning the best body position to accomplish this aim. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyse the effect in hydrodynamic drag forces of using different body positions during gliding through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methodology. For this purpose, two-dimensional models of the human body in steady flow conditions were studied. Two-dimensional virtual models had been created: (i) a prone position with the arms extended at the front of the body; (ii) a prone position with the arms placed alongside the trunk; (iii) a lateral position with the arms extended at the front and; (iv) a dorsal position with the arms extended at the front. The drag forces were computed between speeds of 1.6 m/s and 2 m/s in a two-dimensional Fluent® analysis. The positions with the arms extended at the front presented lower drag values than the position with the arms aside the trunk. The lateral position was the one in which the drag was lower and seems to be the one that should be adopted during the gliding after starts and turns.

Open access