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This study examined the differences in intracycle velocity variation and arm coordination in front crawl in swimmers with Down syndrome in three breathing conditions. International swimmers with Down syndrome (N = 16) performed 3 × 20 m front crawl at 50 m race speed: without breathing, breathing to the preferred side, and breathing to the nonpreferred side. A two dimensional video movement analysis was performed using the APASystem. Breathing conditions were compared using Repeated Measures ANOVA. Swimming velocity was higher without breathing and intracyclic velocity variation was higher while breathing. Swimmers tended to a catch up arm coordination mode for both breathing conditions and a superposition mode when not breathing. These data reflect arm coordination compromising swimming performance, particularly when comparing with non disabled swimmers in literature. The physical and perhaps cognitive impairment associated with Down syndrome may result in a disadvantage in both propulsion and drag, more evident when breathing.
Inês Marques-Aleixo, Ana Querido, and Pedro Figueiredo are with the Faculty of Sport at the University of Porto in Porto, Portugal. João PauloVilas-Boas and Ricardo J. Fernandes are with the Center of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport (CIF12D), Faculty of Sport and Porto Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of Porto, Porto, Portugal. Rui Corredeira is with CIF12D, Faculty of Sport at the University of Porto. Daniel Daly is with the Department of Kinesiology at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Leuven, Belgium.