Effect of Tethered Swimming as Postactivation Potentiation on Swimming Performance and Technical, Hemophysiological, and Psychophysiological Variables in Adolescent Swimmers

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Objectives: To investigate whether tethered swimming (TS) performed 8 minutes before a 50-m freestyle swimming sprint could be an effective postactivation potentiation method to improve performance in young swimmers. Methods: Fourteen regional-level male adolescent swimmers (age 13.0 [2.0] y; height 161.1 [12.4] cm; body mass 52.5 [9.5] kg) underwent 2 trial conditions in a randomized and counterbalanced order (1 experimental [TS], 1 control) on different days. During the experimental session, the participants performed a standard warm-up of 1200 m followed by a TS exercise, which consisted of 3 × 10-second maximal efforts of TS with 1-minute rests between bouts. In the control condition, the warm-up phase was immediately followed by 200 m at a moderate pace (same duration as the TS in the experimental session). Performance (time trial); biomechanical (stroke length), physiological (blood lactate concentrations), and psychophysiological (ratings of perceived exertion) variables; and countermovement-jump (CMJ) flight time were collected. Results: TS warm-up had no significant effect on 50-m swimming performance (P = .27), postexercise ratings of perceived exertion, stroke length, or CMJ flight time (P ≥ .05). Blood lactate concentrations significantly increased at the end of the warm-up in the TS condition only (interaction effect: F1.91,29.91 = 4.91, P = .01, η2 = .27) and after the 50-m trial in both conditions (F1.57,20.41 = 62.39, P = .001, η2 = .82). Conclusions: The present study demonstrated that 3 × 10-second TS exercises performed 8 minutes prior to the event did not affect ratings of perceived exertion, stroke length, or CMJ flight time. In addition, tethered swimming did not affect 50-m freestyle sprint performance in young swimmers.

Abbes and Martin are with the Interuniversity Laboratory of Human Movement Biology, University of Lyon—University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon, France. Haddad and Bibi are with the Physical Education Dept, College of Education, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar. Mujika is with the Dept of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Nursing, University of the Basque Country, Leioa, Spain, and the Exercise Science Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, School of Kinesiology, Universidad Finis Terrae, Santiago, Chile. Chamari is with ASPETAR, Qatar Orthopadic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar, and the Sport Performance Optimization Laboratory (CNMSS), ISSEP Ksar-Said, Manouba University, Tunis, Tunisia.

Haddad (mhaddad@qu.edu.qa) is corresponding author.
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