Young Swimmers’ Classification Based on Kinematics, Hydrodynamics, and Anthropometrics

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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The aim of this article has been to classify swimmers based on kinematics, hydrodynamics, and anthropometrics. Sixty-seven young swimmers made a maximal 25 m front-crawl to measure with a speedometer the swimming velocity (v), speed-fluctuation (dv) and dv normalized to v (dv/v). Another two 25 m bouts with and without carrying a perturbation device were made to estimate active drag coefficient (CDa). Trunk transverse surface area (S) was measured with photogrammetric technique on land and in the hydrodynamic position. Cluster 1 was related to swimmers with a high speed fluctuation (ie, dv and dv/v), cluster 2 with anthropometrics (ie, S) and cluster 3 with a high hydrodynamic profile (ie, CDa). The variable that seems to discriminate better the clusters was the dv/v (F = 53.680; P < .001), followed by the dv (F = 28.506; P < .001), CDa (F = 21.025; P < .001), S (F = 6.297; P < .01) and v (F = 5.375; P = .01). Stepwise discriminant analysis extracted 2 functions: Function 1 was mainly defined by dv/v and S (74.3% of variance), whereas function 2 was mainly defined by CDa (25.7% of variance). It can be concluded that kinematics, hydrodynamics and anthropometrics are determinant domains in which to classify and characterize young swimmers’ profiles.

Tiago M. Barbosa is with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and with the Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health and Human Development (CIDESD), Vila Real, Portugal. Jorge E. Morais is with the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança and with the Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health and Human Development (CIDESD), Vila Real, Portugal. Mário J. Costa is with the Polytechnic Institute of Guarda and with the Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health and Human Development (CIDESD), Vila Real, Portugal. José Goncalves is with the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança and with the Robis Research Group from INESC TEC, Portugal. Daniel A. Marinho is with the University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, and with the Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health and Human Development (CIDESD), Vila Real, Portugal. António J. Silva is with the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, and with the Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health and Human Development (CIDESD), Vila Real, Portugal. Address author correspondence to Tiago M. Barbosa at tiago.barbosa@nie.edu.sg.