Stroking Characteristics of Front Crawl Swimming during Exercise

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Kari L. Keskinen
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Paavo V. Komi
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The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in the relationships among the stroking characteristics between different phases of swimming exercises, and to determine whether these relationships would change in relation to enhanced swimming intensity. The experimental design consisted of the measurement of mean velocity (V), stroke rate (SR), stroke length (SL), and duration of different phases of a stroke cycle for each pool length in five to six 400-m swims and two 100-m swims. The results showed that the basic relationships among the stroke parameters during the test exercises were almost similar to those observed in competition. However, the relationships changed with enhanced swimming intensity. It is suggested that the degree of anaerobic lactacid metabolism may determine the characteristics of stroking while swimming. The reduction of SL above the lactate threshold would be connected to the accumulation of blood lactate, whereas SR would primarily be determined by the ability to maintain adequate neural activation.

Kari L. Keskinen and Paavo V. Komi are with the Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, FIM-40351 Jyväskylä, Finland.

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