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Andrew D. Lyttle, Brian A. Blanksby, Bruce C. Elliott, and David G. Lloyd

Thirty experienced male swimmers with body types ± 1 SD of the mean of selected body form parameters reported for elite male swimmers were recruited for the study. During three freestyle flip turns, selected kinetic, hydrodynamic, and kinematic variables of the push-off following a flip turn were recorded. Kinetics were recorded via a 2D vertically mounted forceplate that recorded peak push-off force and total impulse. The acceleration of each swimmer’s center of gravity and wall exit velocity were calculated from underwater videography. Hydrodynamic peak drag force and drag impulse were calculated from the kinetic and kinematic data using a derivative of Newton’s second law. A stepwise regression yielded peak drag force, peak propulsive force, and push-off time in the final regression equation (R = 0.80; R 2 = 0.64). Beta values indicated that the peak drag force carried the highest weighting of the three variables. The results of the stepwise regression indicated that a combination of a low peak drag force high peak propulsive force, and increased wall push-off time produced the fastest final push-off velocity.

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Brian A. Blanksby, Jennifer R. Simpson, Bruce C. Elliott, and Keith McElroy

Because turning can account for one-third of breaststroke race time in 25 m pools, it is possible that enhancing turning techniques can improve performance significantly. Underwater video cameras and a force platform were used to analyze turning techniques of 23 age-group breaststrokers during three 50 m push-start, maximum-effort swims. The criterion measure was the time elapsed between passing the 5 m mark on the approach and departure from the wall (5 m round-trip time [RTT]). Correlations revealed significant commonality of variance (p < .01) between the 5 m RTT and the 2.5 m RTT, 50 m time, average single-stroke velocity, peak reaction force, pivot time, impulse, peak horizontal velocity off the wall, arm and leg split-stroke resumption distances, surfacing distance, surfacing time, and horizontal velocity, height, and mass of the subjects. All swimmers achieved a net gain at the turn in that the mean 5 m RTT (20% of the distance) represented 18.26% of the total swimming time. Following stepwise regression, a successful turn was predicted by the equation 17.113 - 0.322 surfacing distance - 0.036 height - 0.723 surfacing horizontal velocity + 0.723 pivot time - 0.65 peak horizontal velocity.