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Qi Liu, James G. Hay and James G. Andrews

The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of (a) body roll, and (b) the motion of the arm relative to the trunk, on the medial-lateral component of the path followed by the hand during the pull phase in freestyle swimming. Ten male swimmers swam three trials of freestyle at a long-distance workout pace. Three-dimensional (3D) underwater videography was used to record the body roll angle-time history and the path followed by the hand during the pull phase. A mathematical model was used to characterize the motion of a swimmer's right upper limb in accord with 3D data from the videotape images, and to determine what the path of the hand would have been as a result of body roll alone. The contribution of body roll to the actual handpath was found to be nearly equal to the contribution of medial-lateral motions of the hand relative to the trunk.

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James G. Hay, Qi Liu and James G. Andrews

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect that body roll has on the path followed by the hand during the pull phase in freestyle swimming. The trunk and right arm were modeled as two rigid segments joined at the shoulder by a simple hinge joint. The arm segment was assigned an elbow flexion angle, and the hand was made to move in a plane through the shoulder parallel to the sagittal plane of the rotating trunk. Shoulder extension and trunk roll occurred simultaneously at selected rates. Medial deviations of the hand to the midline of the trunk can be obtained with body roll alone and require less roll than is usually observed among competitive swimmers. When body roll exceeds the amount necessary to produce the desired medial deviation of the hand, the swimmer must move the arm away from, rather than toward, the trunk's midline.

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Anne Z. Beethe, Elizabeth F. Nagle, Mita Lovalekar, Takashi Nagai, Bradley C. Nindl and Christopher Connaboy

prioritized for recruitment. 1 Water polo, competitive swimming, and triathlon athletes all utilize freestyle swimming (FS) for performance, which has been extensively researched with respect to biomechanics, energy expenditure, equipment, body composition, anthropometric characteristics, and training

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Patrick Pelayo, Michel Sidney, Tarik Kherif, Didier Chollet and Claire Tourny

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between velocity, stroke length, and stroke rate in freestyle competitive events in order to compare male and female swimmers' results and assess their relationships with anthropometric characteristics. Three hundred three male and 325 female swimmers of national and international levels were tested during competition. Solutions adopted in each freestyle event had specific characteristics affecting the stroke rate/stroke length ratio according to distance of the race. Differences in velocity between men and women primarily resulted from differences in stroke length. If the velocity and stroke rate/stroke length ratio depend on the distance swum and the sex of the swimmer, this survey shows the nondiscriminating aspect of anthropometric characteristics. Although swimmers achieved very similar velocity values with different combinations of stroke length and stroke rate, one must appreciate the average time and space characteristics currently used by the best male and female swimmers to optimize their performances.

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Sabrina Skorski, Naroa Etxebarria and Kevin G. Thompson

Purpose:

To investigate if swimming performance is better in a relay race than in the corresponding individual race.

Methods:

The authors analyzed 166 elite male swimmers from 15 nations in the same competition (downloaded from www.swimrankings.net). Of 778 observed races, 144 were Olympic Games performances (2000, 2004, 2012), with the remaining 634 performed in national or international competitions. The races were 100-m (n = 436) and 200-m (n = 342) freestyle events. Relay performance times for the 2nd–4th swimmers were adjusted (+ 0.73 s) to allow for the “flying start.”

Results:

Without any adjustment, mean individual relay performances were significantly faster for the first 50 m and overall time in the 100-m events. Furthermore, the first 100 m of the 200-m relay was significantly faster (P > .001). During relays, swimmers competing in 1st position did not show any difference compared with their corresponding individual performance (P > .16). However, swimmers competing in 2nd–4th relay-team positions demonstrated significantly faster times in the 100-m (P < .001) and first half of the 200-m relays than in their individual events (P < .001, ES: 0.28–1.77). However, when finishing times for 2nd–4th relay team positions were adjusted for the flying start no differences were detected between relay and individual race performance for any event or split time (P > .17).

Conclusion:

Highly trained swimmers do not swim (or turn) faster in relay events than in their individual races. Relay exchange times account for the difference observed in individual vs relay performance.

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Ozcan Esen, Ceri Nicholas, Mike Morris and Stephen J. Bailey

with NO 3 − would improve 200-m and 100-m freestyle swimming performance in moderately trained swimmers. Methods Participants Ten moderately trained university swimmers (5 males; mean [SD]: age = 22 [6] y, body mass = 80.2 [14.9] kg, and height = 1.75 [0.06] m) participated in this study. All

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Maria Konstantaki, Edward Winter and Ian Swaine

Context:

Forward propulsion in freestyle swimming is predominantly achieved through arm action. Few studies have assessed the effects of arm training on arm power and swimming performance, yet there have not been any investigations on the effects of arms-only swimming training on swimming performance and physiological responses to arm exercise.

Purpose:

To investigate the changes in arms-only and full-stroke swimming performance, movement economy and aerobic power after an arms-only swimming training program.

Methods:

Fifteen male county level swimmers were assigned either to an experimental (ES, n = 8) or control group (CS, n = 7). For six weeks ES performed arms-only freestyle swimming exercises for 20% of their weekly training distance three times per week, whereas CS performed their usual swimming training. Before and after the training program, both groups performed a) two time trials, 186 m using arms-only (186ARMS) and 372 m using full-stroke (372FULL) freestyle swimming, and b) an incremental arm-pulling exercise test. The time to complete the trials was recorded. Peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), peak exercise intensity (EIpeak) submaximal oxygen uptake at 60 W (VO2−60) and exercise intensity at ventilatory threshold (VTW) were determined from the exercise test.

Results:

After training, ES had improved in 186ARMS (−14.2 ± 3.6%, P = .03), VO2−60 (−22.5 ± 2.3%, P = .04), EIpeak (+17.8 ± 4.2%, P = .03), and VTW (+18.9 ± 2.3%, P = .02), but not in VO2peak (P = .09) or in 372FULL (P = .07). None of the measures changed in CS (P > .05).

Conclusion:

Arms-only swimming training at 20% of the weekly training distance is an effective method to improve arm conditioning during the preparatory phase of the annual training cycle.

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Andrea Hazen, Carolyn Johnstone, Garry L. Martin and Suja Srikameswaran

A videotaping feedback package was developed for improving skills of youth competitive swimmers. Experiment 1 examined the videotaping package for improving freestyle and backstroke racing turns of young competitive swimmers. Positive results were obtained in a multiple-baseline design across subjects. Experiment 2 compared the videotaping feedback package to a group videotaping procedure (that the coach had been using at the time of this research) for improving freestyle swimming strokes of young competitive swimmers. The videotaping feedback package was effective whereas the group videotaping procedure had little or no effect. For most subjects in the two studies, improvements were maintained with minimal prompting and feedback under normal practice conditions. Suggestions for future research are discussed.

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Brendan Burkett, Rebecca Mellifont and Bruce Mason

This study compared the components of the 15-m swimming start for 20 international male Olympic and Paralympic swimmers. The time, distance, and velocity components for freestyle swimming were measured. There were significantly (p < .05) different absolute and relative swim start measures among the swimming groups. Using stepwise regression three variables significantly influenced the start to 15-m time: (i) underwater velocity, (ii) free swim velocity, and (iii) whether the swimmer had cerebral palsy. This new knowledge provides useful information for swimmers and coaches on which components to prioritize, along with the practical applications of improving the streamline position to increase underwater velocity and to ensure that the transition from underwater to surface breakout occurs at the optimal time for maximum free swim velocity.

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Patrycja Lipinska, Sian V. Allen and Will G. Hopkins

Purpose:

Pacing has a substantial effect on endurance performance. The authors characterize pacing and identify its parameters for optimal performance in 1500-m freestyle swimming.

Methods:

Web sites provided 50-m lap and 1500-m race times for 330 swims of 24 elite male swimmers. Pacing for each swim was characterized with 7 parameters derived from a general linear model: linear and quadratic coefficients for the effect of lap number; reductions from predicted time for first, second, penultimate, and last laps; and lap-time variability. Scatter plots of race time vs each parameter for each swimmer were used to identify optimum values of parameters.

Results:

Most scatterplots showed only weak relationships between the parameter and performance, but one-third to one-half of swimmers had an optimum value of the parameter that was substantially different from their mean value. A large improvement in performance time (1.4% ± 0.9%, mean ± SD) could be achieved generally by reversing the sign of the linear parameter to make the slowest lap occur earlier in the race. Small to moderate improvements might also accrue by changing the quadratic parameter, by making the first and second laps slower and the penultimate and last laps faster, and reducing lap-time variability.

Conclusions:

This approach to analysis of pacing may help improve performance in swimmers and other endurance athletes in sports with multiple laps, but data from many competitions are required.