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Eva Piatrikova, Nicholas J. Willsmer, Ana C. Sousa, Javier T. Gonzalez and Sean Williams

training. To extend the utility of the CS concept, Dekerle 8 postulated critical stroke rate (CSR) as a biomechanical surrogate of the CS, which represents the highest stroke rate (SR) that can be maintained for an extended period of time and swimmers spontaneously adopt when swimming at CS 8 , 9 ; this

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Beatriz B. Gomes, Nuno V. Ramos, Filipe A.V. Conceição, Ross H. Sanders, Mário A.P. Vaz and João Paulo Vilas-Boas

In sprint kayaking the role that paddling technique plays in optimizing paddle forces and resultant kayak kinematics is still unclear. The aim of this study was to analyze the magnitude and shape of the paddle force–time curve at different stroke rates, and their implications for kayak performance. Ten elite kayak paddlers (5 males and 5 females) were analyzed while performing 2000-m on-water trials, at 4 different paces (60, 80, and 100 strokes per minute, and race pace). The paddle and kayak were instrumented with strain gauges and accelerometers, respectively. For both sexes, the force–time curves were characterized at training pace by having a bell shape and at race pace by a first small peak, followed by a small decrease in force and then followed by a main plateau. The force profile, represented by the mean force/peak force ratio, became more rectangular with increasing stroke rate (F[3,40] = 7.87, P < .01). To obtain a rectangular shape to maximize performance, kayak paddlers should seek a stronger water phase with a rapid increase in force immediately after blade entry, and a quick exit before the force dropping far below the maximum force. This pattern should be sought when training at race pace and in competition.

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Cruz Hogan, Martyn J. Binnie, Matthew Doyle, Leanne Lester and Peter Peeling

performance between ergometer and on-water performance. 11 Furthermore, ergometer-based testing has also been shown to overestimate measures of internal and external load compared with on-water testing (ie, BLa, rating of perceived exertion [RPE], and stroke rate [SR]). 12 , 13 To classify on-water intensity

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Courtney J. McGowan, David B. Pyne, Kevin G. Thompson, John S. Raglin and Ben Rattray

Context:

An exercise bout completed several hours prior to an event may improve competitive performance later that same day.

Purpose:

To examine the influence of morning exercise on afternoon sprint-swimming performance.

Methods:

Thirteen competitive swimmers (7 male, mean age 19 ± 3 y; 6 female, mean age 17 ± 3 y) completed a morning session of 1200 m of variedintensity swimming (SwimOnly), a combination of varied-intensity swimming and a resistance-exercise routine (SwimDry), or no morning exercise (NoEx). After a 6-h break, swimmers completed a 100-m time trial.

Results:

Time-trial performance was faster in SwimOnly (1.6% ± 0.6, mean ± 90% confidence limit, P < .01) and SwimDry (1.7% ± 0.7%, P < .01) than in NoEx. Split times for the 25- to 50-m distance were faster in both SwimOnly (1.7% ± 1.2%, P = .02) and SwimDry (1.5% ± 0.8%, P = .01) than in NoEx. The first 50-m stroke rate was higher in SwimOnly (0.70 ± 0.21 Hz, mean ± SD, P = .03) and SwimDry (0.69 ± 0.18 Hz, P = .05) than in NoEx (0.64 ± 0.16 Hz). Before the afternoon session, core (0.2°C ± 0.1°C [mean ± 90% confidence limit], P = .04), body (0.2°C ± 0.1°C, P = .02), and skin temperatures (0.3°C ± 0.3°C, P = .02) were higher in SwimDry than in NoEx.

Conclusions:

Completion of a morning swimming session alone or together with resistance exercise can substantially enhance sprint-swimming performance completed later the same day.

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Conor D. Osborough, Carl J. Payton and Daniel J. Daly

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between swimming speed (SS), stroke length (SL), and stroke frequency (SF) for competitive single-arm amputee front crawl swimmers and assess their relationships with anthropometric characteristics. Thirteen highly trained swimmers (3 male, 10 female) were filmed underwater from a lateral view during seven increasingly faster 25-m front crawl trials. Increases in SS (above 75% of maximum SS) were achieved by a 5% increase in SF, which coincided with a 2% decrease in SL. At SSmax, interswimmer correlations showed that SF was significantly related to SS (r = .72; p < .01) whereas SL was not. Moderate but nonsignificant correlations suggested that faster swimmers did not necessarily use longer and slower strokes to swim at a common submaximal speed when compared with their slower counterparts. No correlations existed between SL and any anthropometric characteristics. Biacromial breadth, shoulder girth, and upper-arm length all significantly correlated with the SF used at SSmax. These findings imply that as a consequence of being deprived of an important propelling limb, at fast swimming speeds SF is more important than SL in influencing the performance outcome of these single-arm amputee swimmers.

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Kirstin S. Morris, Mark A. Osborne, Megan E. Shephard, David G. Jenkins and Tina L. Skinner

Purpose:

The contributions of the limbs to velocity and metabolic parameters in front-crawl swimming at different intensities have not been identified considering both stroke and kick rate. Consequently, velocity, oxygen uptake (V̇O2), and metabolic cost of swimming with the whole body (swim), the upper limbs only (pull), and lower limbs only (kick) were compared with stroke and kick rate controlled.

Methods:

Twenty elite swimmers completed six 200-m trials: 2 swim, 2 pull, and 2 kick. Swim trials were guided by underwater lights at paces equivalent to 65% ± 3% and 78% ± 3% of participants’ 200-m-freestyle personal-best pace; paces were described as low and moderate, respectively. In the pull and kick trials, swimmers aimed to match the stroke and kick rates, respectively, recorded during the swim trials. V̇O2 was measured continuously, with velocity and metabolic cost calculated for each 200-m effort.

Results:

The velocity contribution of the upper limbs (mean ± SD; low 63.9% ± 6.2%, moderate 59.6% ± 4.2%) was greater than that of the lower limbs to a large extent at both intensities (low ES = 4.40, moderate ES = 4.60). The V̇O2 used by the upper limbs differed between the intensities (low 55.5% ± 6.9%, moderate 51.4% ± 4.0%; ES = 0.74). The lower limbs were responsible for a greater percentage of the metabolic cost than the upper limbs at both intensities (low 56.1% ± 9.5%, ES = 1.30; moderate 55.1% ± 6.6%, ES = 1.55).

Conclusions:

Implementation of this testing protocol before and after a pull- or kick-training block will enable sport scientists to determine how the velocity contributions and/or metabolic cost of the upper- and lower-limb actions have responded to the training program.

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Chelsie E. Winchcombe, Martyn J. Binnie, Matthew M. Doyle, Cruz Hogan and Peter Peeling

) developed for measuring PWR and stroke rate (SR) in OW setting are now commercially available. 9 The measurement of these key variables in a specific OW setting may allow for more applied measures of performance to be obtained from testing. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the

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Ana Gay, Gracia López-Contreras, Ricardo J. Fernandes and Raúl Arellano

swimming pools; particularly, it leads to an increase in stroke rate (SR) and stroke length (SL) in a 1500-m front crawl time trial. 11 However, none of the aforementioned studies analyzed propelling efficiency ( η p , the ratio of useful power [power used to overcome drag] to total power output), one of

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Jesús J. Ruiz-Navarro, Pedro G. Morouço and Raúl Arellano

environment developed using LabVIEW (National Instruments), allowing to visualize the recordings in real time. Stroke rate (SR) was recorded and analyzed using automatic swimming performance analysis (project reference IE_57161), it allowed the collection of the performance data automatically from video

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David Simbaña Escobar, Philippe Hellard, David B. Pyne and Ludovic Seifert

For 30 years, performance analysis has been conducted at international events to give swimmers immediate feedback on the stroking parameters (swimming speed, stroke rate, stroke length, and stroke index) in relation to the resultant performance outcome (swimming time). Previous studies of athletes