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01.06.2014 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2014

European Journal of Applied Physiology 6/2014

The interplay between arms-only propelling efficiency, power output and speed in master swimmers

Zeitschrift:
European Journal of Applied Physiology > Ausgabe 6/2014
Autoren:
P. Zamparo, E. Turri, R. Peterson Silveira, A. Poli
Wichtige Hinweise
Communicated by Jean-René Lacour.

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the interplay between arms-only propelling efficiency (η p), mechanical power output (\(\dot W_{\text{tot}}\)) and swimming speed (V); these three parameters are indeed related through the following equation V 3 = 1/ p \(\dot W_{\text{tot}}\) (where k is the speed-specific drag; k = F/V 2); thus, the larger are η p and \(\dot W_{\text{tot}}\) the larger is V. We furthermore wanted to test the hypothesis that a multiple linear regression between \(\dot W_{\text{tot}}\), η p and V would have a stronger correlation coefficient than a linear regression between \(\dot W_{\text{tot}}\) and V alone.

Methods

To this aim we recruited 29 master swimmers (21 M/8F) who were asked to perform (1) an incremental protocol at the arm-ergometer (dry-land test) to determine \(\dot W_{\text{tot}}\) at \(\dot V\)O2max (e.g. \(\dot V\) max); (2) a maximal 200 m swim trial (with a pull buoy: arms only) during which V and η p were determined.

Results

No relationship was found between \(\dot W_{\text{max}}\) and η p (not necessarily the swimmers with the largest \(\dot W_{\text{max}}\) are those with the largest η p and vice versa) whereas significant correlations were found between \(\dot W_{\text{max}}\) and V (R = 0.419, P = 0.024) and η p and V (R = 0.741, P = 0.001); a multiple linear regression indicates that about 75 % of the variability of V can be explained by the variability of \(\dot W_{\text{max}}\) and η p (R = 0.865, P < 0.001).

Conclusions

These findings indicate that η p should be taken into consideration when the relationship between \(\dot W_{\text{max}}\) and V is investigated and that this allows to better explain the inter-subject variability in performance (swimming speed).

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