Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2009) 08, 203 - 210

Research article
Variability of Coordination Parameters at 400-M Front Crawl Swimming Pace
Christophe Schnitzler1,2, , Ludovic Seifert1, Didier Chollet1
Author Information
1 University of Rouen, Faculty of Sports Sciences, France
2 University of Strasbourg, Faculty of Sports Sciences, France

Christophe Schnitzler
✉ Marc Bloch University, UFR STAPS, 14, rue R. Descartes, 67000 Strasbourg, France
Publish Date
Received: 17-08-2008
Accepted: 18-12-2008
Published (online): 01-06-2009
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This study examined the variability of physiological, perceptual, stroke and coordination parameters in both genders during several swim trials at the 400-m pace speed. Twelve national level competitors (6 men, 6 women) swam 400-m at maximal speed. They then swam three additional trials (100, 200 and 300-m) at the pace (speed) of the previous 400-m. Three cameras were used to determine stroke cycle [speed (V), stroke length (SL), stroke rate (SR)] and coordination [index of coordination (IdC), stroke phases] parameters. Physiological [heart rate (HR) and lactate [La-] and perceptual [subjective workload (TWL)] parameters were assessed after each swim trial. Inter-trial data indicated that HR, [La-] and TWL increased significantly with the distance swum (p < 0.05). Inter-trial comparison did not show significant variation of stroke cycle and coordination parameters. Inter-lap data were examined within the 400-m and showed that V and SL decreased significantly at the beginning of the trial (p < 0.05), but IdC and SR remained unchanged (p > 0.05). Thus, despite changes in both physiological and perceptual responses consecutive to increasing fatigue, coordination parameters remained stable during an all-out 400-m freestyle swim. The examination of these parameters based on short-distance trials appears then to be valid, which offers interesting perspectives for swim testing.

Key words: Testing, motor control, biomechanics, variability, fatigue, competitive swimming.

           Key Points
  • “During a maximal 400-m, fatigue led to an increase in both physiological (heart rate and blood lactate) and perceptual (subjective workload) parameters.
  • The consequence was a decrease in stroke length and therefore in the swimming speed.
  • However, inter-arm coordination did not change during this aerobic task.
  • This indicates that inter-arm coordination can be examined on the basis of short-distance trials rather than on the full distance.
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