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
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2010) 09, 398 - 404

Research article
Physiological, Biomechanical and Anthropometrical Predictors of Sprint Swimming Performance in Adolescent Swimmers
Evelin Lätt1, , Jaak Jürimäe1, Jarek Mäestu1, Priit Purge1, Raul Rämson1, Kaja Haljaste1, Kari L. Keskinen2, Ferran A. Rodriguez3, Toivo Jürimäe1
Author Information
1 Faculty of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Institute of Sport Pedagogy and Coaching Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
2 Finnish Society of Sport Sciences, Helsinki, Finland
3 Institut Nacional d’Educació Física de Catalunya, Sport Sciences Research Group, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Evelin Lätt
✉ Institute of Sport Pedagogy and Coaching Sciences, Faculty of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Tartu, 5 Jakobi Street 51014 Tartu, Estonia
Email: evelin.latt@ut.ee
Publish Date
Received: 22-03-2010
Accepted: 28-05-2010
Published (online): 01-09-2010
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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationships between 100-m front crawl swimming performance and relevant biomechanical, anthropometrical and physiological parameters in male adolescent swimmers. Twenty five male swimmers (mean ± SD: age 15. 2 ± 1.9 years; height 1.76 ± 0.09 m; body mass 63.3 ± 10.9 kg) performed an all-out 100-m front crawl swimming test in a 25-m pool. A respiratory snorkel and valve system with low hydrodynamic resistance was used to collect expired air. Oxygen uptake was measured breath-by-breath by a portable metabolic cart. Swimming velocity, stroke rate (SR), stroke length and stroke index (SI) were assessed during the test by time video analysis. Blood samples for lactate measurement were taken from the fingertip pre exercise and at the third and fifth minute of recovery to estimate net blood lactate accumulation (ΔLa). The energy cost of swimming was estimated from oxygen uptake and blood lactate energy equivalent values. Basic anthropometry included body height, body mass and arm span. Body composition parameters were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Results indicate that biomechanical factors (90.3%) explained most of 100-m front crawl swimming performance variability in these adolescent male swimmers, followed by anthropometrical (45.8%) and physiological (45.2%) parameters. SI was the best single predictor of performance, while arm span and ∆La were the best anthropometrical and physiological indicators, respectively. SI and SR alone explained 92.6% of the variance in competitive performance. These results confirm the importance of considering specific stroke technical parameters when predicting success in young swimmers.

Key words: oxygen uptake, stroke index, energy cost, front crawl


           Key Points
  • This study investigated the influence of different anthropometrical, physiological and biomechanical parameters on 100-m swimming performance in adolescent boys.
  • Biomechanical factors contributed most to sprint swimming performance in these young male swimmers (90.3% of variability in performance), followed by anthropometrical (45.8%) and physiological (45.2%) parameters.
  • Two selected variables (stroke index and stroke rate) explained 92.6% of the variance in competitive performance in these adolescent swimmers.
 
 
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