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 (2012) 11, 156 - 161

Research article
The Effect of a Silicone Swim Cap on Swimming Performance in Tropical Conditions in Pre-Adolescents
Olivier Hue1, , Olivier Galy1,2
Author Information
1 Laboraire ACTES, UFR-STAPS, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, Campus de Fouillole, France
2 IUFC de Nouvelle-Calédonie, 125 av James Cook, BPX4, 98852 Nouméa Cédex, Nouvelle-Calédonie, France

Olivier Hue
✉ Laboraire ACTES, UPRES EA 35-96, UFR-STAPS, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, Campus de Fouillole, 97159 Pointe à Pitre Cédex, France.
Publish Date
Received: 01-06-2011
Accepted: 30-01-2012
Published (online): 01-03-2012
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We tested whether the silicone swim caps (SC) worn by young swimmers in a tropical climate negatively influence aerobic performance. Nine trained pre- adolescents [11.8 (± 0.8) years] swam randomized 800-m trials (water: 32.9°C, outdoors: shade, 29.2 ± 0.2 °C, 74 ± 0.3 % rh) with a SC or a nude head (NH). Performance times and heart rate (HR) were monitored continuously. Rectal temperature (Trec) was measured before and after trials. The rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was assessed. Stroke frequency (SF), stroke length (SL) and stroke index (SI) were measured every 50-m. The SC trial was significantly longer than NH (799 ± 16 and 781 ± 16 seconds, respectively). Mean delta Trec was significantly greater in SC (0.2 ± 0.1°C vs. -0.1 ± 0.1°C in SC vs. NH), mean SI was significantly different in SC versus NH (1.83 ± 0.07 vs 1.73 ± 0.06); but RPE and mean HR, SF and SL showed no change. We conclude that a silicone swim cap worn in tropical environment significantly decreased 800-m crawl performance without affecting HR or RPE. Silicone swim caps worn by young swimmers in a tropical environment may also have negative effects on training capacity.

Key words: Swimming, hot/wet environment, pre-adolescents, aerobic exercise, performance

           Key Points
  • Swimming in tropical climate represents a physiological stress
  • Swimming with swim cap in warm water could induce thermal stress
  • Thermoregulation processes have to be used in order to make training in tropical climate safer
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