Energy cost of front-crawl swimming in women

Summary

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the energy cost of swimming per unit distance (CS) at different velocities (ν) and performance level, body size and swimming technique in women. A total of 58 females swimmers were studied. Three performance levels (A, B, C) were determined, ranging from the slower (A) to the faster (B, C). At level C and at 1.1 m·s−1, Cs,1.1 was reduced by 7% when directly compared to level B. The Cs,1.1 was reduced by 10% when calculated per unit of height (h) and by 37% when calculated per unit ofh and hydrostatic lift (HL). For the whole group of swimmers, the equation regression was Cs, 1.1 = 0.27h −2.38 HL−7.5 (r=0.53,P<0.01). To evaluate the specific influence of arm length two groups of long- and short-armed swimmers were selected among swimmers of similarh and performance. The Cs was significantly higher (P<0.05) by 12%, SD 2.2%, for short-armed than for long-armed swimmers. To evaluate the influence of different types of swimming technique, two other groups of similar performance and anthropometric characteristics were selected. The Cs was significantly higher (P<0.05) by 12%, SD 4.5% for swimmers using for preference their legs rather than their arms. The Cs of the sprinters was 15.7%, SD 2% higher than that of the long-distance swimmers. For all groups, CS increased withv on average by 8% to 11% every 0.1 m · s−1. These findings showed that Cs variations of these women were close to those previously demonstrated for men. The Cs depends on performance level, body size, buoyancy, swimming technique and ν.

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Correspondence to J. C. Chatard.

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Chatard, J.C., Lavoie, J.M. & Lacour, J.R. Energy cost of front-crawl swimming in women. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 63, 12–16 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00760794

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Key words

  • Anthropometric size
  • Energy cost
  • Buoyancy
  • Performance
  • Swimming