Force production during maximal front crawl tethered swimming: Exploring bilateral asymmetries and differences between breathing and non-breathing conditions

Stelios Psycharakis, Helen Soultanakis, José María González-Ravé, Giorgos P Paradisis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The present study focused on propulsive forces applied during tethered swimming. The main aims were to identify asymmetries between dominant and non-dominant arms, quantify the effect of breathing on force application and, explore any association between each variable and swimming performance. Fifteen regional level swimmers completed a maximal front crawl tethered swimming test, with maximal kicking, under four conditions: 1) Dominant arm strokes only, no breathing; 2) non-dominant arm strokes only, no breathing; 3) full stroke, no breathing; 4) full stroke, breathing on the preferred side. The outcome variables were: absolute and normalised (force divided by body mass) minimum, mean and maximum force; stroke cycle time and; impulse. The symmetry index was also calculated, and all variables were correlated with the swimmers’ season best times in 50 m front crawl. Some bilateral force asymmetries were found, but they did not always favour the dominant side and were not directly linked with swimming performance. There was no strong evidence that force production is higher on the dominant side or that symmetry in force production affects performance. Despite the longer stroke cycle times when breathing, the breathing actions did not affect force production. Faster swimmers often produced higher maximum force values and, sometimes, higher mean force values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)788-802
JournalSports Biomechanics
Volume23
Issue number6
Early online date3 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • swim
  • biomechanics
  • kinetics
  • strengh
  • training

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