Upper-limb kinematics and kinetics imbalances in the determinants of front-crawl swimming at maximal speed in young international level swimmers

Jorge E. Morais, Pedro Forte, Alan M. Nevill, Tiago M. Barbosa, Daniel A. Marinho
2020 Scientific Reports  
Short-distance swimmers may exhibit imbalances in their upper-limbs' thrust (differences between the thrust produced by each upper-limb). At maximal speed, higher imbalances are related to poorer performances. Additionally, little is known about the relationship between thrust and swim speed, and whether hypothetical imbalances exist in the speed achieved while performing each upper-limb arm-pull. This could be a major issue at least while swimming at maximal speed. This study aimed to: (1)
more » ... fy a hypothetical inter-upper limb difference in the determinants related to front-crawl at maximal swim speed, and; (2) identify the main predictors responsible for the swim speed achieved during each upper-limb arm-pull. Twenty-two male swimmers of a national junior swim team (15.92 ± 0.75 years) were recruited. A set of anthropometric, dry-land strength, thrust and speed variables were assessed. Anthropometrics identified a significant difference between dominant and non-dominant upper-limbs (except for the hand surface area). Dry-land strength presented non-significant difference (p < 0.05) between the dominant and non-dominant upper-limbs. Overall, thrust and speed variables revealed a significant difference (p < 0.05) between dominant and non-dominant upper-limbs over a 25 m time-trial in a short-course pool. Swimmers were not prone to maintaining the thrust and speed along the trial where a significant variation was noted (p < 0.05). Using multilevel regression, the speed achieved by each upper-limb identified a set of variables, with the peak speed being the strongest predictor (dominant: estimate = 0.522, p < 0.001; non-dominant: estimate = 0.756, p < 0.001). Overall, swimmers exhibit significant differences between upper-limbs determinants. The upper-limb noting a higher dry-land strength also presented a higher thrust, and consequently higher speed. Coaches should be aware that sprint swimmers produce significant differences in the speed achieved by each one of their upper-limbs arm-pull.
doi:10.1038/s41598-020-68581-3 pmid:32669605 fatcat:i54qanvjevdeflxa555tcimnze