Estimating the Trunk Transverse Surface Area to Assess Swimmer’s Drag Force Based on their Competitive Level

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Tiago M Barbosa, Jorge E Morais, Mário J Costa, Jean E Mejias, Daniel A Marinho, Antonio J Silva

The aim of this study was to compute and validate trunk transverse surface area (TTSA) estimation equations to be used assessing the swimmer’s drag force according to competitive level by gender. One group of 130 swimmers (54 females and 76 males) was used to compute the TTSA estimation equations and another group of 132 swimmers (56 females and 76 males) were used for its validations. Swimmers were photographed in the transverse plane from above, on land, in the upright and hydrodynamic position. The TTSA was measured from the swimmer’s photo with specific software. It was also measured the height, body mass, biacromial diameter, chest sagital diameter (CSD) and the chest perimeter (CP). With the first group of swimmers it was computed the TTSA estimation equations based on stepwise multiple regression models from the selected anthropometrical variables. The TTSA prediction equations were significant and with a prediction level qualitatively considered as moderate. All equations included only the CP and the CSD in the final models. In all prediction models there were no significant differences between assessed and estimated mean TTSA. Coefficients of determination for the linear regression models between assessed and estimated TTSA were moderate and significant. More than 80% of the plots were within the 95% interval confidence for the Bland-Altman analysis in both genders. So, TTSA estimation equations that are easy to be computed by coached and researchers were developed. All equations accomplished the validation criteria adopted.
DOI: 10.2478/v10078-012-0019-3
Key words
validation, frontal surface area, drag, gender, expertise

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